I used to teach Advanced Preparation, or AP, Language at the high school level. The most amazing statistic about AP testing is that students who took the test, even if they didn't pass, were statistically more likely to graduate college in four years than peers who did well in the class but didn't take the test. There is something about just taking the rigorous test that builds stamina, confidence, and a self-awareness that you can do it. We are excited about this year's test as a chance to learn and practice a new challenge.
IVA, along with thousands of schools across California, is participating in a field test aligned to the Common Core State Standards for math and English. This test is designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroom. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress -- or CAASPP -- these computer-based tests replace the STAR program.
Part of the goal of the field test this year is to determine how well individual questions allow students to demonstrate what they know and still need to learn. We are taking this opportunity to see how we meet the technological demands of the test and to see what resources our teachers and school may yet need.
Finally, and importantly, this year also gives your student an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences. All of this means we will not be capturing scores this year. Instead, we will use what we learn from this field test to help ensure a successful full launch of the system in the 2014-15 school year.
We will be administering the field test within the testing window, April 7 to May 16.
If you want to see what types of questions students will be asked, or how the test will be presented, there is a practice test available online. If you would like more information, please visit the California Department of Education testing web page.
Watch a super helpful video for middle school students!
What is IVA doing to prepare for the test?
Curriculum: Our core academic curriculum was chosen with two criteria in mind: (1) that the form and content of the materials clearly lend themselves to educating for intellectual virtues and (2) that they are aligned with Common Core State Standards.
Professional Development: Our teachers are taking the practice test themselves, and using it to adjust how we ask questions in class and how our assignments and tests challenge our students.
Technology: The tests will be taken on iPads equipped with the keyboards, and using a secure browser. Our students are practicing testing online by using the iPads to take unit and benchmark assessments.