California Testing in 2015–16
The assessments that comprise the 2015–16 CAASPP administration include computer-based and paper-pencil assessments. The computer-based assessments are the Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics tests. The paper-pencil assessments include the science assessments—the California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science, the California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science, and California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science—and the optional Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts (RLA).
In California, most students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will participate in the 2015–16 Smarter Balanced tests, which include both ELA and mathematics content areas. These tests are administered online. A student may be exempted from taking the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in three situations:
- If the student is taking the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs);
- If the student has been designated as an English learner and enrolled in school in the United States for less the 12 months may be exempted from the ELA portion of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment; or
- If the parent has expressed in writing that his or her student should be excluded from taking the summative assessments.
The California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts and mathematics tests are individually administered to students in grades three through eight and grade eleven who have an individualized education program (IEP) that indicates the use of an alternate assessment on statewide assessments and who has a significant cognitive disability. All eligible students are required to participate in these new, online assessments in spring 2015–16.
The California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science are to be administered to students in grades five, eight, and ten.
The California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science is to be administered to students in grades five, eight, and ten who have an IEP. Assignment of the CMA for Science is made in the student’s IEP only; a student’s Section 504 plan is not to be used to assign a student to take the CMA for Science (although accommodations may be named in the Section 504 plan or in the IEP).
The California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science is an individually administered performance assessment for students who are also taking the CAAs for ELA and mathematics.
The optional assessments of the multiple-choice Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts (RLA) allow Spanish-speaking English learners in grades two through eleven to demonstrate their knowledge of the California content standards by taking an RLA assessment in their primary language.