CAASPP

Credit: Berkeley Unified School District

Students in California preparing for the Smarter Balanced tests.

While most students are in the middle of taking the new Common Core-aligned tests, some early results of the first Smarter Balanced assessments are starting to trickle into districts.

District and school officials can begin looking at the scores and use them to make decisions about instruction, class placements and parent discussions, said Keric Ashley, deputy superintendent of the District, School, and Innovation branch of the California Department of Education. The first preliminary student scores for early test takers went out May 4.

“These are reports that are intended to help schools and districts,” Ashley said at the State Board of Education meeting on May 6.

California students for the first time are taking the new exams based on the nationally developed Common Core State Standards. These preliminary results could give school officials a first glimpse of how well students are learning the standards.

As of May 8, about 2.65 million students had started the Smarter Balanced tests, out of more than 3 million students in the state who are scheduled to take it in 3rd through 8th grades and 11th grade. California is one of 18 states giving the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Because the assessments are online, the results are much quicker to score, compared to previous paper-and-pen tests. Results of the previous California Standards Tests and other standardized tests were sent to districts in the summer.

Districts are expected to get preliminary results about four weeks after students complete the tests. With the early scoring, the goal was to get information to teachers and school administrators quickly enough to figure out what students need and how to best teach them.

But some parents, the public and possibly teachers might end up waiting nearly as long as before to see how students performed. Some districts may distribute scores to parents and teachers in the summer or possibly the beginning of the next school year.

The California Department of Education is telling districts to wait until August to release scores to the general public, which is the same time the state will publicize the full results, according to a PowerPoint presentation on May 4.

Most students are now in the middle of taking the test, Ashley said. The testing window began March 10 and can end as late as the last day of school, which sometimes goes into late June.

Of the six large school districts and the charter school chain EdSource is following as they implement the Common Core, only two had received preliminary scores as of late last week. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the state’s largest with 646,000 students, also had yet to get any results.

Officials in both Garden Grove and Visalia unified school districts were surprised when the scores came in, and they are figuring out next steps.

“We weren’t expecting it this early,” said Amy Stevens, a spokeswoman for Garden Grove Unified, which has about 46,000 students in Southern California.

Garden Grove officials still plan to give scores to teachers when they return to school in the fall, as they have always done, Stevens said.

“Because we have so little information and so few scores, we are not actively using them to examine instruction. That will come when we have the complete set of scores and can work with our administrators and teachers,” Stevens said in an email. “We’re not comfortable using anything until they’re the final scores.”

In Visalia, with 28,000 students in Central California, district officials had yet to figure out how to immediately use the early scores, said Doug Bartsch, assistant superintendent.

As of last week, Visalia had received 102 scores in 6th, 7th and 8th grades in a district with about 14,000 test takers.

“This early availability of results was new news to us this (last) week and we are still thinking through how best to work with information,” Bartsch said in an email.

This summer, Visalia plans to use its usual two-day professional development session before school starts to go over test results, Bartsch said.

Ashley said the electronic system would be updated nightly. So it’s possible for a school to receive results for one student, but receive results on a different day for another student who was tested at the same time.

The first results ready for release last week were for students who finished the 3rd and 5th grade math and 7th grade English language arts tests around April 1, according to the PowerPoint presentation.

The education department will send specific student reports, designed for parents, to districts within eight weeks of completion. Districts then would mail each student’s report home to parents.

In the meantime, teachers can print out their own preliminary results to have discussions with parents, Ashley said.

Here are plans at the other four districts and the charter school chain EdSource is tracking:

  • Elk Grove Unified School District: As of last week, 85 percent of high school students and 38 percent of elementary students had completed testing. District officials plan to give teachers their students’ scores about two weeks after the districts receive them from the state. District officials will monitor the results as they come in, but they will only use the scores with other measures to make decisions such as student placement, said Xanthi Pinkerton, an Elk Grove spokeswoman. The district has about 62,000 students in Northern California.
  • Santa Ana Unified School District: The district plans to wrap up testing June 9. After the district receives results, officials plan to use them to look at student achievement and evaluate school programs, said Deidra Powell, a Santa Ana Unified spokeswoman. Santa Ana enrolls about 57,000 students in Southern California.
  • Fresno Unified School District: Testing runs April 21 through May 27, so the district expects to receive most of its results at the end of June, after school is out. The student results will serve as a “baseline” to track progress, said Jedidiah Chernabaeff, a Fresno Unified spokesman. The Central California district enrolls about 73,000 students.
  • San Jose Unified School District: Students are scheduled to finish testing May 15. District officials expect to receive results this summer and will use them to see if they are aligned with their goals, said Jorge Quintana, a San Jose spokesman. The Bay Area district has about 33,000 students.
  • Aspire Public Schools: Students at the charter schools are taking tests between April 13 and June 5. The charter school chain expects to receive its results in July. Officials plan to use the scores to get a baseline sense of students’ “strengths and challenges,” said Catherine Foster, an Aspire spokeswoman.

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  1. Jennifer Thompson 11 months ago11 months ago

    Just to let you know you have the right as a parent to wave your child out of taking the Common Core Test. Just go to the district office and fill out a form and your child can be exempt. No questions asked!!!

  2. Sarah Tully 11 months ago11 months ago

    I just got word from the California Department of Education that the first students' test reports were sent to school districts last week. Districts have 20 days to mail them to parents. By my rough calculation, that would mean the first reports should be sent to parents around Labor Day. Parents: When you get your results, let us know! We want to know what you think. Sarah Tully, stully@edsource.org Read More

    I just got word from the California Department of Education that the first students’ test reports were sent to school districts last week. Districts have 20 days to mail them to parents. By my rough calculation, that would mean the first reports should be sent to parents around Labor Day.

