Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

Mathematics Assessment and Accountability

Information regarding graduation requirements, the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program, and the Common Core State Standards assessments (Smarter Balanced).

The latest information about the new generation of mathematics and English-Language Arts assessments is found on the Smarter Balanced Assessment System Web page.

Students must fulfill specific graduation requirements, which include an Algebra I requirement.

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

California’s new statewide student assessment system, CAASPP, was established January 1, 2014. 

Common Core State Standards Assessment (Smarter Balanced)

California joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) as a governing state on June 9, 2011. Smarter Balanced is a national consortium of 23 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands working collaboratively to develop a student assessment system aligned to a common core of academic content standards. Of those, California is one of 22 governing states, which allows decision-making participation.

The Spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test will be administered Spring 2014.

Practice Tests provide a preview of the Smarter Balanced assessments, but do not reflect the full range of content that students may encounter on the actual assessments. 

Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab. provide students with an opportunity to quickly become familiar with the software and interface features of the Smarter Balanced tests.  A Training Test is available for each of grade bands 3–5, 6–8, and high school, and offers six to nine items per grade band in each content area (i.e., English-language arts and mathematics).  The Training Tests includes new item types and universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations.

Sample items and performance tasks External link opens in new window or tab. illustrate the rigor and complexity of the mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the Consortium’s next-generation assessments. 

Draft Achievement Level Descriptors and College Readiness Policy (ALDs) External link opens in new window or tab. articulate the knowledge, skills, and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Preliminary Test Blueprints (2012) External link opens in new window or tab. describe the content of the mathematics summative assessments for grade 3 through 8 and high school and how that content will be assessed. The preliminary test blueprints reflect the depth and breadth of the performance expectations of the CCSS.

Minimum Technological System Requirements are necessary due to the variety of test item types included in computer adaptive testing, which the Smarter Balanced assessment system uses.

Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR)

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, the California Standards Tests (CST) for mathematics will no longer be the administered as the statewide mathematics assessment. The STAR Program includes four tests: the CST, the California Modified Assessment (CMA), the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS).

STAR Test Blueprints are provided for the CST, CMA, CAPA, and STS.

Released Test Questions (RTQs) are representative of the various content areas measured by items on the CST and are taken from portions of the CSTs from 2003 through 2008.

The STAR Student Report Guides offer information regarding a student’s report and the recommendations provided. Guides are available in English External link opens in new window or tab. and other languages for the CST, CMA, and CAPA.

Related Links

Information also available through the sites of the California Department of Education at STAR and Smarter Balanced.

Questions: STEM Office | stem@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5847 
Download Free Readers