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CAASPP Description - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System was established on January 1, 2014. The CAASPP System replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, which became inoperative on July 1, 2013.

For 2014–15, the CAASPP System encompasses the following assessments and student participation requirements. Information about the content and format of each test is also provided. This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics in grades three through eight and eleven.

Student Participation: All students at the designated grade levels are required to participate with the following exceptions:

  • Students who participate in the alternate assessments.
  • ELA only—English learners who are in their first 12 months of attending a school in the United States.

Content and Format: The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments which are delivered by computer consist of two sections: a computer-adaptive test and a Performance Task based on the Common Core State Standards for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The computer-adaptive section includes a range of items types such as selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, etc. The PT are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. Beginning 2014–15, a paper-pencil version of the assessments will be available for local educational agencies (LEAs) that meet specific criteria.

Alternate assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades three through eight and eleven.

Student Participation: Students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments even with accessibility supports and whose individualized education program (IEP) indicates assessment with an alternate test.

Content and Format: The content of the alternate assessment will be based on alternate achievement standards derived from the Common Core State Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The alternate assessments are anticipated to be delivered on the computer, with a field test preceding the operational administration. More information about the alternate assessments will be provided as it becomes available.

Science assessments in grades five, eight, and ten (i.e., California Standards Tests [CSTs], California Modified Assessment [CMA], and California Alternate Performance Assessment [CAPA]).

Student Participation: The CST for science is required from all students in grades five, eight, and ten unless their IEP indicates assessment with a CMA or CAPA. The CMA for science is for students with disabilities whose IEP indicates assessment with a CMA. The CAPA for science is for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CSTs even with accessibility supports and whose IEP indicates assessment with CAPA.

Content and Format: The CSTs, CMA, and CAPA are all paper-pencil tests based on the California content standards for science adopted by the State Board of California in October 1998. (Science assessments based on the Next Generation Science Standards, adopted in September 2013, are not yet available). The CSTs for science are comprised entirely of multiple-choice questions. Similarly, the CMA for science is comprised of multiple-choice questions; however, the format of the questions been modified. For example, modifications include providing three answer choices instead of four as on the CSTs. The CAPA, which is administered at one of four levels in science, is made up of eight PTs.

Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for reading/language arts in grades two through eleven (optional).

Student Participation: The STS is a primary language test in Spanish for Spanish-speaking English learners who either receive instruction in their primary language or have been enrolled in a school in the United States less than 12 months. The STS is administered at the discretion of the local educational agency. Therefore, it is considered an optional assessment.

Content and Format: The STS is aligned to the California content standards for reading/language arts. The State Board of Education adopted blueprints for this test by grades and over time between 2005 and 2007. The STS for reading/language arts is a paper-pencil test comprised entirely of multiple-choice questions.

For more information regarding the CAASPP System, contact the CAASPP Office by phone at 916-445-8765 or by e-mail at caaspp@cde.ca.gov. Information is also available on the CDE CAASPP Web page.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 24, 2016
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