Family FAQ - Testing changes begin in Eureka City Schools

Testing will soon look very different.  On Oct. 2, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 484, which affects statewide testing for the 2013-14 school year and into the future.  To support schools moving toward instruction aligned to the new Common Core State Standards, AB 484 eliminates much of the 2013-14 STAR testing, which is aligned to outgoing CA Content Standards. It also creates new, computer-based assessments as a part of CalMAPP (California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress).  This allows students and teachers to focus on the new expectations in English-language arts and math without having to take the pencil-paper STAR tests at the end of the year.  Here is some helpful information about what to expect during this transition:

Does this mean my student will not take state tests this year?

  • Depending on a student’s grade level, he/she may be tested in one or more subjects.
  • The CA High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) still remains a requirement for graduation.

Student state level assessments will also include the following:

  • CST/CMA/CAPA Science in grades 5, 8, & 10
  • EAP for math and/or language arts in grade 11 (optional)
  • CA Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) in grades 2-11 (language arts, math)
  • Field test of the new computer-based Common Core Standards in language arts OR math in grades 3 - 8 and 11

How are the new tests going to be used right now?
Field tests in English-language arts and math will include both the computer-based portion of the test and the performance task for a single subject area. Since the purpose of a field test is to “test the test” to ensure valid and reliable results, no field test scores will be returned to schools or families.  However, scores for any remaining STAR tests will be reported to schools and families.

What is Eureka City Schools doing to prepare for this change?
Eureka City Schools is positioned well for this shift.  Last year, several of our school sites participated in pilot tests and students had exposure to using computers in responding to questions.  Eureka City Schools will participate in ‘field testing’ this spring as well.   The experiences that students and teachers have with this assessment will make the transition from pencil-paper STAR tests to the new computer-based CalMAPP assessments run more smoothly.

A second support for that shift is occurring in classrooms, where teachers are aligning their instruction with the expectations of new Common Core State Standards. Finally, both the implementation of computer-based assessments and technology integration at schools is helping the District to ensure that our technology infrastructure is sufficient for the new testing program.

Will new testing data be used for accountability measures or students’ placement in programs?
CalMAPP will evolve over the next few years as the state moves into greater alignment with Common Core State Standards. More information will be coming to ensure that teachers and families understand these changes. This will include alternative processes which currently rely on STAR scores (e.g., English Learner reclassification, student eligibility for special programs, etc.).

How can I help my student at home?
You can best support your student at home by encouraging him/her to continue to apply him/herself well during the school day, to continue to do homework and study, and to do his/her best on the practice tests in the Spring.

Who can I talk to for more information?
We encourage you to talk to your school’s principal if you have any questions about the new testing changes.  You can also reach the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at (707) 441-3363.