In general, charter schools are required by law to participate in all statewide testing programs, including testing required for the Academic Performance Index (API). These requirements are provided for in California Education Code sections 47605 [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&division=4.&title=2.&part=26.8.&chapter=2.&article=] and 47612.5 [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=47612.] . The relevant portions of those sections are listed below:
47605(c)(1) Charter schools shall meet all statewide standards and conduct the pupil assessments required pursuant to Section 60605 and any other statewide standards authorized in statute or pupil assessments applicable to pupils in noncharter public schools.
47612.5(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and as a condition of apportionment, a charter school shall do all of the following:
(1) Offer, at a minimum, the same number of minutes of instruction set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 46201 [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=46201.] for the appropriate grade levels.
(2) Maintain written contemporaneous records that document all pupil attendance and make these records available for audit and inspection.
(3) Certify that its pupils have participated in the state testing programs specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 60600 [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC§ionNum=60600.] ) of Part 33 in the same manner as other pupils attending public schools as a condition of apportionment of state funding.
Alternative API assessment models exist for public schools (including charter schools) which meet certain criteria. These assessment models include the "Small Schools Model" and the "Alternative Schools Accountability Model."
Small Schools Model
Schools serving traditional student populations with 11 to 99 valid Stanford 9 test results will be held accountable under the API "Small Schools Model." In the Small Schools Model, a small-school API with a special asterisk designation will be provided to acknowledge the greater statistical uncertainty of an API based on fewer than 100 scores.
Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM)
California schools that serve a majority of high-risk students and very small schools having fewer than 11 valid Stanford 9 scores will be accountable through the Alternative Schools Accountability Model [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/am/index.asp].
You may find additional information by visiting the following links:
Academic Performance Index (API) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/index.asp]
Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/index.asp]
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ay/index.asp]
California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/index.asp]