IUSD gearing up for field test of modern assessments tied to Common Core standards


IUSD, along with hundreds of school districts throughout California, will be participating in a field test of the state’s brand new student assessment system this year.

You may already be familiar with the old STAR testing program that launched in 1999. Well, that’s being replaced statewide by the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CASPP – which features modern computer-based exams that are aligned to the Common Core standards for English and math. While these exams won’t be officially administered until 2015, they will be piloted for many students this year.

One of the goals of the “field test” is to determine how well specific questions measure what students know and still need to learn. IUSD is also welcoming the opportunity to see how well its technical capabilities meet the demands of the new computer-based assessments — and whether additional resources may needed for teachers and schools.

Meanwhile, students may want to view this year’s test as an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences, as IUSD won’t be capturing or utilizing their scores. Instead, district officials plan to use what they learn to help ensure a successful launch of the new system during the 2014-15 school year.

In the weeks and months ahead, the field test will be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 at each of the district’s elementary schools, as well as grade 11 at each high school. If you’d like to preview what types of questions students will see, or how the test will be presented, you can access an online practice test by clicking here.

For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced webpage. And if you have any questions regarding your child’s participation in Irvine, you may want to check out IUSD’s Common Core webpage.