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Research, Evaluation, and Assessment

Palo Alto Unified School District seeks to build an awareness around data that is both transparent and accessible. Our work centers on examining student data to better inform our practices at the classroom, site and district levels.

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Resources

CAASPP replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, and is the new state academic testing program.  This year, CAASPP includes the Smarter Balanced computer adaptive tests in English–Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11, as well as the CST paper-based tests for Science in grades 5, 8, and 10. It is intended to provide information that can be used to monitor student progress and to ensure all students leave high school ready for college and future careers.  Below are a variety of resources to aid parents and students as they learn more about this new assessment system. 

Letter from Superintendent Max McGee  English   Spanish                             Moving Beyond the Bubble, CA PTA Site                  

Early Assessment Program Student Letter    English  Spanish                      Universal Tools Video

CAASPP Testing System Overview                                                                        Smarter Balanced Practice Tests

Frequently Asked Questions                                                                                    Accessibility and Accountability Information   English    Spanish

Smarter Balanced Fact Sheets  English    Spanish                                             Creating a Computer Adaptive Assessment English     Spanish 



Student Achievement

Student Achievement results are presented annually to the Board of Education in the fall of each year. These reports focus on the Strategic Plan goals as well as other measures.


High School Guidance Program Review (March 2012)

Gunn High School and Palo Alto High School serve relatively similar communities, with different guidance counseling models. The purpose of this report is to articulate these guidance models for the Board and the broader PAUSD community, to identify the strengths of each school's model, and to suggest areas of enhancement for each school and for the District. The Appendix to this report contains the detailed project scope and work plan.

Student feedback came through a combination of focus groups and an extensive anonymous student survey, administered at Gunn and Paly High Schools.

Calendar Transition Plans (March 2012)

The following report on transitional planning for the calendar will be presented at the Board Meeting on April 24, 2012. Included are preliminary results from the Calendar Survey administered to students in March and April 2012.

As per discussions by the Board on April 24, 2012 and November 29, 2011, a Calendar Survey was designed to provide baseline data about students’ experiences with the 2011-12 Academic Calendar. The survey was open for nearly two months, from March 5, 2012 to May 1, 2012. A random sample of students from grades 9 - 12 was asked to complete the survey. Our response rate overall was 36%.

Revised March 2015