Assessment and Accountability » California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

CAASPP Description
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System was established on January 1, 2014. The CAASPP System replaced the Standardized Testing and Report (STAR) Program, which became inoperative on July 1, 2013.
The CAASPP System is intended to provide parents and students more accurate and actionable information about what students are learning. Because the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which are administered as part of the CAASPP System, are computer adaptive, these Assessments will also provide better information about the needs and successes of individual students.
You can also check out these resources:
Parent Guide to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (English Version)
Overview and Sample Questions
Parent Guide to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments (Spanish Version)
Overview and Sample Questions
California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) Student Score Report
CAAs are online tests for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that designate the use of an alternate assessment to measure student progress on alternate achievement standards.
Educational Testing Service is currently shipping the 2015-16 CAA Student Score Reports to LEAs. Samples in English and Spanish are available on the CDE CAASPP Student Score Reports Information Web page.
Student Score Reports
These guides explain the 2015-16 CAA Student Score Report for grades three through eight and grade eleven. Versions in English, Spanish, Hmong, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Eastern Armenian, and both Simplified and Traditional Chinese are now available!
Explains the new CAA Student Score Report for 2016.
Explica el nuevo Informe de Puntaje de Estudiantes de CAA para 2016.
Pupils in applicable grade levels will participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) except as exempted by law. Each year, a parent may submit a written request to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of the CAASPP assessments for that school year. If the parent submits the exemption request after testing begins, any test(s) completed before the request is submitted will be scored; the results will be included in the pupil’s records and reported to the parent. School district employees will not solicit or encourage any exemption request on behalf of a pupil or group of pupils. 
This information can also be found on page 40 of the 2016-17 PUSD Student/Parent Handbook
New Brochures Help Explain California Common Core State Standards
What kinds of things will my child learn in mathematics and English language arts in first grade? In high school? New brochures focused on the California Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) are now available to help teachers and other educators answer such questions from parents, guardians, and other community members.
The brochures, which can be downloaded from the Sacramento County Office of Education Web site, are organized by grade span and provide insights into what students will be learning:
  • Mathematics
  • English language arts/literacy (ELA)
The brochures on the mathematics standards showcase example problems, and the brochures on the ELA standards highlight the progression of learning through the grade levels. Each brochure also provides suggestions for parents/guardians to support their students' learning and a list of additional resources.
The brochures were developed on behalf of the Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core under the leadership of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division of the CDE and the Sacramento County Office of Education. For the best visual presentation, the brochures are designed to be printed two sided (flipped on the short edge), and then folded into thirds.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Information

Who will take these computer-based assessments?
Students in grades 3- 8 and 11 will use computers and/or chromebooks to take the state assessments in English language arts and mathematics.

What is the estimated time for each test?

What is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) component on the online summative assessment?
The computer adaptive portion of the online test includes a wide variety of item types. As students progress throughout a CAT, the computer program adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment based on their responses. For example, a student who answers a question correctly will receive a more challenging item, while an incorrect answer generates an easier question.
What is a Performance Task (PT) component on the online summative assessment?
The PT is designed to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge and higher order thinking skills to explore and analyze a complex, real world scenario. Prior to the PT, teachers or instructional staff conduct a Classroom Activity for all students to ensure that a lack of understanding of the context of the task does not interfere with a student’s ability to address the content of the task.
What types of questions will be on the online summative assessment?
Computer testing with these types of response options are new for many students.