    Parents: When you get your results, let us know! We want to know what you think.

    Sarah Tully, stully@edsource.org

    Replies

    • Doug McRae 11 months ago11 months ago

      Per your post on this issue Aug 11, the CDE is delaying release of statewide results until Sept (the vendor contract called for release of statewide results Aug 17), with the delay until the CDE has "complete and accurate" results. The initial individual student results (paper reports) began to be shipped to districts the week of Aug 17, with shipments going to districts as each district's results is certified as complete, with shipments expected to … Read More

      Per your post on this issue Aug 11, the CDE is delaying release of statewide results until Sept (the vendor contract called for release of statewide results Aug 17), with the delay until the CDE has “complete and accurate” results. The initial individual student results (paper reports) began to be shipped to districts the week of Aug 17, with shipments going to districts as each district’s results is certified as complete, with shipments expected to continue “through September” (according to the State Board agenda materials released by the SBE Aug 21). So, when each district gets the individual student paper reports from the vendor depends on when the scoring process is “complete” for each district, and those dates began Aug 17 and will continue through September, according to the CDE. The vendor contract (and statute, for that matter) called for almost all individual student paper reports to be shipped within 8 weeks of the completion of testing by each district, which for 99 percent of the students and districts in the state would be Aug 7. And as you indicate, districts have 20 calendar days (I believe) to send the individual student paper reports to parents. The bottom line is — the individual student paper reports are late by anywhere from 2 weeks to almost 2 months, and we don’t know yet when the statewide results will be released but it will be at least 2 weeks later than called for by the vendor contract, possibly as much as 6 weeks later. It is extremely optimistic that many parents will see individual student paper reports with results by Labor Day, but I would agree with you that when the first reports are received by parents it will be good to get their reactions . . . . .

  3. Calisa Cox 11 months ago11 months ago

    I was wondering how i get my childrens results from the smarter balance testing they did in April 2015

  4. San Carlos Parent 11 months ago11 months ago

    No Smarter Balanced parent results from our district yet. (San Carlos School District)

  5. Yolanda Flanagan 11 months ago11 months ago

    We homeschool our three students through k12 cava San Diego school district’s Virtual academy—do you have any information on when they will release test scores to parents—Thank you.

  6. Parents News Opinion 12 months ago12 months ago

    Reporter Tully, Why do parents have to wait for the school districts to decide when to send out the SmarterBalance/CAASPP results? It seems wrong for parents to be waiting. I ask you to ask the C.D.E. this question and or thebS.B.E. I , as a parent request not to wait and for the C.D.E. to release all mailing (and offer on line review of all school grade level and school results). Why do school … Read More

    Reporter Tully,

    Why do parents have to wait for the school districts to decide when to send out the SmarterBalance/CAASPP results? It seems wrong for parents to be waiting. I ask you to ask the C.D.E. this question and or thebS.B.E. I , as a parent request not to wait and for the C.D.E. to release all mailing (and offer on line review of all school grade level and school results).

    Why do school districts get to see and review overall scores for each grade level and school, but, and correct me as a parent if I am wrong, parents do not get grade level results or school results, or school district results…will the C.D.E. put such results on line on the C.D.E. website?

  7. Kellie Bridges 12 months ago12 months ago

    Looking for school scores and my children’s scores from test. When will we see them?
    Thank you for getting back to me.

  8. Yolanda Gayol 12 months ago12 months ago

    Are there further news about the application of smarter and the results?

    Replies

    • Sarah Tully 12 months ago12 months ago

      Thank you for the question. EdSource just got a brief update yesterday. Schools are continuing to receive preliminary scores through the summer. We're hearing that parent reports are likely starting to go to school districts as early as next week. Then, school districts have about 20 days to mail them to parents. So, parents are looking at the end of the month, probably. Are you a parent? If so, we'd like to keep in touch … Read More

      Thank you for the question. EdSource just got a brief update yesterday. Schools are continuing to receive preliminary scores through the summer. We’re hearing that parent reports are likely starting to go to school districts as early as next week. Then, school districts have about 20 days to mail them to parents. So, parents are looking at the end of the month, probably. Are you a parent? If so, we’d like to keep in touch with any parents. Send me an email: stully@edsource.org.

      Sarah

  9. Roxana Marachi 1 year ago1 year ago

    Thanks Sarah Tully and EdSource for this important update. Would it be possible to provide readers with a report on the psychometric analyses/confirmation of external validity/reliability of the tests? Numerous concerns have been raised about user-interface barriers and design flaws on the math test (in a 30+ page invalidation report) and it appears there have not been any validation studies to affirm that the tests are worth using in any meaningful way. The … Read More

    Thanks Sarah Tully and EdSource for this important update. Would it be possible to provide readers with a report on the psychometric analyses/confirmation of external validity/reliability of the tests? Numerous concerns have been raised about user-interface barriers and design flaws on the math test (in a 30+ page invalidation report) and it appears there have not been any validation studies to affirm that the tests are worth using in any meaningful way. The following collection includes the invalidation report and has updates on testing locally and nationally (http://bit.ly/testing_testing). Please consider for future investigations some kind of attention to the legal implications of high-stakes tests, especially given the many ways that it appears these test scores are being planned to be used: http://sco.lt/8YyD5N. Thank you.

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