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Changes to our Internal Assessment Program
Background: In 2019 AB1505 revamped the charter authorization and charter renewal process in California. The new process relies much more heavily on how students perform on the CAASPP (i.e state testing). Depending on CAASPP scores and other factors as demonstrated on the California School Dashboard, a charter school renewal petition can be denied, or approved for 2, 5, or 7 years.
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Because of high stakes involved in student performance, in November 2020, the CA State Board of Education (item 14) approved certain assessment vendors to be used as alternative “verified data” sources beyond the CAASPP, specifically for the purpose of charter renewal. For schools qualifying for renewal under “middle performing” standards, authorizers are required to consider data that meets the criteria as verified data. For schools qualifying under “low performing” standards, authorizers cannot renew schools without “verified data.” The good news for IEM Charter Schools is that our internal assessment, iReady, is one of the approved vendors. This means we do not have to change our internal assessment! However, in order to be used for verified data purposes, iReady has to be administered with specific requirements set forth by the SBE and the vendor. As a result, we are modifying our internal assessment program so that it can qualify for use as verified data.



Highlights of the New plan: 

  • iReady required 3 times a year for all 1 - 11 grade students. A beginning of the year, a mid-year, and an end of year assessment.
  • All iReady assessments must be proctored by the ES. This can be done virtually.
  • ESs can proctor multiple students at once but all students must have their camera on during the test.
    • If a student is not on camera, the test must be done in person.
  • The test window will be two weeks, for each assessment block (beginning, mid, end-of-year).
  • Spring CAASPP administration and ES proctoring of state-mandated testing will continue as normal.
  • The beginning of the year and end-of-year iReady assessments are school mandated appointments. Students who do not complete them will be issued a truancy for a missed appointment (one truancy for the beginning of the year and one truancy for the end-of-year assessments).
  • Enrichment classes and services cannot start until iReady results are in and ESs know the specific needs of the students and have a plan to meet those needs. Resources (IF, time etc.) must be prioritized to core academics before enrichment. 
    • Services for HS courses on the report card as well as K-8 core (ELA, math, science, history) can be ordered and start at any time. Decisions on these curriculums and instruction still need to be based on student need.
 

Benefit: 

  • Assessment data allows the parent and ES to make the most informed decisions regarding what is best educationally for their student.
  • A secondary data source for academic achievement is required in the event of low dashboard indicators in ELA/Math when it comes time to renew our charter school.
  • Having this verified data could potentially allow the school to qualify for charter renewal when we wouldn’t otherwise, based on our CAASPP scores.
  • This plan allows for a consistent assessment metric of student outcomes three times during the year so we can truly see the growth and changes our students are making. iReady and CAASPP scores cannot be compared to each other for a variety of factors.
  • iReady results are available immediately, which will allow the results to be used for school-wide planning purposes.
  • Shortening the window to two weeks per administration, provides for a more consistent benchmark for all of our students and allows the ES to begin developing the PSSP and identify appropriate curriculum and enrichment opportunities.
  • Academic support needs can be identified more quickly with a shortened test window.
  • These changes (adding an end-of-year assessment and shortening the test window) are consistent with best practices of other non-classroom based charter schools.
  • There is value to the ES being an active part of the testing process and having families see the teacher involved in iReady. It helps students see the importance of this assessment.
  • iReady requires a shorter test window than we currently have.
  • iReady results help us to meet our federal Child Find obligations of being able to identify student needs in a timely manner and then alter our program for each student if what they are doing is not sufficiently helping them learn. 

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