State Testing Information for Parents

CAASPP System Assessments 2016-17

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Each spring, most students in California participate in the statewide testing program, which is the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. The  tests in the CAASPP System provide information to teachers, parents/guardians, and students about students’ progress and readiness for college and career. In grades three through eight and grade eleven, most students take the Smarter Balanced online tests for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. However, students who have a significant cognitive disability (as designated in their individualized education program) are eligible to take the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs). In grades five, eight, and ten, students are also tested in science. 

This year, your child will take the following assessments for ELA and mathematics:
  • Smarter Balanced tests for ELA and mathematics or
  • CAAs for ELA and mathematics

Students in grades five, eight, and ten will also take one of the following assessments for science :
  • California Science Test (CAST) 
  • CAA for Science test

Smarter Balanced Assessments

The Smarter Balanced online tests are based on the new California Content Standards, also known as the Common Core State Standards, for mathematics and ELA. While last year’s test results provided parents with baseline information on how their children were performing in ELA and mathematics, in 2016 parents will be able to compare results across two years (2014–15 and 2015–16) and determine their children’s progress in meeting California’s rigorous academic standards. (Exception: Only one year of data will be reported for students in grades 3 and 11.) 

The California Department of Education (CDE) has developed several resources to help students and parents understand the grade expectations of the Smarter Balanced Summative 

The Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Assessments (in English and Spanish) 
are posted on the CDE’s CAASPP Web page, under the Students and Parents Tab. Separate guides have 
been developed for each of the three grade spans tested: grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and grade 11. Each guide explains the grade-level expectations for students in ELA and mathematics and provides sample test items.

The practice and training tests, which can be found on the CDE’s Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page can help parents and students experience the type of test items that students will encounter on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Answers to the practice test and scoring rubrics for the performance tests are posted on the Test Administrator (TA) Resources for the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page.

More about CAASPP testing:
As a parent or guardian you may annually submit to the school a written request to exempt your child from statewide assessments pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615.  

Assessments for Science

For information about the content, types of questions, and other targeted resources for the science tests, please see the CDE’s CAASPP Science Assessment Web page

If you would like more information about the CAASPP System, please visit the Parent/Student tab of the CDE’s CAASPP Web page. 

If you would like more information or resources about alternate assessments, please visit the CDE’s CAASPP Alternate Assessments Web page.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact the school testing coordinator at 707-464-0310 and/or sball@delnorte.k12.