Social media apps that let teens do it all -- text, chat, meet people, and share their pics and videos -- often fly under parents' radars
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson launched a new era of student testing in California today, providing online exams in English language arts/literacy and mathematics to more than 3 million students based on the state's more challenging academic standards.
Students in grades three through eight and eleven can now begin taking the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in the first statewide administration of new tests to replace the paper-based, multiple-choice Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. The new tests allow students to demonstrate their ability to write analytically, think critically, and solve problems along with their knowledge of facts.
"These tests reflect the exciting changes taking place in California classrooms. Instead of being asked to merely pick out multiple-choice answers, students are being tested on their ability to reason and think. They must draw logical conclusions and cite evidence from what they have read, and they must solve real-world math problems," Torlakson said. "And now, like an academic check-up, these tests will give parents, teachers, and schools the feedback they need to help students succeed."
The state's new assessment system is the next important step in California's aggressive plan to improve teaching and learning in every school. The plan includes setting higher academic standards, giving local schools and communities more control over spending decisions, and providing more resources to students with the greatest needs.
"This is about helping students succeed in the long run and realize their dreams of attending college and working in rewarding careers," Torlakson said.
Torlakson cautioned parents and the public against comparing the results of the new assessments with the old STAR exams, and acknowledged that many schools and students will need more time to become attuned to the state's new standards and the tests that go with them.
"The new tests are too different from the old exams to make reliable comparisons between old scores and new," Torlakson said. "This year's test results will establish a baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time."
California is among 21 states nationwide participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led organization that developed new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which California adopted in 2010.
California PTA president Colleen A.R. You said the new tests will check to see if our students are on track to be college- and career-ready, but she cautioned that it will take time to get used to the new tests and reports.
She urged parents to stay informed. "We are encouraging parents to ask questions and talk to their child, their child's teacher and school district leaders to be more informed and engaged during this time of transition," she said.
SCUSD Superintendent José L. Banda said he is optimistic about the future. "Change is never easy," he said. "But I truly believe the shift in our classrooms toward more critical thinking, more problem solving, and a more integrated use of technology will lift a generation of students to higher levels of achievement."
Banda said he is "proud of our hard-working teachers, students, parents, and staff that are managing the transition to new standards and new tests with grace and persistence."
California students took part in both pilot testing of the exams in 2013 and field testing in 2014 in preparation for this year's launch.
Based on the results of field tests, many students will need to make significant progress to reach the standards set for math and literacy that accompany college- and career-readiness. Scores will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.
Torlakson said the new testing system was developed to help teachers. Since the assessments use computer-adaptive technology, they provide more accurate information about individual student performance and convey the information to teachers, schools, and school districts on a timelier basis.
Despite extensive preparations, providing the tests online for so many students poses technical and logistical challenges. Paper versions of the test will be available to schools without sufficient computers or online capacity. Other issues are bound to arise over the course of testing administration for such a large and complex state.
"It's going to take patience and persistence to help our schools succeed during this time of transition," Torlakson said.
Gonzales High School won first place in the Monterey County Migrant Speech and Debate Competition in the English debate section this afternoons!
We also placed second in the Spanish speech section of the contest.
The first-place Spartans will compete at the state competition on May 16 held in Monterey this year.
We have a trio of trophies, so please congratulate our very excited Spartans when you see them. The debate win is a FIRST for the high school. The debate team consisted of Mariana Aceves, Marielena Ramirez, Cristal Duran, Fatima Patino, and Paulina Buelna. The Spanish Speech second place finisher was Alma Martinez (coached by Mr. Keaton). Ms. Ambrose shares that she is so proud of our students who had to debate the pro and con side of: Raising the Minimum Wage Benefits Society. Mr. Picardi assisted by speaking with the team about the economics of this debate. We adopted his "Thrive not just survive" mantra and used it for both sides of the argument.
Today, our the Regional Migrant Program took a group of students for a visit of Google. Here is a picture of our own GUSD Alumnus, Omar Medina, Class of 2009 and Graduate of Stanford University, talking to the students. What a treat for the Gonzales students in the audience -
More pictures from the Migrant Student's Field Trip to Google!
Google Panel,Including Omar Medina (GHS Class of 2009)G
Gonzales Migrant Students along with other Monterey County Migrant Students at the end of their exciting Google Day!
This information comes directly form SNAPCHAT - Gonzales Unified School District DOES NOT recommend this application; however, if your son or daughter is using this application we want you to check out this "Safety Center". Please monitor your son or daughter's use of these social applications and ensure that they are being safe and responsible.
REMEMBER - once posted to the internet items become public and permanent! Think before you post!
Snapchat is be a fast, fun way to share moments with friends and family. Many students and adults use Snapchat every day, so it isn't surprising that parents and teachers regularly ask us for advice on preventing misuse of Snapchat. When it came to building our safety center, we partnered with experts.
Together with our safety advisory board, some of the world’s leading safety advocates, we have developed guides for staying safe while using Snapchat. Within our safety center parents, teachers, and Snapchatters can find safety tips, research, and resources.
For more information click here