With the signing of Assembly Bill 484, the State is remaking the state’s student assessment system to reflect the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The new law suspends most STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) assessments for the current school year, allowing school districts to prepare for and transition to the new California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress assessments, which are slated for administration statewide in the 2014-15 school year.
The new assessments will be computer-based, allowing for a much broader range of test questions than the multiple-choice exams given under STAR. As a result, the new assessments are expected to emphasize critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, modeling the kind of teaching and learning needed to prepare all students for the demands of college and the workplace.
For 2013-2014 school year, AB484 requires districts to administer field tests of the Smarter Balanced assessments to students in grades 3-8th and 11th in either English language arts or math. Field tests serve as “tests of the tests” allowing experts to discern the accuracy and reliability of individual test questions before finalizing the assessments for full scale use. For a preview of the new SBAC assessments, click here.
As a result, there will not be any test scores for the students or schools during this school year.
There will not be an Academic Performance Index (API) for the 2013-14 school year during this transition. The State is in the process of developing new criteria for the API that will include other factors besides test results.
The suspension of the STAR testing has an impact on other areas where the results have been used for special programs in the District. The District is in the process of selecting an alternative assessment for Whitney admission, qualifications for the Gifted and Talented Education program as well as guidelines for redesignation of English language learners. We will communicate these changes with the schools and community as well as post the information on the District’s website.
-- Dr. Mary Sieu
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