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Assessment Resources for Learning Acceleration


Local educational agencies have local control when it comes to what assessments they use to make decisions about student learning. In determining their students’ knowledge levels, teachers may use their own district- or school-adopted assessment tools such as:

  • District or schoolwide benchmarks
  • District- or school-adopted interim assessments
  • Curriculum embedded assessments
  • District- or school-adopted summative assessments

At the state level, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) are the statewide academic assessments that provide summative assessments in English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, science, and English language proficiency to meet state and federal requirements. The assessment programs also provide resources for teachers that are aligned with California standards to help teachers implement the formative assessment process during instruction, share information, and collaborate with their colleagues to improve student learning. The resources include:

  • Online Practice and Training Tests Portal. Practice and training tests External link opens in new window or tab. for the CAASPP and the ELPAC provide students and teachers with the opportunity to become familiar with the testing software before the interim and summative assessments are administered. They also allow students to see and respond to the different types of questions they will see on the tests. Practice and training tests are available for the following:
  • Smarter Balanced ELA
  • Smarter Balanced Mathematics
  • California Science Test
  • California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for ELA
  • CAA for Mathematics
  • CAA for Science
  • California Spanish Assessment
  • ELPAC

Guides for the administration of the CAASPP and ELPAC practice and training tests are available on the Quick Reference Guides web page.

  • Interim assessments. Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics allow teachers to check student progress throughout the year. The Interim Assessments Overview External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) describe the three types of interim assessments:

    • More than 160 interim assessments are available for use as indicated in this document, 2019–2020 Interim Assessments At-a-Glance (PDF) document.
    • Although developed for grades three through eight and high school, the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments can be administered to students at any grade level (i.e., K‒12).
    • Results from these assessments will be electronically available to educators within 20 minutes of administration after a school or district coordinator creates the student groups for teachers to access these results.

  • Tools for Teachers. On June 16, 2020, Smarter Balanced will launch a preview release of their new formative assessment component of its system—Tools for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. —provides subject- and grade-specific resources intended to help educators apply the formative assessment process during daily instruction.

  • Sample Items website. The Smarter Balanced Sample Items website External link opens in new window or tab. provides examples of test questions used on Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts/literacy and math. More than 500 sample items available. The website allows teachers to:

    • Become familiar with the types of items used on Smarter Balanced assessments.

    • Search for test items based on grade, subject, or item type.

    • Find information about the content that items measure.

    • See the full breadth of accessibility features used on Smarter Balanced assessments.

    • Generate and print a PDF of selected test questions that includes

      • Basic information about the test questions (e.g., grade level, claim)
      • Content of the test questions
      • Answer keys and/or rubrics for the questions

  • Remote Teaching and Learning website. The new Smarter Balanced Remote Teaching and Learning website External link opens in new window or tab. provides suggestions for how teachers can use Smarter Balanced assessment resources when engaged in remote instruction.

  • Smarter Content Explorer. Through the Smarter Balanced Smarter Content Explorer External link opens in new window or tab., educators can learn how Smarter Balanced assesses academic standards and explore the range of knowledge and skills for college and career readiness. This website provides teachers with access to such information as assessment blueprints, accessibility guidelines, and scoring rubrics.

Furthermore, the Grade Two Diagnostic Assessments web page provides more information about the optional diagnostic assessments for students in grade two for ELA and mathematics that meet the requirements of California Education Code, Section 60644.

For additional information, contact the Assessment Development and Administration Division at caaspp@cde.ca.gov for CAASPP; elpac@cde.ca.gov for ELPAC; and pft@cde.ca.gov for Physical Fitness Test.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 01, 2020
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