In spring 2015, about 3.2 million California students participated in new online academic assessments to measure knowledge of California's English language arts and mathematics standards for grades 3 through 8 and 11. Today the state superintendent of public instruction unveiled the results of the assessments, known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
The San Diego County Office of Education released this statement on the results:
We're pleased to see the San Diego County students generally outperformed their counterparts across the state. In English language arts/literacy, 51% of San Diego County students met or exceeded standards, compared to 44% at the state level. In mathematics, 40% of San Diego County students met or exceeded standards, compared to 33% at the state level.
We believe this is testament to the hard work our schools and teachers have been doing to help students meet our new, more rigorous state standards. Together, we're encouraging and building skills in critical thinking, analytical writing, and real-world problem solving. These are skills students will need to be successful in school and in life.
Unfortunately, still too many of our more vulnerable children are struggling. We have much to do to close achievement and opportunity gaps, but are grateful to have these baseline scores, which represent an opportunity to focus on the needs of students and support teachers and schools in their work to achieve college and career readiness.
The new assessments are too fundamentally different from the old exams to make any reliable comparisons between old scores and new ones. Rather, this year’s results establish a baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time. Think of it as pushing the reset button on assessment results—getting a fresh start.
These baseline scores are only one source of information schools will be using regarding student progress. Teachers will also continue to gather other valuable information about each student’s learning through classroom assessment and daily student work.
We’re making a change that’s not simple. We’re moving from “let’s get it done” to “let’s make it better” assessments, from bubble-in tests that give us results almost a year later to ones that allow us to really connect with what kids know. These metrics matter, but teaching and learning matter more. These assessments allow us to zero in on where kids are struggling or succeeding and tailor instruction to those areas.