Juniors Being Required to Take CAASPP Tests This Spring

Ania Keenan, Online News Editor

Following an announcement from the Biden administration, unlike last year, states will not be allowed to forgo annual state-wide-assessments, California schools are set to administer California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance (CAASPP) testing for students in grades 3-8 and 11, this spring. Miramonte juniors will  take the test during Monday asynchronous time on both April 12 and 19. Along with taking the test at home, modifications will include a shortened English section and the elimination of the science section.  After over a year in distance learning, some question the efficacy of a standardized test to assess students’ learning during a pandemic. 

Associate Superintendent and Director of Educational Services Aida Glimme acknowledges that there may be a dip in overall test security as students take the tests at home this year. She is confident that schools in the district will continue to score highly, but she cautions away from comparing this year’s scores to previous tests. 

“The scores this year just can’t be compared to prior years. It’s a different test, it’s shorter and it’s administered at home. It will just serve a different purpose to indicate achievement gaps,” Glimme said. 

Others, including Miramonte Associate Principal Sara Harris, question the efficacy of using CAASPP testing to assess students at all, after a year of minimal in-person instruction. 

“Our students are already struggling and we are potentially transitioning them back into some form of normalcy and then it’s like ‘hey, we have to do testing now’,” Harris said. 

Logistical challenges also sit in the forefront of Harris’s mind as she expressed her skepticism over the viability of the asynchronous testing model.  

“Realistically, the asynchronous model will probably not be the final decision because there has to be a management piece to it, we’re just trying to figure out how to not disrupt, and we don’t want to take away from already limited class time, that is our number one objective,” Harris said. 

While she remains skeptical about the logistics of standardized testing, Harris expressed her gratitude for the role that the district has played in organizing this year’s test administration. According to Harris, unlike past years, the partnership has borne the brunt of the work, allowing the schools some time to breathe and focus on their individual challenges with distance learning and hybrid transition.

“Normally we are just given a date for CAASPP and then we have to do it but the district has really taken ownership. They have really taken over things so I actually feel immensely supported by them,” Harris said. 

Students also share in Harris’s displeasure with testing, results from a poll by the Mirador Instagram showed that 95 percent of students surveyed said that they did not think that CAASPP testing was an adequate way to quantify students after a year of distance learning. 

According to junior Natalie Kurtz, testing is just another item on a long to-do list for Miramonte juniors. 

“Juniors already have such a stressful second semester because of its importance to college, standardized tests, and now this,” Kurtz said.