Ukiah Unified School District Announces 2017-18 CAASPP Test Scores
Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD) has announced that results are now available for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests that UUSD students completed in May of this year. CAASPP is a computer-based testing system established in 2014 that is aligned with California's rigorous standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics called Common Core.
More than three million California students in grades three through eight and grade eleven take the CAASPP test every spring as part of a comprehensive state-wide plan for high-quality teaching and learning in every school. The plan includes higher academic standards, more decision-making in the hands of schools and their communities, and more resources dedicated to schools and students with the greatest needs.
CAASPP results provide information to teachers, students, and their families about what students know and are able to do, and whether they are on track for success in college or a career when they graduate from high school. UUSD administers the most-used tests throughout California called Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Smarter Balanced Assessments consist of two parts: a computer adaptive assessment and a performance task. The computer adaptive assessment bases follow-up questions on a student’s previous answers in real time and gives a more accurate picture of progress than paper-and-pencil, multiple choice tests. If a student answers a question correctly, they get a more difficult question next. If they answer incorrectly, they then get an easier question.
The performance task challenges students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to problems in a real-world setting. The two parts of the yearly assessment measure depth of understanding, writing, research, and problem-solving skills more thoroughly than previous multiple-choice paper tests. Scores on the assessments fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met, and standard not met.
California students had a 1.32% increase in English Language Arts test scores and a 1.09% increase in Math scores in 2018. After three years of solid improvements, UUSD held steady for the 2018 testing period with the overall test scores essentially remaining flat. English Language Arts scores at UUSD were identical to last year, and Math scores were 1% lower than the previous year. Some grade levels improved and some saw a slight decrease in their scores resulting in the overall rating.
Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, expressed optimism and the need for more work to be done. “We’re encouraged by what we see, especially since these tests are more rigorous than previous paper and pencil tests. However, we need to make sure all students continue to make progress,” Torlakson said. “We must continue our work to narrow achievement gaps as we raise the bar for our students, and better prepare for them for 21st-century college and careers.”
UUSD 2018 CAASPP Highlights
English Language Arts (ELA)
Grade 3 increased 7% in 2018, and 9% over the last four years.
Grade 5 increased 5% in 2018, and 9% over the last four years.
Grade 8 remained the same in 2018, but has increased 4% over the last four years.
By grade 11, 51% of UUSD students met or exceeded state ELA standards.
Grade 3 increased 4% in 2018, and 14% over the last four years.
Grade 5 increased 5% in 2018, and 8% over the last four years.
Grade 7 increased 3% in 2018.
“We’ve had a lot of improvement over the last four years, and I am very proud of our students, staff and parents for making our children’s future success a priority. At the same time, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us to make sure our children are ready for whatever they choose to pursue after graduating high school,” commented Deb Kubin, UUSD Superintendent of Schools.
UUSD leadership and staff are working to elevate student learning in a variety of ways. New English Language Arts and Math curriculum, aligned with California Common Core Standards, has been implemented in Grade TK – Grade 8. There is a continued focus throughout the District on reading and writing in all grades with a commitment to every student reading at their grade level by grade 3.
UUSD staff are actively learning new ways to prepare children for the rigorous learning that is required of them now and in the future by attending classes and conferences, and they compare results and share proven strategies that have worked in their classrooms with their peers throughout UUSD. More science, technology, engineering and math coursework, sometimes referred to as STEM, has been implemented and more relative coursework will soon follow.
“I believe in the ability of our students, staff, and parents to make great progress in student learning, but it is important to remember educational success is achieved through the total experience, not just one data point or a single test.” Kubin said. “A better picture of performance includes criteria like a safe and caring environment, graduation rates, English learner success, absenteeism, parent feedback, suspension rates and extra-curricular activities.”
How Can You Help Your Child?
Research supports that student learning improves when parents read with their children and discuss what they’ve read. Working on homework together is another great way to improve learning. Practice tests are always available for parents and students. These exams are a great way to prepare for the actual CAASPP test, view sample questions and practice with the tools and resources that are available to students during testing (e.g., highlighter, calculator).
Understanding the Assessments
The California Department of Education offers Parent Guides to Understanding which provide answers to key questions such as who takes the assessments and why, and when and how they are administered. You can find the guides here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/parentguidetounderstand.asp
Understanding Your Child’s Score Report
Some parents in our community have already received a letter outlining their child’s scores on the CAASPP tests, the rest of these letters will be arriving soon. Summaries and videos are available online in English and Spanish to help you better understand the information on your child’s Student Score Report. These summaries should help parents understand their child’s overall score and their individual scores in each subject area.
You can find the summaries here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppssreports.asp.
The video guide can be found here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/av/mm/caasppreport201617.asp.
For more information, please visit these websites:
If you would like to speak with someone about CAASPP tests or your child’s scores, please contact your student’s school site.