This is an exciting time for everyone at JLS.
As you may already know, we, along with thousands of schools across California, are participating in a field test of a modern assessment system designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroom. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CAASPP – these computer-based tests replace the STAR program. These tests are also called Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA).
These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English and math, which California adopted in 2010 to describe what knowledge and skills students need to be well prepared for college and careers, no matter where they come from or where they live.
Part of the goal of the field test this year is to determine how well individual questions allow students to demonstrate what they know and still need to learn. We are also taking this opportunity to see how well our technical capabilities meet the demands of computer-based assessments and to see what resources our teachers and school may yet need. For an excellent video describing additional rationale for participating the SBA field tests from a student’s perspective, please click here: http://youtu.be/DXXd451e580.
Finally and importantly, this year gives us an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences. All of this combined means that there will no scores this year. Instead, we will use what we learn from this field test to help ensure a successful full launch of the system in the 2014-15 school year. AB 484 requires all California districts to participate in the field test. Students in grades 3-8 are expected to participate. We look forward to students and staff supporting us in this important effort and opportunity.
Our next step in that transition is to administer the field test to 6th through 8th grade students from April 16th through April 25th. If you want to see what types of questions students will be asked or how the test will be presented, there is a practice test available online at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp.
If you would like more information, please visit the California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/smarterfieldtest.asp
If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact me. Thank you for your support.
FAQ –Smarter Balanced Assessment
What does the Smarter Balanced field test mean? Why are we participating?
The participation requirement for this field test is laid out by AB484 on October 2, 2013. Watch the high school students in this video describe the rationale for participating in the Smarter Balanced Field test. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXXd451e580)
Our students will participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test so we can: 1) test our infrastructure for administering online assessments to 400+ students at the same time, 2) give our educators a better sense of how college readiness and the Common Core State Standards will be measured, and 3) allow students the opportunity to experience this new online test and to provide important feedback about the process.
What is the Smarter Balanced assessment?
The Smarter Balanced assessment replaces the STAR test in English-Language Arts and Math in 2014-15 and in the future. There will be no scores generated during this first field test year because the test is still under development; that is, the purpose of the field test is to ensure quality of test questions, evaluate testing software, evaluate effectiveness of test administration and training materials, and establish scoring and reporting levels. In effect it is a “dress rehearsal”.
Does my child need to study for the Smarter Balanced assessment?
No. We only ask students to try their best and give it an honest effort.