Information About Student Assessments
Hello Mount Diablo Unified District Families and Staff,
Our district and board continue to focus on the goals of College and Career readiness, Parent and Community Engagement, and Professional Learning. In order to meet the goal of preparing all students to be college and career ready, California and Mt. Diablo Unified have implemented the new Common Core Standards.
Last spring, students in California including Mt. Diablo Unified, took the new computerized assessments known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) exams. September 9, 2015, the California Department of Education released state, district and school results for the assessments. The assessments (given in grades 3-8 and 11) are new, computer-based tests that measure student knowledge of California’s State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The assessment system provides students and teachers with a range of questions that adapt (based on the student’s answers) to more accurately identify the knowledge and critical-thinking skills individual students have mastered, and where more help is needed. This is the first year that scores will be reported in California schools with the new testing system.
The new standards seek to help all students graduate from high school prepared for college-level coursework and a 21st-century career. Last year, the state mandated the implementation of the standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. This year, we will expand the implementation to include Science. Science standards will emphasize real world problem solving. The new Science standards include concepts that connect to scientific practices, such as engineering, health and technology using interdisciplinary projects.
We have seen positive changes in the classroom while teachers help students meet the demands of the new standards. Many if not most students will need to make progress to reach the standards set for math and ELA that accompany college and career readiness. No student, parent or teacher should be discouraged by scores, which will not be used to determine whether a student moves onto the next grade. The results are intended to help guide discussions among parents, students and educators regarding students’ individual strengths and areas of growth.
The assessment system is new; therefore student score reports will be different. Mt. Diablo Unified is in the process of distributing to parents and guardians individual score reports in the mail. These reports include detailed information about student performance in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These reports will be mailed home by mid October.
The new computer-adaptive exams are different from the former “fill in the bubble” exams, and therefore we cannot make any reliable comparisons between old scores and the new ones.
This year’s scores will be our baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time.
Mt. Diablo Unified has resources available on our website that we will continue to update. For more information, please go to:
Dr. Nellie Meyer