Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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- What kind of test is the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA)?
- Which grades is the CPAA for?
- Which subjects and concepts does the CPAA assess?
- How does the CPAA work?
- Is the CPAA geared toward a specific student population?
- Can the CPAA be used with Spanish-speaking English Language Learners (ELL)?
- Is the CPAA developmentally appropriate?
- How long does the CPAA take?
- What happens if we need to take a break? Can we continue later?
- How often should the CPAA be administered?
- Is the CPAA aligned to Common Core, state or national standards?
- How quickly can I view my reports?
- Will the CPAA provide practical suggestions to help students work on specific skills or help make grouping decisions?
- Will the CPAA help me track student progress?
- Who else is using the CPAA?
- Is the CPAA easy to use?
- What kind of training and support is available?
- Are there any funds available to support our purchase of the CPAA?
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What kind of test is the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA)?
The CPAA is: The CPAA is NOT: Meant to be used in a Formative way (assessment FOR learning) Meant to be used in a Summative way (assessment OF learning; “high stakes testing”) Adaptive (questions adjust automatically to offer an appropriate level of challenge) Linear (questions follow in a “one size fits all” sequence) Computer-based (can be administered to a whole class simultaneously or to individual students) Paper based, individually administered by teachers or administered using a mobile device Custom-designed for Pre K-3rd grade For all grades Criterion-referenced (student performance is compared to specific learning objectives, such as Common Core State Standards or individual state standards) Norm-referenced (individual student performance is compared to the performance of the group) Dynamic (incorrect responses are followed by verbal and/or visual scaffolding, much in the way that content is taught in the classroom) Static (no feedback is given to the child)
Which grades is the CPAA for?
The Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) is available in the following grades:
- English Language Version, aligned to Common Core or State Standards
Pre K – 3rd grade
- English Language Version, aligned to national Independent School Standards, developed in collaboration with ERB
Junior Pre K – 2nd grade
- Spanish Language Version
Pre K – 2nd grade
- English Language Version, aligned to Common Core or State Standards
Which subjects and concepts does the CPAA assess?
The CPAA covers a broad range of early literacy and mathematics concepts, including
- phonemic awareness
- phonics & writing
- reading & reading mechanics
- patterns & functions
How does the CPAA work?
Using the CPAA is a simple 3 step process. Learn all about it.
Is the CPAA geared toward a specific student population?
Every student can benefit from the CPAA. Since the assessment adjusts instantly to each response, every child is challenged appropriately at his or her level, whether he or she is in the general education, special education, or gifted and talented population. The CPAA can be used as little as three times a year for students who are on track, or more frequently (six or even nine times a year) for students who are at-risk, and in need of progress monitoring. Recommended activities are generated for each student and can be used for remediation for struggling students and enrichment for high achievers.
Can the CPAA be used with Spanish-speaking English Language Learners (ELL)?
YES. A Spanish-language version of the full assessment (covering both early literacy and mathematics) is available for English Language Learners (ELL) in Pre K – 2nd grade. This version is ideal to use with non-native English speakers to distinguish academic skills from language acquisition issues. It can also be used in tandem with the English-language version. This version of the assessment has helped schools save up to $18K in annual assessment costs and reduce special education referrals by more than 50%.
Is the CPAA developmentally appropriate?
YES. The CPAA was designed to adhere closely to developmental guidelines established by the Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). You can read more about the CPAA’s alignment to these guidelines here. The length and content of the assessment were vetted with early childhood experts to ensure appropriateness. Moreover, students are only expected to use point-and-click skills (no dragging or keyboard use). A mousing pre-screener is built into the assessment in the earliest grades to ensure accurate results the youngest students.
How long does the CPAA take?
On average, the assessment takes 20-30 minutes in Kindergarten – 3rd Grade and 15 minutes in Pre K. Note that since this assessment is adaptive and includes scaffolding after incorrect responses, no two students take the same path through our expansive bank of questions. Depending on their performance, some students take more or less time to complete the assessment.
What happens if we need to take a break? Can we continue later?
YES, absolutely. You can pause or stop the assessment at any time. Whenever the student is logged back in, the CPAA will pick up exactly where he or she left off, without impacting the score.
How often should the CPAA be administered?
We recommend using the CPAA for as a diagnostic screening tool three times a year (so we provide three separate content banks – for the fall, winter, and spring). In addition, you may choose to administer it more frequently for progress monitoring for students who are at risk and whose progress you wish to track more closely.
Is the CPAA aligned to Common Core, state or national standards?
YES. The CPAA is available aligned to the Common Core State Standards, individual state standards or national independent school standards. At its core, the CPAA was designed based on the rigorous guidelines set forth by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Each version was then aligned to Common Core or specific states’ learning goals to ensure that reports show teachers exactly 1) how each student performed, 2) how that compares to the relevant standard and 3) what activity can help this student improve, be challenged or get more practice.
How quickly can I view my reports?
INSTANTLY. All reports are web-based and update in real-time, so you can see results and act on them as soon as students complete an assessment. In fact, you can even view partially completed reports for interrupted assessments.
Will the CPAA provide practical suggestions to help students work on specific skills or help make grouping decisions?
YES. Teacher reports include recommended activities for individual students and the whole group, based on performance. All activities can be viewed and printed (individually or in aggregate), along with a list of recommended participants. Moreover, an interactive class roster report allows teachers to make group students by concept performance with a single click.
Will the CPAA help me track student progress?
YES. CPAA progress reports are available at the student, classroom, school, district, and state level. These reports can be viewed in aggregate for early literacy and mathematics or disaggregated by learning concept, both for the current school year and over the years.
Who else is using the CPAA?
The CPAA has been used by state agencies, districts, schools and early childhood centers across the United States as well as schools abroad. We serve public, charter and independent schools. See our client case studies or read CPAA educator testimonials.
Is the CPAA easy to use?
YES. The assessment can be administered to a whole class in less than 35 minutes. Web-based reports are immediate. In contrast to other assessments that require extensive professional development to use, the CPAA is so intuitive that training is optional. Moreover, if you have a question, we’ll never leave you hanging. Phone and email support is available year round.
What kind of training and support is available?
Training sessions are available both on site and online. All sessions are led by experienced NWEA Professional Development staff. Partner Support is available Monday through Friday, 4am – 5pm PST by phone and email to assist with any questions. Our support team has experience supporting schools, districts and state agencies.
Are there any funds available to support our purchase of the CPAA?
YES. Several sources of funding can be used toward the CPAA. Schools and districts have used Title I,II,III,IV,V, IDEA, local sources (e.g. technology funds) and grants. Check out our funding page. We’d also be happy to talk to you about your funding options and make recommendations.