o Single Correct (traditional multiple choice)
o Multiple Correct
o Evidence Based Response:
       ▪ Two-part multiple choice
                 ● Tell me the answer and then why is that answer correct
                        o Have to get all questions correct to get it correct
o Matching Tables
o Yes/No
o True/False
o Select or order text or graphics
o Complex drag and drop
o Fill-In Tables
o Graphing
o Equation or numeric response
o Short Text
o Long Essay
o Performance Tasks
Individual Student Reports (ISR)
Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven who took last Spring's Smarter Balanced test will receive an Individual Student Report in English and/or Spanish.
Thinking will be measured in four domains
The new state assessment encourages thinking in four domains:
1) Recall and basic comprehension,
2) Application of concepts involving some mental processing,
3) Applications requiring more abstract thinking/reasoning and more complex inferences, 
4) Extended analysis that requires synthesis and analysis across multiple contexts and non-routine applications Questions that require abstract thinking, synthesis, and analysis will comprise 50-60% of the new state assessments. This is a dramatic increase in rigor over past state assessments. In short, we are expecting students to think and process information differently than in the past.
Proficiency levels are set high
California has set high proficiency levels on the new state assessments. Joseph Willhoft, one of the test project directors, says that “because the new content standards set higher expectations for students and the new tests are designed to assess student performance against these higher expectations, the bar has been raised.”
Based on projections from the 2014 Smarter Balanced field tests conducted in California and 21 other states, it is likely that fewer students will score at the higher achievement levels on the new assessments, especially in the first few years. However, a drop in test scores doesn’t mean students are sliding backwards or learning less. Rather, it gives us a more accurate measure of where students are on the path to success based on expectations that are designed to prepare them to compete nationally and globally. Educators and parents should see the results as a new start. 

Results can’t be compared to earlier state assessments
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) has replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) California Standards Test (CST) Program as the new state academic testing program.

Assessment experts urge discretion when comparing performance on the new assessments with past California Standards Tests because the new assessments are measuring different content and skills. Deborah V.H. Sigman, Rocklin Unified School District deputy superintendent and a member of the executive committee for the new assessments, defended the new higher standards when she said, “We have an opportunity to change what assessment means inside our classrooms, an opportunity to make it really be about improving teaching and learning.”

It is important to note that these scores cannot be compared to scores that your child previously received on the STAR Program tests because this test is based on the new Common Core State Standards, involves different types of test questions, and will not be reported using the STAR Program reporting categories.
You can also click on the following links or go to the websites to explore STAR CST Sample Test Questions compared to the new CAASPP SBAC items:
● STAR CST Sample Test Questions or
CAASPP Sample Items

Test Construction & Reporting
With the Common Core Standards for English language arts and mathematics, learning activities are organized and sequenced from grade to grade to build understanding for students. Success with standards at each grade level ensures that students are ready for the next grade, ultimately leading to readiness for college and careers. Smarter Balanced assessments are one tool that schools can use to gauge student learning relative to the Common Core Standards.
Each question on the new assessments is focused on one or more claims related to a student’s understanding of English language arts or mathematics.
English Language Arts Claims
● Claim 1, Reading
      ○ Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.
● Claim 2, Writing
      ○ Students can produce effective and well-grounded writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
● Claim 3, Listening
       ○ Students can employ effective speaking and listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences.
● Claim 4, Research/Inquiry
        ○ Students can engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information.
Mathematics Claims
● Claim 1, Concepts and Procedures
        ○ Students can explain and apply mathematical concepts and interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with precision and fluency.

● Claim 2, Problem Solving & Modeling/Data Analysis
        ○ Students' using appropriate tools and strategies to solve real world and mathematical problems.

● Claim 3, Communicating Reasoning
        ○ Students can clearly and precisely construct viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critique the reasoning of others.

Performance Relative to the Claims
Reports for teachers and parents will contain information on student performance relative to each of the English language arts and mathematics claims. Student performance will be reported as:
—Below standard
—Near standard
—Above standard
Overall Score Reports
In addition, the reports will provide an overall score for student progress in English Language Arts and mathematics. This overall score will indicate the student’s level of understanding in each content area.
—Level 1, Student demonstrates minimal understanding
—Level 2, Student demonstrates partial understanding
—Level 3, Student demonstrates adequate understanding
—Level 4, Student demonstrates thorough understanding
Test officials encourage examination of these metrics in combination with other student performance information such as progress reports, local curriculum-based measures, and portfolios. Tony Alpert, an official from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, says that “...instructional decisions should not be exclusively based on end-of-year Smarter Balanced Consortium tests.”
CAASPP Information
For more information regarding CAASPP, please click on the link to visit the CAASPP System Website or go to