Tests that replace STAR to be given to Del Mar school district students

New homes along Carmel Valley Road in Pacific Highlands Ranch.
(Karen Billing)

In May, Del Mar Union School District third- through sixth-grade students will be taking the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests. The tests will replace the STAR tests, and no Academic Performance Index (API) scores will not be calculated.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment tests will be given to students digitally on Chromebooks during the May 4-22 window, and paper-pencil California Standards Tests (CSTs), California Modified Assessment and California Alternative Performance Asssessment (CAPA) science tests will be given May 18-22.

Shelley Petersen, assistant superintendent of curriculum instruction, said she believes the new exams are better in terms of the way the students must demonstrate their ability to think critically rather than just regurgitate information. Petersen said the old tests had a ceiling; the new tests allow districts to do a better job of instruction by helping to identify students they need to accelerate and students who need extra help.

Parents can expect to see results in late summer with the district receiving results in early fall. Petersen said efforts would be taken to prepare parents for “less successful” results.

“This is a new assessment and much more rigorous standards,” Petersen said. “It’s going to take time for students’ skill and ability to be reflected on this new assessment.”