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State Content Standards

Testing and Accountability

Standardized Student Assessments

All students in grades 3-6 in the state of California take annual assessment tests in language arts and math. 5th graders take an additional test in science. 


Smarter Balanced Assessment Test
Beginning spring 2014, California students began taking the new Smarter Balanced test designed to assess the new Common Core State Standards implemented in Evergreen District schools in 2013. Students in grades 3-6 are tested in English Language and math. Results are mailed to parents in the fall of the next school year.


STAR Science Test

Students in 5th grade take the STAR science test. STAR stands for the Standardized Testing And Reporting Program. Parents receive science test results prior to the start of the next school year. The STAR program measures how well schools and students are performing in science and compares the results to their peers throughout the state.


What can parents do to prepare their children for the Smarter Balanced test?
The Smarter Balanced Practice Tests, including scoring guides, are available for grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 in English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The Practice Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments, but do not reflect the full range of content that students may encounter on the actual assessments. As such, the practice tests should not be used to guide instructional decisions about students. No score reports are generated from the Practice Tests. Parents can familiarize themselves and their children with the test. Click here to learn more and to see these tests or go to the California Department of Education website

What can parents do to prepare their 5th grade children for the STAR science test?

School Testing and Accountability

What is STAR Testing?

STAR stands for the Standardized Testing And Reporting Program. California public schools are required to administer California Standards Tests (CST) to all students in grades two through eleven, with the following exceptions:

  • Students who were receiving special education services with individualized education programs (IEPs) that specified that the students were to have an alternate assessment; and
  • Students whose parents/guardians submitted written requests to exempt the students from testing.

The CSTs are a major component of California's accountability system for schools and school districts. These test results are one of the main components used for calculating each school's Academic Performance Index (API). These results are also used for determining whether elementary and middle schools are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in helping all students become proficient on the California content standards, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. 


California Standards Tests (CST)

Each year, Silver Oak students in grades two through six are administered the CSTs over a 2 week period.  Except for a writing component that is administered as part of the grades four and seven English-Language Arts (ELA) tests, all questions are multiple-choice. These tests were developed specifically to assess students' knowledge of the California content standards. The State Board of Education adopted these standards, which specify what all children in California are expected to know and be able to do in each grade or course. The CSTs are required for students who are enrolled in the following grades/courses at the time of testing or who have completed a course during the same school year, including summer school.


English–Language Arts (ELA)
The California ELA Standards Tests were administered by grade to students in grades two through eleven.


Students in grades two through six were administered the appropriate grade-level California Mathematics Standards Test.


The California Science Standards Tests were administered by grade to students in grades five, eight, and ten.

(Grade five covers grades four and five science content standards.)


History–Social Science
The CSTs for History–Social Science were administered by grade to students in grades eight and eleven. 


For More Information

To learn more about the STAR Program or to view test results, visit the California Department of Education's STAR Reporting Website at http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2012/Index.aspx


Preparing Your Child for Testing

Teachers work with students all year in preparation for STAR Testing.  At home, parents can help students perform their best by making sure that students get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast before testing.  Please do not schedule doctor or dentist appointments or family vacations on test days.  It is important that students are in school and on time to avoid make-up testing.


What is the API?

The API is a single number, ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, which reflects 
a school’s, an LEA’s, or a subgroup’s performance level, based on the results of 
statewide testing. Its purpose is to measure the academic performance and growth of 
schools. The API was established by the PSAA, a landmark state law passed in 1999 
that created a new academic accountability system for K-12 public education in 
The API is calculated by converting a student’s performance on statewide assessments 
across multiple content areas into points on the API scale. These points are then 
averaged across all students and all tests. The result is the API. An API is calculated for 
schools, LEAs, and for each numerically significant subgroup of students at a school or 
an LEA. 
The key features of the API include the following:
• The API is based on an improvement model. The API from one year is compared 
to the API from the prior year to measure improvement. Each school has an 
annual target, and all numerically significant subgroups at a school also have 
• The API requires subgroup accountability to address the achievement gaps that 
exist between traditionally higher- and lower-scoring student subgroups.
• The API is a cross-sectional look at student achievement. It does not track 
individual student progress across years but rather compares snapshots of 
school or LEA level achievement results from one year to the next.
• The API is used to rank schools. A school is compared to other schools statewide 
and to 100 other schools that have similar opportunities and challenges. 
• The API is currently a school-based requirement only under state law. However, 
API reports are provided for LEAs in order to meet federal requirements under 
Prepared by the California Department of Education