Mammoth High School Gymnasium Floor Fundraiser

Superintendent's Message

The second half of the school year is a serious time for California school districts.  We all realize there is limited class time remaining and always more learning to accomplish.  This year we are down to the final months of preparing students for the new California Assessment of Student Proficiency and Progress (CAASPP).  Last year, all students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 participated in the field test for this new assessment.  Although students and teachers had the opportunity to experience these assessments, no results were reported regarding student or school performance.  This year our students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 will take the official assessment, and we will receive student, grade level and school data.  Parents will receive reports on their individual students.  As this is a whole new world of assessment, I want to take time to review some of the information that schools are receiving regarding this assessment.  It is important that all stakeholders have as much information as possible.

California is one of 17 states that have partnered to create Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium who developed the assessments going through scientific metrics and using results from the field test to set new levels for reporting student achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  Student results will be reported by Achievement Levels.  Students will fall into one of four Achievement Levels:  Level 1 – novice; Level 2 – developing; Level 2 – proficient; and Level 4 – advanced.  According to Smarter Balanced document Interpretation and Use of Scores and Achievement Levels, Achievement Levels should serve only as a starting point for discussion about the performance of students and of groups of students.  That is, the Achievement Levels should not be interpreted as infallible predictors of student’s futures.

What can MUSD expect from our scores this year?  That is hard to predict, but Smarter Balanced has looked at field test results from 2014 and compared them to previous testing results.  Below is information from Q & A on Initial Achievement Levels provided by Smarter Balanced that provides insight into what to expect:

Q. We hear that score results are going to drop dramatically.  Does this mean students and schools are failing or doing worse than before?

A. Because the new content standards set higher expectations for students-and the new tests are designed to assess college and career readiness using these content standards as a benchmark-expectations of student achievement are higher than they used to be.  Based on projections from the Smarter Balanced field test conducted in 2014, it is likely that fewer students will score at the higher achievement levels on the assessments, especially for the first few years.  Results should improve as students have more years of instruction based on the new standards.

It is important to keep in mind that the tests have changed and are measuring different things-such as whether students are developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.  Because we have raised expectations, fewer students are likely to meet those expectations initially.

These results do not necessarily mean that schools are performing worse or that students are learning less.  Rather, we now have a more accurate measure of where students are on the path to success, based on the higher standards we set to ensure that students are challenged and prepared to compete nationally and globally.  Think of it as a fresh start, a new baseline.

MUSD teachers can be commended for their ongoing learning, participation in professional development, collaboration, and hard work to revise curriculum and instruction to meet the higher standards set by the Common Core State Standards.  The new baseline set by this year’s assessment will provide guidance as we continue striving to provide the best education possible for all students.

Lois Klein, Superintendent

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Upcoming Events

Wed, May 27 - Thu, May 28
4th Grade Play 8:00 - 9:00 in MPR
Thursday, May 28
Board of Education Regular Meeting

MHS Library - 5:00 pm Closed Session - 6:00 pm Open Session

Play - Mullin & Underkoffler in Library: 8:30; 10:05; & 11:00

5th Grade Class to SNARL 9:00 - 11:00

2nd Grade Class to SNARL 11:00 - 1:00

Spring Football - Weightroom and stadium 3PM-5PM

spring Training - gym 3PM-5PM

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Today, 5/28/2015
High: 61 Low: 44
Partly sunny
7% chance of precipitation.
Tomorrow, 5/29/2015
High: 64 Low: 46
Slight chance thunderstorms
10% chance of precipitation.