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District Staff Present CAASPP Data at Board Meeting

Cambrian School District staff will be sharing aggregate student data from the 2015-2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) at this week’s Governing Board meeting on Thursday, September 15. The new assessment was administered for the second time in all California public schools last spring, and the results offer a brief snapshot of student progress toward mastery of rigorous Common Core Standards in the subjects of Math and English Language Arts (ELA).

Cambrian students generally show great progress between the first and second test administration. Every grade level demonstrated positive growth in the ELA assessment, for a total of 67 percent of all Cambrian students earning the “Standard Met” or “Standard Exceeded” achievement level. Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 also demonstrated positive growth in the Math content area, for a total of 52 percent of all Cambrian students earning “Standard Met” or “Standard Exceeded,” a similar figure to the year prior. Cambrian students outperform the average for the state of the California in both content areas.

A particular point of pride is that Cambrian’s English Learner students perform very well in ELA and Math when compared to both the Santa Clara County average and statewide average. Students enrolled in special education services outperform their county and statewide counterparts in ELA, and also scored higher than the statewide average in Math, with very similar results to the countywide average.

CAASPP replaces the previous Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) system and consists of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Students take both a computer-based and computer-adaptive test, providing them with a wider range of questions tailored to more accurately identify the knowledge and skills they have mastered. The tests also include performance tasks that challenge students to demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving, and to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems.

Ultimately, while CAASPP is a valuable tool to help educators respond to individual student needs as well as on a district wide level, it is just one measure of student progress. Assessments administered throughout the year, class projects, report card grades and teacher feedback are the other crucial components of the ongoing collaboration between families and schools to ensure all students are making satisfactory progress toward their academic goals.

Cambrian School District will continue to build upon ELA growth by furthering implementation of successful classroom programs such as the Writers’ Workshop model and Guided Language Acquisition by Design (GLAD). Math achievement will be supported with continued implementation of and professional development around Common Core State Standards, use of assessments that more closely resemble the CAASPP throughout the year, additional structured collaboration time so teachers can effectively incorporate student progress data into their lesson planning, and more time learning with computers for all students.

Parents can review the full CAASPP presentation that will be shared with the board online, which includes a wealth of resources to help understand the new assessment model.