One of the first assignments a Compass scholar takes is the STAR Renaissance diagnostic assessments in mathematics and reading or early literacy. STAR diagnostic assessments pinpoint a scholar’s academic needs and provide ongoing progress monitoring, showing whether scholars are on track to achieve end-of-year targets. Benchmark assessments are taken as a diagnostic assessment the first couple weeks of each semester, and as a benchmark at the end of the school year. Supporting instruction is available to scholars throughout each semester, as assigned by our Supervising Teachers or as needed through our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) process. These assessments and instructional activities will help our teachers and staff support academic growth and close learning gaps for our scholars.
The Benefits of Assessments
STAR Renaissance assessments and Freckle instructional activities help our teachers and staff and support academic growth:
STAR is a computer-adaptive diagnostic for mathematics and reading or early literacy that pinpoints scholar needs and contains ongoing progress monitoring, showing whether scholars are on track to achieve end-of-year targets.
STAR assessments help teachers better understand what students know and can do in the areas of early literacy, reading, or math. As a student takes the test, the software selects items based on the student’s responses. If the student answers correctly, the next item will be more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the next item will be less difficult. By adjusting the difficulty of the items to what students show they can or cannot do, the assessment is an accurate way to help teachers identify what skills students are ready to learn. Teachers use this information to guide their instruction.
- Star Early Literacy tests are used for students in grades pre-K through 3 (beginning readers who do not yet read independently or need early literacy skills assessed). There are 27 items and it generally takes fewer than 15 minutes for the student to complete the test.
- Star Reading tests are used for students in grades K—12. Star reading has 34 items and it generally takes fewer than 20 minutes for the student to complete the test.
- Star Math tests are used for students in grades 1—12. Star Math has 34 items and generally takes fewer than 25 minutes for the student to complete the test.
Watch this short video with your scholar to learn more about STAR assessments.
There are several state-mandated assessments that all California scholars enrolled in a public school take each year. The results from these tests provide parents/guardians, teachers, and educators with information about how well schools are doing in ensuring that scholars are college and career ready.
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) is an adaptive computer assessment aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics tests are administered to scholars in grades three through eight and grade eleven to measure whether scholars are on track to college and career readiness. In grade eleven, results from the ELA and math assessments can be used as an indicator of college readiness. Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents/guardians may annually submit to the school a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP assessments.
The new, computer-based California Science Tests (CAST) measure scholar acquisition of the California Next Generation Science Standards. It is administered to scholars in grades five and eight and once in high school. The new computer-based CAST replaces the California Standards Tests (CST) for Science.
California Spanish Assessments (CSA) for Reading/Language Arts is a computer-based assessment aligned with the California CCSS en Español. California offers the optional CSA for Reading/Language Arts, which are multiple-choice tests that allow Spanish-speaking English learners to demonstrate their knowledge of the California content standards.
The computer-based California Alternate Assessments (CAA) for ELA and mathematics are administered to scholars with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades three through eight and eleven. The instructionally embedded CAA for science is administered in grades five and eight, and once in high school.
English Language Proﬁciency Assessments for California
The computer-based English Language Proﬁciency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. It consists of two separate English Language Proﬁciency (ELP) assessments: one for the initial identification of scholars as English learners and the other for the annual summative assessment to identify scholars’ English language proﬁciency level and to measure their progress in learning English.
Physical Fitness Test
The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for scholars in California schools is the FitnessGram®. The main goal of the test is to help scholars in starting lifelong habits of regular physical activity. Scholars in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test in the spring of each school year.
On September 18, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 820, which prescribes that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to comply with state and local health guidelines, the administration of the PFT shall be suspended for the 2020–21 school year.
SB 820 also requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) consult with experts and other stakeholders in order to provide recommendations regarding the purpose and administration of the PFT. On or before November 1, 2022, the SSPI shall provide recommendations to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, the Department of Finance, and the California State Board of Education.