California’s academic standards—what we want students to know and be able to do—are designed so students graduate ready for college and a career. One way we measure student progress toward the standards is through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
Each spring, students in Irvine Unified School District participate in CAASPP assessments to provide information about their skills in English-language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science. These tests measure the skills called for by the academic standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems. Like class assignments and report cards, these assessments provide one piece of information about student progress. Assessment results should always be interpreted as one of multiple measures of a student’s skills.
Based on your child’s grade level, they may take one or more of the following tests this year:
Smarter Balanced Assessments (Grades 3-8 and 11)
The computer adaptive Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics tests reflect California’s rigorous academic standards. These assessments allow students to demonstrate analytical writing and critical thinking skills as well as their knowledge of facts.
California Science Test (Grades 5, 8, and High School)
California’s new state standards for science call for students to think and work like scientists and engineers—asking questions and learning through hands-on investigation and discovery. The new California Science Test (CAST) is an online test that emphasizes scientific thinking and reasoning. All students in grades 5 and 8 participate in the assessment, and students will also take the CAST once in high school (most students will participate in 11th grade).
California Alternate Assessments
Students in grades three through eight and high school who have an IEP that designates the use of an alternate assessment are eligible to take the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) in ELA, mathematics, and science. The goal of the CAAs is to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities attain increasingly higher achievement levels and leave high school ready for academic or career options.
If your child participates in any of the above assessments, their scores will be available electronically through Parent Portal in the fall.
You are an important part of your child’s education. To help your child get ready for the tests you can:
- Talk about the tests. Make sure your child is not scared or anxious.
- Tell your child that you and their teacher have high expectations and are both there to help, every step of the way.
- Take a practice test with your child at http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/index.html.
- Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing.
If you would like more information about the assessments, please visit the IUSD Statewide Testing website at iusd.org/statewide-testing or the CDE CAASPP web page at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/. If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact our site coordinators: Kathleen Lazar, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lauren Ng, email@example.com.
Mr. Alan Battenfield