Website Launched To Help Parents Understand School Testing
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today launched a new Web site to give parents and teachers a much better understanding of the state's California Standards Tests that measure how well the California public education system and its students are performing.
"This new on-line resource is the product of parent, teacher, and community member requests for an easy-to-access tool to help parents better understand their children's test scores," O'Connell said. "We hope that the information on this Web site will lead to increased collaboration between parents and educators and ultimately increased student learning."
After listening to concerns expressed by parents and teachers, the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education produced the new Web site: www.starsamplequestions.org, which features dozens of actual test questions that students have faced at every grade level.
"Parents and teachers can be better partners in helping students succeed if we demystify our assessments and what we are asking students to demonstrate when they take the state tests," said Dr. Yvonne Chan, a member of the State Board of Education. "I strongly encourage every school district and education stakeholder organization in the state to prominently feature a link to this resource on each district home page."
The Web site is easily searchable and includes information about what levels of performance the state expects of students as well as which students take the tests. The site also offers grade-level parents' guides that are easily printable.
The development of the Web site and parents' guides came about as a result of feedback from parents, teachers, and community members. The CDE and state Board of Education held focus groups throughout the state and asked parents, teachers, and community members: "What information would be helpful to you, and what is the best way to communicate it?"
At the focus groups, parents consistently indicated that they wanted the ability to gather their own information about the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program at times convenient for them. Although the amount of information requested may vary, it was clear that parents wanted the ability to access as much information as possible, and they wanted the information to be easy to understand.
"This new Web site offers a wealth of useful information for parents, all in one place," said Jo Loss, president of the California State PTA. "PTA believes strongly in providing parents and family members with as much access to quality information and resources as possible so they can best support their children and help them to succeed in school. We appreciate Superintendent O'Connell's leadership in developing this site."
The California Department of Education is a state agency led by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. The core purpose of CDE is to lead and support the continuous improvement of student achievement, with a specific focus on closing achievement gaps. For more information, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov or by mobile device at http://m.cde.ca.gov/. You may also follow Superintendent O'Connell (@SSPIJack) on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sspijack.