CAASPP Parent/Guardian Communication
CAASPP = The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
Each spring PMS and district students, along with all public schools across California, participate in various assessments established by CAASPP.
The newest and largest component of CAASPP are balanced assessments that were created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The SBAC is a standardized test consortium. It creates Common Core State Standards-aligned tests to be used in several states. The Smarter Balanced Assessments are a modern, technology-based program, with students performing the assessments on computers. These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English and Math. California adopted the CCSS in 2010 to support the knowledge and skills students need to be well prepared for college and careers, no matter where they come from or where they live. Students across California in grades 3 through 8 and high school will be taking these assessments this spring.
California’s academic standards are designed so students graduate prepared for college and have the skills to be successful in a career. One way we measure their progress is through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments. These tests were created specifically to gauge each student’s performance in English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science. These tests measure the skills called for by the Common Core Academic Standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems.
CAASPP tests are given statewide, which provide an opportunity to measure the skills of all students against the same academic standards. The tests are given online and are computer-adaptive, allowing more precise measurement of individual skills.
This year, your child will take the following tests:
- Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and Mathematics (6th-8th Grade)
And ONLY if your child is an 8th Grader, they will also take:
- The California Science Test (CAST) - (8th Graders ONLY).
Smarter Balanced Assessments (6th-8th Grade)
The Smarter Balanced ELA and Mathematics tests reflect California’s rigorous academic standards and allow students to demonstrate analytical writing and critical thinking skills as well as their knowledge of facts.
To learn more about these tests, please visit CDE’s Test Score Guide Web site at http://www.testscoreguide.org/ca, which provides informative guides and test score descriptions as well as sample test items at different levels of difficulty.
Another great resource are the Practice and Training Tests, which can be found on the CDE’s Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp. Here, parents can experience the kinds of questions that students will encounter on the tests.
California Science Test (CAST) — Test (8th Graders ONLY)
California’s new state standards for science (NGSS) call for students to think and work like scientists and engineers—asking questions and learning through hands-on investigation and discovery. Working with science teachers, California is developing a new assessment that emphasizes scientific thinking and reasoning. This year your child will participate in the tryout of test items for this future assessment. While this tryout will not provide scores for your child, it is an important first step in developing an assessment that will fairly and accurately measure how students are achieving on the new science standards. For additional information about the new science tests and sample questions, please visit the CDE’s CAASPP Science Assessment Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp. Or review this quick guide on CAST.
As partners in your child’s education, we invite you to take a look at some sample test questions available in the new CAST Training Test at http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/index.html.
It’s important to remember that statewide tests cannot take the place of hands-on learning that is taking place in our school. Experiments, in-class assignments, and tests designed by your child’s teacher all play a part in gauging what students know.
Statewide tests like the CAST are valuable because they represent a common yardstick—a way to measure the progress of all students at the same time in the same way. We are excited about the new science standards and the role CAST will play in helping our students reach their potential and prepare for the future.
Participation in State Assessments and Option to Request Exemption (EC § 60615, 5 CCR § 852):
Pupils in applicable grade levels will participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) except as exempted by law. Each year, a parent may submit a written request to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of the CAASPP assessments for that school year. If the parent submits the exemption request after testing begins, any test(s) completed before the request is submitted will be scored; the results will be included in the pupil’s records and reported to the parent. School district employees will not solicit or encourage any exemption request on behalf of a pupil or group of pupils. Please deliver these letters to PMS in care of Michael O’Brien - PMS Test Site Coordinator.
This information can also be found in the PUSD Student/Parent Handbook
CAASPP Parent Guides
Additional Information regarding CAASPP
When our CAASPP school schedule is set - it will be displayed here.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation in statewide assessments, please contact vice principal Michael O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 426-4390.
Jill Butler, Ed.D.
Principal, Pleasanton Middle School
Pleasanton Unified School District