Each spring California students take several mandated statewide tests. These tests provide parents/guardians, teachers, and educators with information about how well students are learning and becoming college and career ready. The test results may be used for local, state, and federal accountability purposes.
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) suite of assessments is intended to provide educators, parents, and students with accurate and actionable information about what students are learning. CAASPP is comprised of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, the California Alternate Assessments, the California Science Test, and the California Spanish Assessment.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Assessments (SBAC)
The Smarter Balanced computer adaptive assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessment is administered to students in grades three through eight, and grade eleven. The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are delivered by computer and consist of two sections: a computer-adaptive test (CAT) and a performance task (PT), both of which are based on the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The CAT section includes a range of item types, such as selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, etc. The PT’s are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. For students in grade eleven, the Early Assessment Program (EAP) will use results from the ELA and math assessments as an indicator of college readiness.
California Alternate Assessments (CAA)
This English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science assessment is administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades three through eight, and select high school grades. The content of the CAA is based on alternate achievement standards derived from the Common Core State Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The CAA is also delivered via the computer. Only eligible students—students whose individualized education program (IEP) identifies the use of alternate assessments—may participate in the administration of the CAA.
Test examiners administer the computer-based CAA for ELA, mathematics, and science one-on-one to students. Test items developed for ELA and mathematics are aligned with the CCSS and are based on the Core Content Connectors. Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will take the CAA for ELA and mathematics. The CAA for Science consists of three embedded performance tasks, based on alternate achievement standards derived from the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
California Science Test (CAST)
The computer-based CAST measures students’ achievement of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) through the application of their knowledge and skills of the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. The CAST is administered to all students in grades five, eight and eleven.
Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents/guardians may annually submit to their child’s school principal or assistant principal a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP or PFT assessments, prior to the start of testing at their school site.
Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
The PFT administered in California schools to students in grades five, seven, and nine is called the FitnessGram®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting lifelong habits of regular physical activity.
English Language Proﬁciency Assessments for California (ELPAC)
State (California Education Code sections 313 and 60810) and federal law (Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency. That assessment is called the ELPAC and consists of two separate English Language Proﬁciency (ELP) assessments. The ELPAC Initial is for the initial identiﬁcation of newcomers as either English learners (EL) or Initially Fluent English Proficient (IFEP). The ELPAC Summative is an annual summative assessment to assess and monitor those EL students who have not been reclassified as English Language Proficient (RFEP) in their progress toward English language proficiency. EL students continue to take the ELPAC annual summative assessment until they meet SBUSD’s reclassification criteria. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards.
Parents/guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. The legal basis for requiring English language proficiency testing is that all students have the right to an equal and appropriate education, and any English language limitations (left unidentified and/or unaddressed) could preclude a student from accessing that right.