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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.

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 (PT) based on the Common Core State Standards for ELA 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.

California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics in grades three through and grade eleven.

Student Participation: Students with the most 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 are based on alternate achievement standards derived from the Common Core State Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The CAAs are a computer-based two-stage adaptive test. The CAAs are administer to students in a one-on-one environment with a testing examiner that is familiar with the student. More information about the alternate assessments and the alternate achievement standards can be found on the CDE CAASPP California Alternate Assessments Web page

California Science Test (CAST) Field Test in grades five, eight, and assigned grade in high school.

Student Participation: The CAST is required from all students in grades five, eight, and assigned grade in high school unless their IEP indicates assessment with an alternate test. The CAST includes a stand-alone or discrete items and performance tasks (PTs). The discrete item types consist of selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, etc. The PTs are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards.

Content and Format: The CAST is aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). The CA NGSS was adopted by the State Board of Education in September 2013. The 2017 administration of the CAST was a census pilot test and the 2018 CAST will be a census field test.

California Alternate Assessment [CAA] for Science Pilot Test in grades five, eight, and assigned grade in high school.

Student Participation: Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CAST even with accessibility supports and whose IEP indicates assessment with an alternate test. The CAA for Science is administered to students in grades five, eight, and assigned grade in high school.

Content and Format: The content of the alternate assessment are based on alternate achievement standards derived from the CA NGSS for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Test examiners administer the CAA for Science students in a one-on-one environment. Pilot year one the CAA for Science consisted of one embedded performance task and the second year pilot, consists of three embedded performance tasks that can be administered once to students over the course of the winter/spring.

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. For the 2017–18 administration, the STS for reading/language arts will be administered on the computer and is 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: Monday, July 31, 2017
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