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California Alternate Assessment for Science

California’s statewide science alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Program Overview

The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science is a part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. The purpose of the CAA for Science is to measure what students know and can do in science. These measures help identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills early so students can receive the support they need.

Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAA for Science. Any student identified for alternate testing takes the alternate version of all assessments. The CAA for Science is administered to students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve). Individualized education program (IEP) teams “shall determine when a child with the most significant cognitive disability shall participate in an alternate assessment aligned with the alternate academic achievement standards.” (Title 1, Part A, Subpart 1, Sec. 1111(b)(2)(D)(ii)(I)—Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015).

The CAA for Science is aligned with alternate achievement standards—called the Science Core Content Connectors—and are linked to the performance expectations from the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).

The following links provide additional information about the CAASPP System assessments:

  • CAASPP—CalEdFacts web page provides a more detailed overview of the tests.

  • Assessment System Chart (PDF) lists the tests of the 2020–21 California assessment system by subject content, test name, test type, student participant groups, grade levels, and testing window timeframe.

  • California Assessment Timeline (PDF) presents the assessment administration timeline for the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 school years.

Resources and Communication Materials

Test Administration

Scores and Results Reporting

Laws, Regulations, and Requirements

Technical Documents

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 24, 2020
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