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CMA Participation Criteria for Science

In November 2007, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the California Modified Assessment (CMA) Participation Criteria. The CMA Participation Criteria provides individualized education program (IEP) teams the necessary criteria to make decisions about which students should participate in the CMA and are based, in part, on Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200—Title I—Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged. 

CMA Participation Criteria Section 1. Previous Participation of the SBE-approved participation criteria states:

  1. Previous Participation


The student shall have taken the California Standards Test (CST) in a previous year and scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic in the subject area being assessed by the CMA and may have taken the CST with modifications.


Previous participation in the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) shall not preclude a student from participation in the CMA.

Note:   The student shall not be allowed to take both the CAPA and CMA. Students shall take either:

– CAPA in all subject areas;

– CST in all subject areas;

– CMA in all subject areas; or

– a combination of CST and CMA in the subject areas being assessed.

Since the science assessments are not given prior to grade five, a student may fill the first participation criterion if the student:

CMA Participation Criteria Section 3. Response to Appropriate Instruction of the SBE-approved participation criteria states:

  1. Response To Appropriate Instruction

The student’s progress to date in response to appropriate grade- level instruction, including special education and related services designed to address the student’s individual needs, is such that, even if significant growth occurs, the IEP team is reasonably certain that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency within the year covered by the student’s IEP plan.

The participation criteria requirement (above) that an IEP include “grade-level California content standards-based goals and supports in the classroom for a subject or subjects assessed by the CMA” has caused confusion for IEP teams.

Traditionally, IEP goals address English-language arts, math, and prerequisite skills. Other content areas are usually addressed by related goals, supports and related services. Science for example, might be addressed by having a goal for vocabulary development that can support the student learning science vocabulary, and in the science classroom, can aid the student in gaining access to the science curriculum.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
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