• Understanding Test Scores banner image
    Folsom Cordova families of students who were in grades 3-8 or 11 last year will soon receive the individual score reports for their students under the state’s new testing system. These scores are one tool designed to help teachers better understand how our students are performing under new state standards, measure student growth, and implement effective learning strategies tailored to individual children.

    Families, students, and community members may have many questions about how to read these score reports and what the results mean. This page is intended to provide answers to common questions, additional resources to help you support your child’s learning, and an opportunity for you to submit questions.

    Watch the short video (below) for an overview of the new score reports: (en español

    Submit a question: Don’t see your questions addressed here? Complete this brief form, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible. If your question may be of benefit to the general public, we may also post the question (anonymously) and response to this page.

    When will results from spring testing be released?
    We currently estimate score reports to reach households by late August and early September. School administrators and teachers will have access to both individual and schoolwide results ahead of time, and will be prepared to discuss reports with you after they arrive at your home.

    How will the test results be used?
    These test results are just one tool teachers and families can use to better understand how well your student is performing in school. The scores are simply one gauge on the dashboard that you and your child’s teacher can use to discuss how far your student has progressed in mastering state standards.
    Other school tests, for example, quizzes, reports cards, classroom assignments, and more provide equally important information. The tests are an academic checkup, designed to give teachers the feedback they need to improve instruction and the tools to improve teaching and learning. Because the tests are taken online, information will be available to teachers, schools and school districts on a timely basis so it can be used to help students learn.
    Additionally, these results will not be used to determine if a student moves on to the next grade. 
    How do I read my student’s score report? 
    Here’s what you can expect the first page of your child’s report to look like, and keep reading for a brief explanation:  
    Photo of a sample score report.   
    You’ll now be able to compare this year’s scores with last year’s results. Although you can see growth from year to year, however, scores can’t be directly compared to prior years, which measured different grade standards. Like progress on a growth chart, the tests, scores and expectations change with your child’s age and grade. 
    Scores between 2,000 and 3,000 represent your child’s overall performance in English language arts and in mathematics.  
    To the side is a breakdown of four areas of English language arts, describing your child’s performance on reading, writing, listening and research/inquiry portions of the assessment.
    Likewise, a breakdown is provided of the three areas of mathematics, detailing your child’s performance on concepts   and procedures, problem solving/modeling/data analysis, and communicating reasoning.
    How can parents and guardians help support learning at home? 
    A great way to start is by asking questions! Talk to your teacher and school about how you can work together to support your child’s learning. 

    Here are some tips from the California State PTA
    Ask Your Child: What areas do you think you should particularly focus on this year, based on your test results? What do you see as your strengths to build on?
    Ask Your Teacher: How will these tests results be used to guide instruction? What can we do at home that will help our child learn and be successful? How are other important subjects assessed?
    Ask Your Principal: Are the individual test results being used at the school for placement in classes or any other specific decisions? What did you learn at the school level from the overall results of the assessments?
    Ask Your District: Are the district assessment results helping to guide any professional development? What are the next steps the district is taking in continuing the full, successful implementation of the new standards?
    Take a practice test! Visit this website to get behind the driver’s seat and experience what it’s like for your child to take the assessment. 
    The California Department of Education has created a comprehensive online resource for families to learn more about state testing, understand score reports, and follow your student’s progress. Check it out here! http://testscoreguide.org/ 
    How are Folsom Cordova schools performing compared to last year?  
    Students in Folsom Cordova schools continued to make progress and, districtwide, perform above state averages in English-language arts and math, according to new state test results released on Aug. 24.  That included modest gains among the District’s most vulnerable student populations, including English learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged students, though achievement gaps continue to persist.
    More than 10,500 students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the state’s Smarter Balanced assessments last spring, part of California’s comprehensive testing program. The scores are one tool designed to help teachers better understand how our students are performing under new state standards, measure student growth, and implement effective learning strategies tailored to individual children.
    In English-language arts, 59 percent of students districtwide met or exceeded state standards, up four percentage points from last year, the first year of the state’s new testing program. Similar growth was seen in math performance, where 50 percent of Folsom Cordova students met or exceeded state standards, up four percentage points from 2015.
    Statewide, 49 percent of students met or exceeded English language arts standards, while 37 percent of students met or exceeded standards in math.
    Under the new state standards, Folsom Cordova has begun to see an incremental narrowing of achievement gaps, though much work remains.
    Low-income students - comprising about one-third of all of this year’s test takers - improved in both English language arts (ELA) and math: 33 percent met or exceeded state ELA standards, up 5 percentage points from last year, while 23 percent scored at or above state math standards, a 4 percent increase.
    About 9 percent of all of this year’s test takers were English learners, and those students also saw growth in performance: 10 percent of English learners met or exceeded ELA standards, up 3 percent from last year, while 13 percent of English learners met or exceeded math standards, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.
    Dig deeper into the results: District and individual school performance can be found on the state’s website: http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2016/default 
    How will results be used by colleges and universities? 
    For 11th-grade students, results are used for the Early Assessment Program (EAP), which is used by the California State University (CSU) system and some community colleges to determine whether a student is ready for college-level English and math courses. Student scores are also used to exempt students from some placement tests. More info: https://www.calstate.edu/eap/ or www.cccco.edu/ea
    Here is a flyer explaining how different colleges are using the assessments. 
    At this time, no public higher education system in California uses the EAP results for admission.
    How do these assessments tie in with state standards and the state’s school funding formula?
    The assessments are part of a larger plan for ensuring high-quality teaching and learning in every school. The plan also includes higher academic standards, more decision-making in the hands of schools and communities, and more resources dedicated to schools and to students with the greatest needs.
    What happened to the API? How do I know how well my school is doing compared to other schools? 
    The Academic Performance Index (API) for schools and districts has been suspended until the state adopts a new measurement and accountability system. The state is still working on a system that would be based on multiple measures, including academic progress, college and career readiness, school climate, and more. This new replacement system has not yet been finalized by the state.
    Will test results be used for placement in Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs? 
    GATE placement is not based on these assessments. Folsom Cordova screens all third-grade students, and students new to the District in grades 4-6, at the elementary school level, with a test specifically for GATE in October and November.