California Educator

February 2015

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1. What do these acronyms stand for? API PSAA ALD CAASPP SBAC CCSS ICA 2. What does the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress do? 3. Where do you get information for achievement level descriptors? 4. What's the best way to use achievement level descriptors? 5. How do you get access to the Smarter Balanced Digital Library? 6. What's the difference between an assessment and a test? 7. What's the difference between formative and summative assessments? 8. What is the timeline for administering the SBAC summative assessments? 9. What kind of information will students and par- ents receive after taking the SBAC assessment? 10. What kind of information will the district receive about students? 11. Will school districts have an API score for the 2014-15 school year? T H E R E I S S O M U C H H A P P E N I N G in the area of assessment and testing. In January, CTA State Council passed six recommendations to make formal CTA positions on instructional issues, especially related to assessment (page 54), which will be shared with the State Board of Education as they begin approving recommendations on multiple issues during the coming months. This article is the start of a series on assessment issues in California. To get the project rolling, we offer a quiz to assess how much you know about assess- ment. You're welcome to take the quiz here or online at Answers to the online quiz will guide the course for future articles on this topic. First in a series What do you know about assessment and testing? QUESTIONS ANSWERS 1 . API Academic Performance Index PSAA Public Schools Accountability Advisory committee ALD Achievement Level Descriptor CAASPP California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress SBAC Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium CCSS Common Core State Standards ICA Interim Comprehensive Assessment 2. The CAASPP is California's new statewide student assessment system, replacing the STAR tests. It includes the Smarter Balanced, alternate and science assessments. 3. On the SBAC website — 4. Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) can help educators understand how cut scores, or achievement levels, were determined. There are four levels of descriptors, which serve as starting points for discussion about the performance of individual students in mathematics and English language arts. Educators can use ALDs to design assessments and to inform instruction. 5. School districts and local education authorities are to provide a password to teachers so they can access the Smarter Balanced Digital Library. Questions about the Digital Library, including how to register new users, should be directed to the Digital Library Help Desk at 855-631-1510. 6. An assessment is the process of documenting knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs. A test is an assessment intended to measure respondents' knowledge, content or other abilities. 7. Formative assessments focus on the process of increasing knowledge and improving professional practice. They are geared toward informing instruction, recognizing how students are understanding content. Summative assessments focus on the outcome of a task or course of study and summarize learning at a particular point in time. 8. The SBAC summative assessments are to be administered during a 12-week window prior to the end of the school year. Get details from the California Department of Education. 9. Individual student scores only. There will be no school or district reports that compare or rank students' performance. The format of the student scores will be determined and voted on by the State Board of Education. Keep in mind California's "accountability holiday" lasts through 2017 and there will be no API. 10. Individual student results. The results are intended to inform instruction and are not for comparison purposes. 11. No. Assessment Learning 44

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