California Alternate Assessment for ScienceCalifornia’s statewide science alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
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 2021–22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 school years.
Resources and Communication Materials
- Talking to Parents About the CAA (PPTX; 14MB), a PowerPoint presentation for use by site administrators to provide information to parents about the CAAs.
- Resources for Communicating with Parents, a web page with links to a variety of communication resources; includes a link to the practice and training tests.
- CAA for Science–Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF), a flyer that includes the basic who, what, where, when, and why facts about the CAA for Science.
- California Student Assessment Accessibility for Science (PDF), a flyer that includes the 2020–21 California Student Assessment Accessibility graphic with a list of the various accessibility features available.
- Guidance for IEP teams, a web page that includes guidelines for individualized education program teams regarding participation in the California Alternate Assessments.
- Alternate Assessment Decision Confirmation Worksheet (PDF), a flyer that helps the user confirm the decisions of the individualized education program (IEP) teams that students are eligible to participate in the CAAs.
- Practice and Training Embedded Performance Tasks
, a link to access the online Practice and Training Tests web page.
- Available Resources for the California Alternate Assessment for Science site
a web page that describes the various resources educators and site coordinators can use to further their understanding of the CAA for Science and to use when communicating with parents and guardians about the assessments.
- Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit, provides resources, including key messages, a reporting timeline, transition to operational status, frequently asked questions, parent/guardian letter templates for local educational agencies (LEAs) to use, and other tools to assist LEAs in providing information about the 2019–2020 preliminary indicator results for the science assessments to educators, parents and guardians, and other stakeholders.
- CAA for Science Administration Research Files
- Test Administration Coordination Site
- CAA Test Examiner Tutorial (Video)
- Science Test Administration for High School Students (PDF)
- Student Accessibility Resources
Scores and Results Reporting
- CAA for Science, Administration Research Files web page—Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, school closures, and the approved federal waiver of testing and reporting requirements from the U.S. Department of Education, many students did not complete testing. As a result, the California Department of Education did not report aggregate or summary results for the 2019–2020 administration.
- Reporting Science Assessments Results—2019–2020 Timeline, providing LEAs, schools, and other stakeholders with the reporting timeline for the science results to students, parents and guardians, and the public.
Laws, Regulations, and Requirements
- California Education Code Section 60640
- Federal Listening/Speaking Waiver(PDF)
- CAASPP Regulations
- Assessment Apportionments (reimbursements to LEAs)
- CAA for Science Blueprint (DOCX)
- Preliminary Science Core Content Connectors and Essential Understandings (DOCX) provides a complete list of the Science Connectors, which are aligned with the CA NGSS Performance Expectations.
- CAA for Science Item Content Specifications
- Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS)
- California Science Curriculum Framework
- CAASPP Technical and Research Reports