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Release of Statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment Test Results Show CUSD Remains the Top Performing Large School District in California

CUSD Ranks Highest of California’s Ten Largest School Districts for Meeting and Exceeding Standards


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - Of the ten largest school districts in California, Capistrano Unified ranks number 1 in terms of meeting or exceeding English language arts and mathematics standards, according to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) release of the complete 2015-2016 results for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASPP). For the second year in a row, CUSD schools outrank all of California’s top ten largest districts, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. (Figures 1, 2).


“We are very proud of the hard work of teachers, students, parents, and staff. It was through this collective effort that we were able to undertake this major systemic change and prepare our students for these tests,” stated CUSD Board President Amy Hanacek. “We will continue to build upon our teaching and learning in the classroom to ensure success for every young person in our District.”


Figures 1 and 2

Additionally, CUSD ranks higher than both Orange County and the entire State of California averages in both English language arts and mathematics (see Figure 3) over the same period of two years.


Figure 3

Because 2015-2016 was the second official year students participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessments, it is the first year growth can be measured. The CAASPP system includes the computer-based Smarter Balanced Assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. The Smarter Balanced Assessments measure college and career readiness, and they challenge students to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems. Smarter Balanced Assessments challenge students to use higher level questioning strategies explained through research-based evidence and
critical thinking.


District leadership and staff are using SBA data to guide instruction to better prepare students for college and career. These assessments allow teachers to delve deeper into specific areas of need. Capistrano Unified School District looks forward to the continued challenge of preparing students to excel on these standards and assessments.


A link to the results on CDE’s website can be found here:



Posted by: Tania Cluttey, District Admin, Capistrano Unified School District Published:10/24/16
Audience: Elementary School News Group, High School News Group, K-8 Schools News Group and Middle School News Group

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