Last spring, students in grades 3-8 took a new kind of test. In the past, you have received reports of your student’s scores on the California STAR. Now, many states, including California, have adopted the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which is a part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
In approximately mid- September, you will receive your student’s scores on this new test. On this webpage you will find information and resources to help prepare you for reviewing the score reports and understanding what it means for your student.
First, it is important to know that the new test is very different from the old (STAR) test.
- The new test (SBAC) is given on a computer. It is not a paper and pencil “fill in the bubble” test.
- It is not designed to simply measure your student’s memory of facts or concepts taught in their grade level. Instead, the focus is on measuring your student’s ability to engage in critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical writing.
- This new exam is designed to test student learning under the California Common Core State Standards rolled out in 2013.
- Because of this very ambitious goal, test questions are quite different. For example, some questions involve listening to a reading passage. Some questions are multiple choice, but there may be more than one correct answer. Some questions require short answers.
Second, the purpose of this new and more challenging test is to help teachers focus on the needs of groups of students or individual students in the upcoming school year. The ultimate goal is for all students to be college and career ready when they graduate from high school. The test ideally will measure your student’s progress toward that goal as they move through the grades.
Third, the scores that your student receives on this initial test will serve as a basis for measuring progress in future years. It is important to remember that no test will provide parents or teachers with a complete understanding of a student’s abilities. Other key factors include such things as grades, homework completion, ongoing assessments, attendance, social skills, teacher input, and attitudes towards school.
Fourth, like most California school districts, we expect that, during this changeover to the new test, many students or groups of students will not achieve high scores at first. As students and teachers become more familiar with the test design, we expect to see improvement as a District in each of the coming years.
We are proud of the hard work of our teachers and staff in preparing our Guerneville students for this test. We are equally proud of our students for tackling this new testing format with enthusiasm and a sense of purpose!