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SBUSD Superintendent McNamara addresses New Student Tests/Assessments in Monthly Column for October

Oct 09, 2015 01:22PM ● By Paul Spear

South Bay Union School District Superintendent Dr McNamara addresses New Student Tests/Assessments in Monthly Column for October!

Superintendent McNamara’s Column – October 2015

Dear Community Members,

On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, the California Department of Education (CDE) released

The results for this year’s CAASPP assessments serve as baseline data which will help us   

 results from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test in which students in grades 3-8 participated last spring. This new test, which is significantly more rigorous than assessments in the past, measures how students are able to master and apply the new California State Standards. This new assessment cannot be compared to the former California Standards Test (CST) due to increased rigor, new standards and computer adaptive format. These new tests are part of California’s plan for supporting high levels of learning for all students.  Students are expected to explain how they solve problems, think critically and write analytically.  All of these skills take time to master and apply and are critical components for success in the future. 

 determine instructional needs to support all learners in the South Bay Union School District. We recognize that our students will need to make significant progress in order to meet the demands and challenges placed upon them.  SBUSD staff is in the process of fully analyzing the assessment data as a means of creating comprehensive action plans to improve teaching and learning on behalf of all students.  We are committed to ensuring rigorous, student-centered, and standards-aligned instruction in every classroom. 

Establishing the new assessment system was a necessary first step toward developing a new accountability system for all schools in California. The Academic Performance Index (API), a number between 200 and 1,000, is no longer being calculated for schools and districts and a new accountability system is being created. The California State Board of Education is currently considering what the new accountability system will include and how CAASPP results will be a part.

We are committed to academic excellence, equity, and improvement to ensure the success of all students. Our Local Control Accountability Plan establishes district focus on four goals with action steps outlining how the goals will be accomplished:


·         Learning and Achievement for All.

·         Positive School Culture for All.

·         Parent and Community Engagement to Support Student Achievement.

·         Basic Services to Support Student Achievement.


In the coming months, our focus will be on frequent progress monitoring and accelerating 

 reading achievement for all students; continued work in mathematics with a focus on building conceptual understanding and problem solving; developing 21st Century Skills (communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking); Systematic English Language Development (SELD) for all English learners; dedicated teacher collaboration time to focus on standards, students and instruction; engaging parents in the school community to increase student achievement; and providing safe and nurturing environments for student learning.

For more information about CAASPP you can visit the CDE website and the District website for resources.


Katie McNamara, Ed.D.

District Superintendent



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