Cedar Park Elementary

Cedar Park

Assessment FAQ

What State Assessments does Cedar Park use?

Cedar Park is a public school operating within Seattle Public Schools operating within Washington State.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were adopted by Washington State in 2011. All public schools in the Seattle Public School District are mandated in aligning instruction to the CCSS, which aim to develop common learning expectations for K-12 students across the country. Currently, 48 states have begun implementing CCSS.

Additionally, in 2014-15, Washington state began using Smarter Balanced assessments for students in grades 3 to 8 and 10/11 as a replacement for the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) and High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). These annual assessments, given in the spring, measure student proficiency in College and Career Readiness Standards (Common Core) in math and English language arts (reading, writing, listening and research skills).

For more information, please visit the Common Core State Standards website.

Does Cedar Park “Teach to the Test”?

Cedar Park staff focuses on delivering high-quality learning experiences for students aligned circularly (using District adopted curriculums to ensure instructional consistency between classrooms) and to the Common Core State Standards. While students are assessed on their growth in these standards, teachers structure their instruction in a wholistic manner that includes student interest, voice and choice.

Cedar Park prioritizes the quality of our instructional program overall and spends only a small portion of time (hours verses days or weeks) within the assessment window of actual test prep practice to reduce anxiety for students during the assessment by ensuring they are familiar with the format, digital tools, and layout.

How is this assessment information used and shared with students?

The results of standardized assessment(s), combined with additional classroom formative/summative data, can indicate strengths in a given skill area or learning opportunities that may need additional supports. Mostly, these standardized results give a school feedback on the overall effectiveness of its instructional program.

Since these scores are available through the SOURCE or mailed home, it is up to parents to determine if they will share the scores with their child. Staff typically reviews learning strengths/opportunities based on the assessment results rather than focusing on a numerical score the student would have no context for.