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Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit

California is committed to developing an alternate science assessment that is derived from the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and measures what students know and can do in science. The California Department of Education (CDE) is in the process of transitioning to a full implementation of the new CA NGSS and building a valid, reliable, and fair alternate assessment for science using feedback received from national science experts, California special education experts, California Science educators, and other stakeholders.

Building quality science assessments takes time, as does implementing new standards. To help local educational agencies (LEAs) during this transition period, the CDE has developed a toolkit of resources to communicate about the new standards and provide guidance on releasing student results for the CAA for Science field test.

For the 2018–19 test results, California is reporting preliminary indicators, consisting of a percent correct score and a category description, for the CAA for Science field test. The CDE will provide LEAs with the student preliminary indicators included in the student downloadable file in late January 2020. LEAs are responsible for providing this information to parents/guardians. In addition, these preliminary indicators will be aggregated by the state, county, LEA, and school levels as well as by student groups. These results will be available to the public on the CDE California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Results website. Caution should be used when interpreting the preliminary indicator results, given that the results reflect an assessment that was not yet operational.

The three CAA for Science preliminary indicators are described below.

Preliminary Indicator Categories for the CAA for Science
Category Description
Student performance suggests a considerable understanding of the CA NGSS.
Student performance suggests a moderate understanding of the CA NGSS.
Student performance suggests a limited understanding of the CA NGSS.


The following resources provide some key messages about the preliminary indicators, reporting requirements, and frequently asked questions.

Additional Resources

The following letter templates can be used to communicate individual student score information to parents/guardians for the 2018–19 CAA for Science preliminary indicator results:

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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