CAA for Science Item Content SpecificationsItem content specifications describe how CAA for Science items are developed to assess the alternate standards derived from the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science item content specifications provide details on each assessed alternate standard (i.e., Science Connector) and are derived from the CA NGSS. The Science Connectors align with the needs of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and serve as a basis for the assessment. Due to the structure of the CAA for Science (i.e., embedded performance tasks only), these item content specifications are a subset of the complete set of Science Connectors. The complete set can be found in the Preliminary Science Core Content Connectors and Essential Understandings (DOCX) document. More information about the design of the CAA for Science can be found in the CAA for Science Blueprint (DOCX) document.
Educators can use the item content specifications to gain a better understanding of the assessment targets (i.e., focal knowledge, skills, and abilities [FKSAs]—which describe what students should know and be able to do in science—and the essential understandings [EUs]—which are the basic key ideas or concepts students should know in science). In addition, educators can use these item content specifications, along with the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools, as resources for developing items for interim, benchmark, and summative assessments for classroom use. The item content specifications are not intended to guide instruction.
The item content specifications, based on the Science Connectors, are used to develop the CAA for Science embedded performance tasks. These item content specifications provide item writers with the details on each assessed Science Connector by providing assessment targets, possible phenomena, and any relevant Environmental Principles and Concepts associated with the Science Connector.
The grade five CAA for Science performance tasks draw on Science Connectors from grades three through five and include the foundational concepts that are addressed in kindergarten through grade two. The grade eight performance tasks draw on Science Connectors from grades six through eight, and the high school performance tasks draw on Science Connectors from grades nine through twelve.
One CAA for Science item content specification was written for each of the 83 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. The item content specifications will be updated annually on the basis of input from California educators.
Grade Five Assessment
There are 23 Science Connectors that may be assessed on the CAA for Science for grade five; these item content specifications are presented individually and by content areas.
|Grade||Earth and Space Sciences (ESS)||Life Sciences (LS)||Physical Sciences (PS)||Engineering, Technology, and Application of Science (ETS)|
|Not applicable|| 3‑LS1‑1 (DOCX)
|3-PS2-1 (DOCX)|| 3-5-ETS1-1 (DOCX)
|4‑LS1‑1 (DOCX)|| 4‑PS3‑2 (DOCX)
| 5‑ESS1‑2 (DOCX)
|5‑LS2‑1 (DOCX)|| 5‑PS1‑1 (DOCX)
Middle School (MS) Assessment
There are 28 Science Connectors that may be assessed on the CAA for Science for grade eight; these item content specifications are presented individually and by content areas.
High School (HS) Assessment
There are 32 Science Connectors that may be assessed on the CAA for Science for high school; these item content specifications are presented individually and by content areas.