Every year, public school students take comprehensive state tests in a variety of subject areas. Over the course of the last decade, the state has changed its testing system twice, moving from the DSTP (Delaware State Testing Program) to the DCAS (Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System), and this year from DCAS to DeSSA (Delaware System of Student Assessments). The DeSSA includes the Smarter Balanced assessments for both English language arts and mathematics. These online tests include writing, listening and research, and measure real-world skills like critical thinking and problem solving, and are more rigorous than previous assessments. For now, subject areas including science and social studies will continue using assessments from the former Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS).
DeSSA will begin after March 10th for students in 3rd through 8th grades, and after April 13th, for students in 11th Grade. Students in 9th and 10th grades will not be taking the Smarter Balanced English language arts or math tests.
Testing schedules will vary across buildings due to the natural variations between schools, such as size of student body, building events, and similar unique factors. In an effort to keep students and parents as informed as possible, all Brandywine School District schools will be posting their buildings' test schedules in a calendar format on the buildings' websites.
For more in-depth information regarding DeSSA and Smarter Balanced assessments, please visit the follow websites:
What is Smarter Balanced?
The Smarter Assessment System will replace existing state assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, providing an academic checkup by measuring students’ real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, they will provide information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help.
The Smarter assessments are a key part of implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing all students for success in college and careers.
• The Common Core State Standards establish consistent academic expectations in English and mathematics for the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in college and careers. More than 40 states have adopted these standards and are working to provide teachers and students the support they need to reach them.
• States are partnering in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop a new assessment system aligned to the Common Core to measure how well students are progressing toward readiness for college and careers.
• The Smarter assessment system will replace existing tests, and offer significant improvements over tests of the past, including writing at every grade, new question types, and performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills.
• In addition to measuring student achievement at the end of the school year, the Smarter Balanced assessment system will provide information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help.
• The work of Smarter is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help all students succeed—regardless of disability, language, or background. The assessment system include a wide array of accessibility tools for all students and accommodations—such as Braille—for those who need them.
Where can parents get more information about Smarter Balanced and the Common Core State Standards?
The Delaware Department of Education has created a website to inform Delawareans about the changing education standards and assessments. Click here to see it
. There are also resources for parents in the link at the left.
Where can I find out when my child is testing at MPE?
Log onto our school homepage and click on the NEWS link. There you will find a link to the School Assessment Calendar. The calendar is updated regularly in the event that weather, school events, or other circumstances require us to revise a classes testing sessions. If you have questions regarding your child's testing dates, please contact our main office at (302) 762-7120.