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 Getting Ready for New Assessments

​Beginning in 2015, students in most grades will start taking new online assessment tests that will require a deeper understanding of key concepts and stronger problem-solving skills.  

Parents and teachers also will begin getting new reports generated from the assessments, which are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

School districts have prepared for these new assessments in English language arts and mathematics by participating in a testing pilot, upgrading technology, and providing professional development for teachers and administrators.

“All students deserve an education that prepares them for their next step in life—whether that’s going on to postsecondary education or starting a career, said Jameson Rienick, mathematics coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education.

Students in grades 3 through 8 along with those in grade 11 will take the new online assessments beginning in spring 2015.

The tests were created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a collaborative state-led group of educators, researchers, policymakers and community groups. They will use computer-adaptive technology and will feature short-answer and interactive questions as well as multiple-choice questions and performance tasks.

The assessment system will give parents and students accurate information about whether students are on track to graduate high school ready for college and the workplace. It will provide teachers with resources to tailor instruction to student needs through a digital library of instructional best practices.

Because the assessments are all online, the results will be available to parents and educators much more quickly than they were in the past. The new assessments also will show much growth specific students have made since the previous test.

With the new assessment system, parents and educators will be able to easily compare student achievement between schools, districts, and states to ensure that students are making progress.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that more than 40 states, including California, have voluntarily adopted.

The standards are designed to ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for college or the workforce.