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December 12, 2019

4 min

Dr. Jessica Spallino

Preparing Students for Success on the CAASPP

Preparing students for California's annual testing can be challenging and at times feels (and is) ineffective. In our experience at Method Schools, some challenges to ensuring student success on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test have been:

  1. Lack of access to pertinent student performance data
  2. Undeveloped data-aligned interventions
  3. Shortage of time to analyze and act on data
  4. Training every teacher on relevant test preparation strategies
  5. Limited student investment
  6. Students working remotely

To address these constraints, we've developed a planning tool to guide our focus and practices throughout the school year in preparing students, parents and teachers for the CAASPP. This tool acts as a continuous work in progress and we refine the plan on a weekly basis as we troubleshoot and test new tools and practices regularly. Key points of our planning tool are:

  1. Maintain ongoing access to CAASPP aligned student performance data
  2. Fully develop and implement (key word here is implement) data-aligned interventions
  3. Allot time to administer tools and practices
  4. Provide regular and ongoing teacher training in test preparation strategies
  5. Cultivate a growth mindset culture to recruit student investment
  6. Ensure online tools are implemented for virtual learners

With relentless work and dedication to student improvement on the CAASPP, we've seen remarkable growth at Method. Though we hope for more growth, from 2017-18 to 2018-19 we grew 44.9% in Language Arts and 72.7% in Math. These are great growth figures that we're proud to share, but we started in a low position due to the challenges listed above and have a long way to go to maintain Blue and Green dashboard status.

How did we ignite student growth within our organization? We haven’t found a magic recipe, but we have discovered a few things that have impacted growth. The first and most important ingredient has been true dedication and goal setting in the area of CAASPP growth that is monitored and discussed on a regular basis. For us, regularly means weekly at a minimum. Additionally, we believe the following practices have had an impact:

  1. Ongoing dedicated time to growth goal setting and refinements
  2. Quarterly CAASPP aligned diagnostic assessment administered for all students
  3. Fully developed data-aligned intervention system
  4. Data-aligned instructional tools and strategies implemented across all teachers
  5. Develop a culture focused on growth among all stakeholders at Method Schools
We're committed to ensuring every student grows academically and personally at Method. We continue to refine our tools and practices in preparing students for the CAASPP and look forward to more growth ahead.
What's worked for you at your school or district? I'd love to hear more in the comments.

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