State Assessment Resources


Assessment Spotlight, Issue 85 – March 20, 2020

  • Update on COVID-19 and the Suspension of Statewide Testing
  • High School Equivalency Summer Convenings in August
  • All About Accessibility

Statewide Testing Suspended for 2019–2020 Academic Year

Statewide assessment testing has been officially suspended. On March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to waive statewide testing requirements for the 2019–2020 academic year.

The California Department of Education (CDE) is doing the following:

  1. Suspending all California Assessment for Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) summative testing, which includes
    • Smarter Balanced for English Language/Literacy Arts (ELA) and mathematics
    • California Science Test
    • California Alternate Assessments for ELA, mathematics, and science
    • California Spanish Assessment
  2. Suspending Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) testing.
    • The Initial ELPAC assessment will be postponed while schools are closed. As a result, schools are not expected to administer the Initial ELPAC during their closure. Once students return to schools, the CDE’s expectation will be that students identified as requiring the Initial ELPAC will be tested. Senate Bill 117 (Chapter 3; March 17, 2020) extended the timeline to conduct the Initial ELPAC by 45 days (75 days total). The expectation is that local educational agencies (LEAs) will continue to assess new students whose primary language is not English when they return this year or next school year.
  3. Placing the Physical Fitness Test on hold until students return to school.
  4. Cancelling the California High School Proficiency Examination test administration for the weekend of March 21.
    • All March test takers were automatically re-registered for the June administration and were also provided information on how to request a refund from the vendor. Additional locations and space within current locations will be increased to accommodate the March cancellations.
  5. Placing high school equivalency testing on hold until testing centers are reopened.

The CDE and the California State Board of Education have officially submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Education to waive certain assessment and accountability requirements. Preliminary approval was received on March 26, 2020, with final approval expected in the coming weeks.

Parent Resource for CAASPP

California Department of Education - NGSS Science Standards

Assessment Design -

Short Performance Assessments -

Middle School Performance Expectations

High School Performance Expectations

California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online assessment based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) . All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight and in high school will administer the CAST operational test. The CAST operational test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system and will be administered online only.

Who takes the CAST operational test? The CAST is administered in grades five and eight and once to each student while that student is in high school. All students must take the CAST by the end of grade twelve, but have the option of testing in grade ten or grade eleven. Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAST. Students assigned to take an alternate assessment should take the California Alternate Assessment for Science.

Desmos Calculators

Students taking the CAST will have access to the Desmos calculator during the entire test. These calculators will be automatically assigned to students based on their grade level. Students can resize and reposition the calculator on the screen as needed. The Desmos calculator is free and available all year via the Desmos website, and is accessible for students using Job Access with Speech (JAWS®). Students can use this calculator during the school year to build familiarity with this resource.