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, which helps 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. 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). 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). It is aligned with alternate achievement standards—called the Science Core Content Connectors—which are linked to the performance expectations from the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
The following links provide additional information about the program:
- CAASPP—CalEdFacts web page provides a more detailed overview of the tests.
- Assessment System Chart (PDF) lists the tests of the 2022–23 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.
Resources and Communication Materials
- Talking to Parents About the CAA (PPTX; 14MB) is a PowerPoint presentation that site administrators can use to provide information to parents about the CAAs.
- Resources for Communicating with Parents web page provides links to a variety of communication resources; includes links to the practice and training tests.
- CAA for Science–Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF) includes the basic who, what, where, when, and why facts about the CAA for Science.
- Practice and Training Embedded Performance Tasks
provides a link to access the online Practice and Training Tests web page.
- California Student Assessment Accessibility Graphic for Science (PDF) includes the 2021–22 California Student Assessment Accessibility graphic with a list of the various accessibility features and accommodations available.
- Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance web page provides guidelines for individualized education program (IEP) teams regarding participation in the California’s alternate assessments.
- Alternate Assessment Decision Confirmation Worksheet (PDF) helps the user confirm the decision of the IEP team regarding student eligibility to participate in the California’s alternate assessments.
- Available Resources for the California Alternate Assessment for Science web page
provides resources educators and site coordinators can use to further their understanding of the CAA for Science and use when communicating with parents and guardians about the assessments.
- Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit web page provides key messages, a reporting timeline, details about the transition to operational status, frequently asked questions, parent/guardian letter templates for local educational agencies’ (LEAs’) use, and other tools to assist LEAs in providing information about the 2020–21 preliminary indicator results for the CAA for Science to educators, parents and guardians, and other stakeholders.
- CAA for Science Administration Research Files
- Test Administration Coordination Site
- CAA Test Examiner Tutorial (Video)
- Organization of the California Alternate Assessment for Science (PDF)
- Science Test Administration for High School Students (PDF)
- Student Accessibility Resources
Scores and Results Reporting
- CAA for Science, Administration Research Files web page provides the CAA for Science aggregate or summary preliminary indicator results.
- Reporting Science Assessment Results 2020–21 Timeline web page provides LEAs, schools, and other stakeholders with the timeline for reporting 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) directs how the CAA for Science test forms are assembled. Similar to the California Science Test (CAST), the CAA for Science takes into account the three-dimensional interrelationships of the CA NGSS Performance Expectations and the integration of the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts.
- 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 web page provides information about the available CAA for Science item content specifications, which describe how CAA for Science items are developed to assess the alternate standards derived from the CA NGSS. One CAA for Science item content specification was written for each of the 84 Science Connectors (i.e., 23 for grade five; 28 for grade eight; and 33 for high school) that will be assessed on the CAA for Science over a five-year period.
- NGSS for California Public Schools, K-12 web page provides the CA NGSS adopted by the California State Board of Education in September 2013.
- 2016 Science Framework web page provides the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools, which has been designed to be accessible to assistive technologies.
- CAASPP Technical and Research Reports web page provides technical reports pertaining to the CAA for Science as well as other assessment programs.