First Day of School
August 19, 2015
An important message to parents….
Last May your child took part in the 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the new computer-based tests for English language arts/literacy and mathematics that replaced the former paper-based tests for these subjects.
These new exams are part of California’s comprehensive plan for supporting high-quality learning at every school. They are based on California’s new, more challenging academic standards, which are designed to help all students graduate ready for college and to pursue a career.
These tests include a wider variety of questions than the multiple-choice tests they replaced, requiring students to explain how they solve problems, think critically, and write analytically. These skills take time and effort to master, but our students will need them to succeed in the long run.
In the Lemon Grove School District, we see these tests as an academic checkup. Like class assignments and report cards, they are one gauge of student progress–one way to provide you and your child’s teachers with information about your child’s work toward the high goals we have set for our students.
If your child was in grades 3 through 8 last year, you will be receiving a student score report in the mail by the end of August. As you review this report, you’ll notice that along with an overall score for each subject, there is also information about how your child performed in different skill areas associated with English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
Our schools are still adjusting to these new standards and the tests that go with them. We know that many if not most students will need to make significant progress to reach the challenging new goals we have set. That’s why no student or parent should be discouraged by test results, which will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.
Like the new learning goals they were designed to measure, these new tests are much too different from the old exams to make any comparisons between old scores and new. That’s why this year’s scores are better thought of as a starting point–a baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time.
These scores are also being reported to your child’s school where they will be used to help set learning goals for this year. We invite you to take an active part in these discussions. As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please contact your school’s office to arrange a conference with the principal.