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Smarter Balanced / CAASPP

2016-17 CAASPP Results

SRCS students continue to show growth in English language arts and math, according to results of statewide tests designed to gauge preparation for college and career. The state recently released results from the second year of the Smarter Balanced tests, part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) system. The tests align with California’s new state standards and feature more questions that require short answers or extended response questions that require demonstration of a deeper understanding of key concepts. They are computer-based and are administered each spring in grades 3-8 and 11.

While the CAASPP tests are important, they are only one tool designed to help educators better understand how our students are performing under new state standards, to measure student growth and to implement effective learning strategies tailored to individual children. 

We're extremely proud of our teachers and staff for their dedication and commitment to our students, of our students for working hard to develop the skills they’ll need to achieve in the years ahead and of our families for partnering with us to help our students succeed.


2016-2017 Results


To obtain Smarter Balanced results from prior years:

  • Contact Education Services:

Understanding the Smarter Balanced Score Report

Check out the video below on interpreting your student's Smarter Balanced Score Report (available in English and Spanish):



Frequently Asked Questions

How will the test results be used? 
These test results are just one tool teachers, administrators 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 and are a snapshot in time, designed to give teachers the feedback they need to improve instruction and information to improve teaching and learning. Because the tests are taken online, information is available to teachers, schools and school districts on a timely basis so it can be used to help students learn. This is different than the STAR tests (which were used prior to these new tests), and is one reason schools are shifting to online testing. 

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? 
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. Scores between 2,000 and 3,000 represent your child’s overall performance in English language arts and in mathematics. Like progress on a growth chart, the tests, scores and expectations change with your child’s age and grade. 

On the score report, there’s 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. Click here to check it out! 

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. 

How can I learn more?
Along with the resources listed on this webpage, we encourage you to check out the California Department of Education's comprehensive online resource for families to learn more about state testing, understand score reports and follow your student’s progress. Visit http://testscoreguide.org to check it out.

Spring 2018 Assessments

Smarter Balanced Testing Windows

Spring dates TBA         Grades 3-8 ELA & Math

Spring dates TBA         Grade 11 ELA & Math (includes EAP)


Science Pilot

Spring dates TBA        Grades 5, 8

Spring dares TBA        Grade 10, San Rafael High

Spring dares TBA        Grade 10, Terra Linda High

Spring dares TBA        Grade 12, Madrone 

Click here for estimated testing times. Check the CAASPP website for up-to-date testing information!

Item and Task Types

Excerpt from the Sample Items and Performance Tasks page of the Smarter Balanced website:

The Smarter Balanced assessment system includes a variety of item types. The response formats included in ...more

Student Resources

Click HERE to access practice and training tests!

Practice tests

  • grade-specific
  • include about 30 items
  • performance task in each ELA and math

Training tests available in three grade spans includes most test features, functionality, and item types