Student Assessments Meet the Digital Age at Orange Unified School District

Assessment season is in full-force at Orange Unified, and students in grades 3-8 and 11 are actively engaged in Smarter Balanced (SBAC) Assessments for English Language Arts and Math. These computer-based assessments are embedded with skills required of the college and career world and provide students with an opportunity to collaborate, solve problems, justify their thinking and respond in a more creative way than our previous statewide paper-pencil assessments. By the end of May, the District will have successfully tested over 20,000 Orange Unified students. The smooth deployment of these paperless assessments is a testament to the past two years OUSD has worked to build up technology infrastructure in support of 21st century teaching and learning.

Scores from this year’s SBAC Assessments will serve as a baseline for future growth, and results will be provided separately for Math and for English Language Arts. Results of OUSD students’ performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, as well as other statewide assessments, will be released in the coming months. The scores will tell you how your child is doing with the new State Standards, which focus more on real-world skills like critical thinking and problem solving than previous standards have. 

Your child’s results will be mailed home in a Student Score Report during the summer. This report will include an overall score, a description of the student’s achievement level for English Language Arts and Math, and other information. The overall score will indicate the student’s proficiency for each subject and ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 points. A breakdown of the score is also included in the report and will provide individualized information on your child’s academic strengths and potential challenges.

The new assessments are fundamentally different from the former paper-pencil tests and are based on updated learning standards, involve different types of questions, and assess different skills and levels of testing. For these reasons, scores from the current assessments cannot be compared to scores your child previously received on the STAR Program tests.

Staff eagerly awaits feedback from the new assessments, which provide our students with an opportunity to show off the hard work they have put into learning 21st century college and career standards. Information gathered will be used to shape future student learning and assist in individualizing instruction to meet the needs of each of our students.​ 

Any questions about testing should be directed to your school or the office of Research & Assessment at (714) 628-5457.

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Michael L. Christensen, MBA
Superintendent of Schools


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 26,000 PreK-12th grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.