Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress—California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA/Mathematics/Science


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What are the eligibility requirements for the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)?
Please refer to the California Department of Education California Alternate Assessments Web page external icon for the definition of “eligible students” as it applies to students who take the CAAs. To be able to assign a student in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) to take the CAAs, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) education program code (field 3.13) must be set to “special education” (value 144) and the primary disability category (field 3.21) must not be blank.
Which grade levels participate in the CAAs?
Eligible students in grades three through eight and grade eleven participate in the CAAs for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. All students in grades five and eight who are eligible to take the CAAs for ELA and mathematics also will take the pilot CAA for Science. Students in grade ten, eleven, or twelve, will, according to assignments for each school, take the CAA for Science; as will high school students in ungraded programs whose calculated grade corresponds with the assigned grade.
In online training this year, will CAA test examiners be required to pass quizzes with a certain percentage and/or print a certificate of completion?
Test examiners are required to view the test administration tutorial and/or attend a locally provided training. Upon completion of the tutorial or locally provided training, text examiners must present their resulting completion certificate to their California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test site coordinator or local educational agency CAASPP coordinator.
Can students take the CAA in mathematics only or ELA only, or must they take the CAAs in both subjects?
If a student is eligible for the CAAs, he or she must take both the ELA and mathematics portions. Additionally, if a student takes the CAA for ELA and mathematics in grade five or eight, then he or she must also take the CAA for Science. If a student takes the CAAs for ELA and mathematics in grade eleven, and he or she is enrolled at a high school that has been assigned to take the CAA for Science in grade eleven, then he or she must take CAA for Science. However, if eligible students in grade ten or twelve at his or her high school are assigned to take the CAA for Science, then he or she will not need to take CAA for Science.
Does a test examiner or the computer read the CAA for ELA and mathematics questions to the student, or must the student read the questions?
The test examiner reads the CAA for ELA and mathematics questions to the student. The script contains the exact wording that must be read aloud to the student, except when general adaptations are given. Pictures or other visual material within the test may be described as needed for students with visual impairments using the alternative text provided in the Directions for Administration (DFA) for the California Alternate Assessments, available in TOMS (for operational DFAs) or on the CAA Web page on the CAASPP Portal (for practice and training test DFAs). Students should be encouraged to answer all questions in each content area test.
What happens if a student is logged off after 30 minutes of inactivity while taking the CAAs for ELA and/or mathematics? Will the student be able to continue the test where he or she left off or change answers?
The CAAs for ELA and mathematics are untimed and can be administered over as many sessions and days as needed. You may pause and resume the test as many times as necessary to elicit the student’s best performance. The pause-and-resume feature can be used throughout the day, over several days, and at any time during the test administration window. Students will automatically be logged off the system after 30 minutes of inactivity. Logging back on to the test will return the student to the last unanswered question. The student will be able to return to previous questions in the stage of the test where the student last left off to change answers.
Does a test examiner administer the CAA for Science online?
The CAA for Science is an embedded performance task that will be available to test examiners in PDF form. The test examiner reads embedded performance tasks to students, uses a rubric to determine the student’s score for that task, and then enters a score online. While the student survey will be administered through the test delivery system, the test itself is available to the test examiner via PDF.