• Frequently Asked Questions

    What is CAASPP?

    • California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.  California is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium, or SBAC (pronounced S-back), testing system in which computers adapt questions based on how well the student answered the previous question.
    • These new tests were taken last spring by students in grades 3-8 and 11.  The tests replaced the former paper-based, multiple-choice assessments in English/language arts and math.

    My child has always been advanced, but is now scoring below standard. What does this mean? 

    • The State of California approved new, more rigorous college and career standards and the new state tests measure how well students are adjusting to these new standards. Since the old test and the new test measure different standards, it is like hitting the restart button and starting over again. These new standards ask students to think more deeply and to engage in more complex problem solving. These new test results will help teachers adjust what and how they teach their students and help our school focus on effective professional development for teachers.

    What do the numbers really mean? Why this score range?

    • The scores go from 200 to 3000, where the old measures stopped at 600.  The numbers result from a complex calculation that factors in question difficulty on an adaptive test. Naturally, the exams become more difficult as students progress through higher grade levels and the scale scores illustrate that change in difficulty.

    My son’s friend said that his test had different questions.  How could that be if they took the same test at the same grade level? 

    • The test is computer adaptive meaning that students are given different questions based upon how they perform on earlier items. As a result two students will have very different exams that test the same grade level standards. 

     My child didn’t get a score for one of the claims. What does this mean?

    • On that particular area within the test, your child did not complete enough questions to generate a claim score. 

     My 3rd grader received a 2610 for his ELA exam. Does this mean that he exceeds grade level standards in 4th and 5th grade too?

    • No. Your child was only assessed on 3rd grade standards and the results are only reflective of performance for his third grade level test. The 4th and 5th grade standards were not assessed on the 3rd grade test. 

    In the past, my English Learner performed better on the mathematics test than the English-Language Arts test. Now, his English-Language Arts test score is higher than mathematics. Why?

    • The new mathematics standards are far more rigorous than in the past. The mathematics test requires students to demonstrate their understanding of mathematics in far more complex ways including explaining their math solutions or rationales in writing. 
Last Modified on August 15, 2018