CAASPP results show modest gains

Lilly Lim, Co Editor-In-Chief

Every year, juniors take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), as they did in fifth and eighth grade. Although San Joaquin County has seen progress in test results, some students — and even some teachers — don’t see the significance of the tests.

“Though I appreciate the need or want for standardized tests, our students are incredibly over-tested,” English teacher Camille Klinker said. “When you let the students know that testing is coming up, there’s a collective groan, and though most students still do their best, it isn’t something that they are excited about.”

Although testing didn’t impact students’ grades, some teachers still encouraged their students to do their best on the test.

“Before the test, I try to remind my students that they should do their best in everything they do and that having a high score from the CAASPP on their transcripts could be beneficial to them when colleges are looking at where to place them,” Klinker said.

The California Department of Education (CDE) established CAASPP as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System. Smarter Balanced exam results can be used for college course placement in six states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washing- ton. Amongst the six states, there are a total of 197 institutions that accept Smarter Balanced results, with 101 in California.

The weeklong testing for two to four hours each day leaves some students drained and unmotivated to take the test.

“It was a waste of time to be honest,” senior Katie Hoang said. “Most students didn’t even try since they knew it didn’t affect their grades.”

“I tried, but I don’t think I did my best,” senior Christian Wakefield said. “This wasn’t a test I was prepared for. I just did as much as I knew.”

Testing occurred during English and history classes, causing the curriculum to pause in certain classes and possibly get behind schedule.

“After testing all day and having other classes, I don’t see it as being beneficial to assign more work for them to complete at home,” Klinker

said. “I worked my curriculum around the testing schedule so we stayed on the track after testing and didn’t have a choppy break in our lessons.”

Despite some students say- ing they didn’t try, many school districts in San Joaquin County have seen improvement from the previous year. According to “The Record,” Lodi Unified School District had 44 percent of students pass or exceed the English language arts/literacy standard, a marginal improvement from last year’s 43 per- cent. In addition, 32 percent of students passed or exceeded the math section, which was no change from last year.

“Over five years, San Joa- quin County has seen an increase of 7 percentage points in students who met or exceeded English language arts/literacy and 4 percent in math,” Filipas said.

Last year, 56.30 percent of Bear Creek’s juniors met or exceeded the English language arts/literacy standard and 32.66 percent met or exceeded the math standard, an improvement from the 2017- 2018 school year when 46.19 percent met or exceeded the English language arts/literacy standard and 32.36 percent met or exceeded the math standard.