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The state publicly released the results of the 2022 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) on October 24, 2022. Before the state publicly releases any data, an embargoed/private preview is sent to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to provide an opportunity to review the data for accuracy. SDUHSD school and district teams reviewed and analyzed this 2022 CAASPP preview data to evaluate student performance and progress. During this review, SDUHSD teams compare results to the San Diego County averages as well as neighboring and peer districts and schools. During the embargoed preview period, the aggregate data for the state of California is not available. Now that the statewide data has been published, SDUHSD teams will continue their review and analysis of CAASPP results compared to statewide trends.
The CAASPP tests are summative assessments of student learning that are used to evaluate student mastery of grade level California Content Standards in English Language Arts, Math, and Science. In California, students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 participate in the statewide tests. In SDUHSD, students in grade 7, 8, and 11 participate in the CAASPP tests for English Language Arts and Math, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests. SDUHSD students in grades 8 and 11 as well as some grade 12 students participate in the California Science Test (CAST). Students must participate in the CAST once in high school. Typically, grade 11 students take the CAST, but if a student did not participate in grade 11, they must do so in grade 12. Some students with significant disabilities participate in the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA, Math, and Science.
Over the summer, students who participate in statewide assessments receive a Student Score Report which includes a scaled score and performance level. CAASPP performance levels are reported within four categories: Standards Exceeded, Standards Met, Standards Nearly Met, and Standards Not Met.
In the fall, LEAs receive CAASPP results from the previous school year and use the data to evaluate student performance and progress. SDUHSD analyzes statewide assessment data by school, grade level, and student group. Multiyear scores are reviewed to identify trends and areas for further investigation and research.
The 2022 CAASPP results showed that SDUHSD students continue to be among the highest performing in San Diego county. One important celebration for our district is that CAST results show that a higher percentage of students met or exceeded grade level Science standards when compared to 2019 results.
In English Language Arts (ELA), 78% of SDUHSD students met or exceeded standards, which is significantly higher than the State (47%) and San Diego County (53%) averages. When compared to 2019 CAASPP results, there was a decrease (1.9%) in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in ELA. Although SDUHSD 2022 results show that fewer students met or exceeded grade level ELA standards when compared to 2019 scores, the 1.9 percentage point decrease is notably less than the San Diego County and California state decrease of 4 percentage points.
In math, 67% of SDUHSD students met or exceeded standards, which is significantly higher than the State (33%) and San Diego County (39%) averages. When compared to 2019 CAASPP results, there was a decrease (5.3%) in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in math. Although SDUHSD 2022 results show that fewer students met or exceeded grade level math standards when compared to 2019 scores, the 5.3 percentage point decrease is less than the San Diego County (5.9) and California state (6.4) decrease of percentage points.
In science, 57% of SDUHSD students met or exceeded standards, which is significantly higher than the State (29%) and San Diego County (34%) averages. When compared to 2019 CAASPP results, there was a slight increase (0.6%) in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in science. While SDUHSD shows an increase in the percentage of students meeting grade level Science Standards, CA Science Test (CAST) results show a slight decrease in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding Science standards in San Diego County (1.2%) as well as statewide (0.5%).
Federal law mandates that 95% of students in the grade levels tested participate in statewide assessments each year. In California, there is a penalty applied to the Academic Indicator on the CA School Dashboard for any school or district that does not meet the 95% target. Historically in SDUHSD, schools meet or exceed the 95% participation requirement each year. In 2022, SDUHSD saw an increase in the number of families who chose to opt their students out of participating in statewide assessments. While families have the right to exempt their student from the CAASPP tests, a high number of parent exemptions impacts the performance for their school on the CA School Dashboard. Statewide assessment results provide important insights into student performance and progress over time and SDUHSD schools will partner with our families to better communicate the importance of participating in the CAASPP tests.
The statewide assessment results are one of multiple measures used in SDUHSD to evaluate our multi-tiered systems of academic support and inform programs and services that impact student learning. These results are used in conjunction with other measures to engage in informed decision making that support all students.
It is important to note that there are limitations when comparing the 2022 statewide assessment results to prior years, particularly pre-pandemic academic years. The state recommends that the 2022 CAASPP results be used as a new baseline from which to measure future growth.
The California Department of Education recently released a report, the Interpretation Guide to the 2021–22 Statewide Assessment Results, to support schools and districts with how to interpret and use the 2022 statewide assessment data in their local context. Notable information from that report is included below. The full report as well as other resources about the CAASPP tests can be found the CDE’s website.
Statewide, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards on the 2022 Smarter Balanced summative assessments declined by 4 percentage points (from 51 percent to 47 percent) for English language arts (ELA) and 7 percentage points (from 40 percent to 33 percent) for mathematics when compared to students who took the tests in 2018–19—before the pandemic. The results released today include the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) data.
The 2021–22 administration marks the return to full statewide administration by local educational agencies (LEAs) of the CAASPP and ELPAC for the first time since 2018–19. The 2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22 school years presented unprecedented challenges for communities, educators, students, and parents/guardians due to the impacts of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. To reduce the overall testing time for students, while still providing a valid measure of student achievement in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, California used the 2020–21 and 2021–22 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics adjusted form blueprints that were initially approved by the California State Board of Education in November 2020. This allowed for more participation in testing given the challenges of remote engagement for many students. The federal testing requirement was waived altogether for the 2019–20 school year because of the outbreak of COVID-19, so statewide data does not exist for that school year.
The context surrounding teaching and learning in the 2021–22 school year was different for many LEAs compared to the pre-pandemic context and should be considered when interpreting the 2021–22 CAASPP results. The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, families, and educators is significant and has impacted student assessment results. However, there are other considerations to consider as well.
When making decisions or inferences about education programs and policies, it is important to use a variety of data sources. Even though California has returned to full statewide administration of the CAASPP, the specific context and conditions of the learning experience within any given school and LEA must be considered. Assessment results are only one measure of student achievement and should be used in conjunction with other data and measures (e.g., other state Dashboard data, report card grades, class tests, and observations) when making instructional or programmatic decisions.