Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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 SBE–approved criteria states:

  1. Previous Participation

    California Standards Tests (CSTs)

The student shall have taken the California Standards Test (CSTs) 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 CSTs with modifications.

California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)

Previous participation in the CAPA shall not preclude a student from participation in the CMA.

The student shall have taken the CAPA Level 2–5 in two previous years and received a performance level of either Proficient or Advanced.

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

– CAPA in all subject areas;

– CSTs in all subject areas;

– CMA in all subject areas; or

– a combination of CSTs 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:
  • has taken the CSTs in a previous year, and
  • scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic in English-language arts (ELA) or mathematics, and may have taken the CSTs with accommodations and/or modifications.

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

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 student who is assessed with the CMA has access to the curriculum, including instruction and materials for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

  • The student’s IEP plan includes grade-level California content standards-based goals and support in the classroom for a subject or subjects assessed by the CMA.

  • The student has received special education and related services to support access to and progress in the general curriculum in which the student is enrolled.

  • The IEP team has determined that the student will not achieve grade-level proficiency even with instructional intervention.

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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765

Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 189 (added 18-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 18, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 188 (added 18-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 12, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 187 (added 09-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 6, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 186 (added 04-Jan-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, December 28, 2016.
  • 2016-17 Notice of CAASPP Administration Letter (updated 03-Jan-2017)
    Sample letters for local education agency may use to notify parent or guardian of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress administration.