What Are Your Thoughts About the New California State Testing in Schools?

Updated on April 20, 2015
O.L. asks from Long Beach, CA
6 answers

What are your thoughts about this testing--California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)? I have a 3rd grader and I feel very mixed about this test. I'd love to hear from other people about how they feel.

How will these scores be used? Will the scores "follow" each child throughout their education? Do you feel that this test is an accurate representation of how much a child is learning in school?

Thanks for your answers =)

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

This is a hot button topic for me,a previous teacher.

I am so sick and tired of the constant change to our school system and how they gauge success. I think the education system is terribly broken and in need of an overhaul. I think all the constant testing is a waste of time and not an accurate assessment of a child's learning.

In our home we don't focus on testing. Seriously, we get the state test scores, take a brief look at them and toss them in the trash and don't give it much credence at all.

We want our kids walking out the door each morning excited to go to school. We want them involved in school activities, making friends and involved in extra curricular activities throughout the year. We want them to try their best, work hard and be proud of the job they did. We want them to be kind, courteous, compassionate and respectful.

We want them to enjoy their childhood, learn to get along with others and deal with conflict head on. We want them to love,love, love learning and reading. We want them to explore their surroundings and find joy in doing the things they love.

We know they will go to college and we talk often about higher learning. But, we are not focused on them getting into the best colleges. We are not focused on them taking specific classes to get into the best colleges. We are not brow beating them about their grades. We don't have them in test taking prep classes or tutoring.

Our schools used to produce very well rounded students ready to tackle life and a job. Now we are producing anxiety and depressed students, so focused on their future that they aren't able to enjoy each day. Parents are stressed out and so focused on their kids' futures that they can't enjoy their kids' childhood.

Why have we turned our schools into test prep and test taking institutions?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

State tests are not really about the students. Yes, they are measuring what each student has learned, but they are using that information to help determine how well the schools are educating the students. Your child's score (in theory) tells them how well the school has been educating her/him.

As far as you and your child are concerned, take the test, do your best, look at the results to see how your child is doing. If you see a low score that concerns you, discuss this with your child's teacher. Maybe it's a fluke, maybe it's something that needs to be addressed. If it needs to be addressed, address it. Other than that, no worries!

Years ago in the State of Illinois the students would get a score and it would fall into one of three categories: Exceeds Standards, Meets Standards, Does Not Meet Standards.

The information was designed to help identify areas where schools needed to improve.

Bottom line - Let your child take the test. Encourage your child to do his/her best and not to worry.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Here is my response as a teacher in Minnesota. Do I like the tests? Not necessarily. I hate how much time is put into them. Thankfully I don't teach in a school that takes two weeks away from the curriculum to teach how to take the test like some schools do. But in my building alone, which is a small building, we have 14 days when the computer lab is off limits to everyone because of state testing. Plus we have a district test that K-5 take that adds at least another 14 days without access to the lab. As a reading intervention teacher that also means that during those 28+ days at least some if not all of my small intervention groups are cancelled. That is a lot of lost teaching time.

Is the information from the tests valuable to parents? Not so much. My husband who doesn't have an education background doesn't get it at all with our own kids. I pay a little more attention to it.

Is the information from the tests valuable to teachers? Yes and no. We don't typically get the test results from the state tests back until after the school year is over. Sometimes not even until the new year has started. That limits how we can use the results in some ways. The district test we get data back immediately. We use that data throughout the year to look at changes we need to make in curriculum and instruction. We use it as one piece of data in determining if students need interventions or would qualify for special Ed. But, it is just one piece of information. We never base a decision on just one test score. We realize that some kids just don't test well. We realize that the test is just one snapshot of that student's performance at one specific time. It may not be 100% accurate. Even the best student/best test taker is going to bomb the test if if their grandfather or even if their dog died the night before. A kid isn't going to perform as well if he/she was up late the night before because baby brother screamed all night or woke up too late to eat breakfast. There are lots of factors that can affect test scores. I remember taking a standardized test in a really hot room one time. I did not perform well because I was so uncomfortably hot that I couldn't concentrate.

Some school districts base a lot on test scores--including teacher pay and performance evaluations. I don't think I could ever teach in a district like that. Yes, the scores are important, but they are just a snapshot. They aren't all encompassing.

Yes, the test scores will become a part of your child's cumulative record. But in all honesty, probably the only person who will really look at her 3rd grade score after she leaves 3rd grade will be her 4th grade teacher. And maybe intervention teachers if there seems to be a need (reading or math intervention, special ed, gifted and talented, etc.).

If your school's curriculum is aligned with the state standards that the test is based on, yes the results will be a good representation of how much your child is learning. But also keep in mind that many times the test has been developed by people who are not involved in the field of education at all. Sometimes the questions are "tricky". Sometimes the tests are written to find out what kids have not learned instead of what they have learned. Every state is different.

Personally, I think people get too stressed out about the tests. But, I don't teach in a high stakes state. I don't have to worry about losing my job if my students don't score high enough. You can find some pretty fun videos that teachers have made to show kids before testing. I remember seeing a pretty funny parody of "Let it Go".

As a teacher, my suggestion to parents is to not talk negative about the test. If you seem stressed about it, your child will pick up on that. Most kids who go into a testing situation stressed don't do as well. Get a good night sleep the day before. Eat a good breakfast. Most importantly, let your child know that you don't really care how well she does on the test, because you know she is an awesome kid and you don't need a test score to show you that. Don't reward good scores or punish bad scores. In the long run, the scores don't mean anything. But, if you are concerned about the result, don't hesitate to ask the teacher if the test score mirrors what your daughter does on a day-to-day basis. Just remember that it is one moment in time. You wouldn't want someone to judge you as a mother based on that one time you took your kid to a play date with dirty clothes and uncombed hair.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I honestly don't worry too much about the state testing. It doesn't affect our kids' grades. Just gives people searching for homes an idea of which schools are good/not.

Our son is in junior high and did his first round of CA's new testing last week. He said he had to write an essay, which is a big change from the old multiple choice format.

I wouldn't stress about it. It's the regular classroom work that matters.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You should be able to pull up all this information on the district website, I'm sure they have a link to the state testing department with all the answers. Your child's teacher can answer questions as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Yes it's an accurate representation of how much your child is learning in school, because it's testing exactly what they were taught all year.

I get all the flaws in education these days, I truly do. I wish the common core was not the maximum that kids were learning in school. But my kids will be taking the tests and we'll supplement at home. I see no point in boycotting tests after a whole year geared to learning the material like some people are doing. I think I'm going to post a question about this actually...

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions