PUSD ranks number one in Northern California

Piedmont Unified School District ranked number one in Northern California on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test for the third year in a row.

According to an Oct. 12 press release by the office of superintendent Randall Booker, the CAASPP test measures students’ knowledge in English/Language Arts and Mathematics in grades three through eight as well as grade 11.

“These assessments are one gauge of student progress, providing information to schools, teachers, and parents about how students perform relative to California’s goals for both learning and college and career readiness,” according to the Oct. 12 press release.

Senior Cooper Ford said that the CAASPP test differed from the standardized tests that he took in elementary school. The test asked questions unlike anything he had seen before.

“These assessments move beyond multiple choice, and include performance tasks that require complex written responses,” according to the Oct. 12 press release. “For these reasons, the CAASPP tests are designed to provide a more complete understanding of student knowledge and critical thinking skills.”

Ford said that the test did not include any concepts that he had not already covered in school.

“We did not know that we were going to be taking the test until the week before,” freshman Theo Markopoulos said.

Despite the short notice, students felt ready, Markopoulos said.

“I didn’t feel like I had to do any outside preparation for the tests,” Ford said. “The only hard part was learning how to answer the different kinds of questions.”

According to the press release, 87 percent of Piedmont test takers exceeded or met the English/Language Arts standard, 38 percent higher than the state average. Additionally, 85 percent of test takers exceeded or met the Mathematics standard, 47 percent higher than the state average.

“I am so proud of the efforts from students and our remarkable educators,” Booker said. “Academic success is built on teamwork, perseverance, and passion—all traits shared by our students and community.”

Junior Ryan Tripp said that he plans to work hard on this coming year’s CAASPP test.

“I want to perform to the best of my ability,” Tripp said. “I want to demonstrate the efficacy of our school’s teaching.”

Ford said that although the test confused him at some parts, ultimately, he had all the basic skills needed to complete it.

“I felt that as long as I was taking the test, I should try to the best of my ability,” Ford said. “I think most of us thought this way, and it is cool to see that reflect in our scores.”

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