Recently, a letter from the Glendale Unified School District was sent out to all students and their guardians. The letter states that there was an error in the CAASPP test that students took during the school year. The results of this test came in June, during the summer vacation, and was resent in October.
Although not impacting all students, to several students, there were errors in their CAASPP test with in an unknown cause. For many students including Nathan Lee, a student at Rosemont Middle school, who did not finish the CAASPP test in the given time in school, the results showed that the problems that he omitted were considered incorrect, lowering his overall score.
The letter simply read that in August 2017, Educational Testing Services (ETS) sent a communication to school districts regarding inaccurately worded text printed on the 2016-17 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment Student Score Reports for some students. It further stated that students in grades four through eight who scored at achievement level 4 in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 administrations and whose scores increased this year received a Student Score Report indicating their scores did not increase enough to move to the next achievement level. The letter clarified that the test should have indicated they would remain at the highest achievement level and ETS has assured that the achievement levels and scale scores are correct and are not impacted by the text error. Also attached were the corrected score reports.
To students with errors, the district only replied that “the test score will not affect their GPA, or their grades” making the parents feel very nervous. This shows that the CAASPP test system is still incomplete and even the people who are suppose to run the system do not fully understand the system. Also, parents and guardians who required the fixes have not gotten a response besides the letter that was sent to everyone.
Previously, California used the STAR test (Standardized Testing and Reporting) until July of 2013. According to the STAR test website, the difference between the STAR test and CAASPP test is that the latter mostly uses reasoning, emphasizing analytical thinking, problem solving and communications skills.
Being a new system can not be made up for making errors or affect a student’s grades or future.