Ready for CAASPP scores? Here’s a primer for the upcoming release

The California Department of Education is getting ready to release the latest round of scores for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, the state’s series of standardized tests used to measure student achievement.

Though results were scheduled to be posted on Tuesday, Aug. 29, state education officials announced recently that they’ll be delayed due to a data issue.

CAASPP includes primarily the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, along with other tests for students with disabilities and English language learners.

This is the third year of scores for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, which measure students’ proficiency in math and English. These tests are administered entirely online.An image of a student working on a computer in the Brea Olinda Unified School District

Once released, results will be broken down by district and school, for each grade and by subgroups, such as English learners and low-income students.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the tests.

Who was tested?

These tests were administered to about 3.2 million public school students in the spring. Smarter Balanced tests were administered to students in grades 3 through 8, and grade 11.

How do I find my child’s scores?

School districts are supposed to mail students’ results to parents within 20 days after the districts receive the scores from the test publishers. According to the state, districts were expected to receive scores by July or August, so parents should receive their child’s scores toward the end of summer at the latest.

How are the tests scored?

Scores fall into one of four achievement levels: standard not met, standard nearly met, standard met and standard exceeded.

  • Standard not met means the student must improve substantially to demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in future coursework.
  • Standard nearly met means the student is close to meeting the achievement standard and may need further development to demonstrate skills and knowledge required for future coursework.
  • Standard met means the student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework.
  • Standard exceeded means the student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework.

What do these scores mean for schools?

These scores make up a key ingredient of the California School Dashboard, the new accountability system that’s replaced the Academic Performance Index. These test scores will be used in conjunction with suspension rates, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism figures, college and career readiness data, and other information to determine if schools and districts are making enough progress in student success.

The California School Dashboard that will include Tuesday’s test scores will be released in late November.

What tests were given for students with disabilities and English language learners?

English language learners who have been enrolled in a school in the United States for less than 12 months are exempt from the English portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. However, all English language learners are required to take the math portion. English language learners can take the optional Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts (RLA).

The California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) is available to special education students who are not able to participate in Smarter Balanced exams.

For more information about Tuesday’s test scores, visit the state’s CAASPP site.