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State testing: What is it and how can I help my student prepare?

May 1, 2022

Photo of laptops charging in a cart.

Each spring, students across the nation participate in accountability testing. Though testing was put on hold in previous years due to the ongoing pandemic, testing will resume in schools this year, including in Wiseburn.

All students in California in grades 3-8 and 11 will be participating in the computer-based testing for Mathematics and English Language Arts as part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). In addition, this year students in grades 5, 8, 11 and 12 will participate in the California Science Test (CAST).

The calendar window for testing will be between May 2 and May 31. The total testing time for each student will be approximately 6-8 hours spread out across the testing window.

These tests have been created to assess student progress towards the California State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics which were adopted in 2010. As we have always done in Wiseburn, we will analyze our students’ performance and target areas for support and improvement.

This test is being conducted on computers and students are expected to use critical thinking to select their responses and successfully navigate performance tasks that are embedded in the testing. The computer-based tests also allow for an unprecedented level of access and accommodations for students.

You are an important part of your student’s education. To make sure your student feels comfortable taking tests, you can:

  • Explain to your student that these tests are tools to support their future learning, and they should not be anxious or scared.
  • Explore the practice tests with your student through CAASPP here so they can become familiar with the platform and setup of the tests.
  • Remind your student that you and their teacher want them to try their best and are there to help, every step of the way.
  • Make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing.

You will receive your student’s results at or before the beginning of the next school year. The results will identify where your student is doing well or may need additional help, so you can better support their learning at home and teachers can better support their learning in the classroom.

To learn more about these tests, go to the Starting Smarter web page at https://ca.startingsmarter.org/, or review the Parent Guide to Understanding here.

The annual summative testing system is an important part of how we assess students’ growth and evaluate our overall program. Student participation in all tests is essential for providing actionable data for analysis.

We appreciate your partnership in this important activity and look forward to providing all families with assessment results that are both individualized to your student and supportive of their learning growth in the Wiseburn USD.