Liz Gordon-Stoll, data and assessment coordinator at Santa Clara Unified School District, is pleased to report that the district performed better on the CAASPP-Smarter Balance Assessments than expected, based on what the national field test results indicated.
“During the 2014 national field test, no state or district or school received results, but nationally, they gave us an indication,” Gordon-Stoll says. “Nationally only 38 percent of third graders met or exceeded grade level standards in English, language arts, and literacy. And when you look at our state results, our state results matched the national predictions, and in almost all cases Santa Clara Unified performed better than the state of California overall in that 2014 prediction. When we look at Santa Clara results overall for the CAASPP-Smarter Balance Assessments taken in the spring of 2015, with 50 percent meeting or exceeding standards, it was better than expected.”
According to Gordon-Stoll, the district has a category of students regarded as “economically disadvantaged,” meaning they are homeless, foster children, students who receive free or reduced priced lunch, migrant, or have parents whose education levels are below the high school graduate level. Forty-four percent of SCUSD students who took the CAASPP-Smarter Balance Assessment were considered economically disadvantaged.
“The district still has work to do with subgroups that have risk factors. You should never make judgments based on one data point,” Gordon-Stoll says. “When you look at attendance, for example, we collect hundreds of data points. And so it’s important to keep in mind that no high- stakes decisions should be made based on one data point; especially a baseline data point of a new test.”
“It’s important that our community note that the CAASPP assessments are one assessment of many used to gauge student preparedness,” writes Jennifer Dericco, the school district’s public information officer, in an email. “Also, these first-year scores serve as a baseline year. The state has warned us all along that the baseline would show much room for growth. The new standards and assessment are designed to be rigorous. The combination of all of our assessment results provides direction for staff development and student achievement goals, including services for our economically disadvantaged, English learner, and foster youth students. You will see these goals and measures reflected in annual updates to our LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan).”
Visit http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2015/default to view the test results of California schools.