Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the California Spanish Assessment (CSA)

Questions

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General

Which grade levels participate in CSA?
  • Students in grades three through eight and high school (grades nine through twelve) participate in the CSA.
  • There is a grade-level test in each of grades three through eight and one test in high school.
Who can/should take the CSA?
  • Students seeking a measure that recognizes their Spanish-specific reading, writing mechanics, and listening skills should take the CSA.
  • Students receiving instruction in Spanish, including students with any level of Spanish language skill.
Why should my local educational agency (LEA) administer the CSA?
The following are benefits of the CSA administration:
  • Provides a measurement of Spanish reading and language arts competency in addition to English language arts/literacy results
  • Informs instructional practices
  • Allows LEAs to test English learners (ELs) and non-ELs at no cost
  • Values bilingualism and biliteracy
  • Helps develop literacy at a deeper level
To which standards are the CSA aligned?
The CSA is aligned with the California Common Core State Standards en Español external icon, which are a translation of the California Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy external icon and include linguistic augmentations specific to the Spanish language.
Is the CSA a computer adaptive test?
No; the CSA is a computer-based, nonadaptive, linear assessment.
Is there a paper-pencil version of the CSA?
No; the CSA is administered entirely online.
How will the CSA be delivered?
The CSA is delivered through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system online. There is no paper-pencil version of the CSA.
In which language is the CSA delivered?
The CSA is delivered entirely in Spanish. However, the three demographic questions at the beginning are delivered in both Spanish and English.
What does the CSA assess?
The CSA assesses reading, writing mechanics, and listening in Spanish.
Is the CSA mandatory?
No; the CSA is an optional test. LEAs can administer the test to any number of students within their LEAs, as appropriate (i.e., you can test one student, one class, one school, etc).
What is the purpose of administering the CSA?
CSA administration serves the following purposes:
  • To students seeking a measure of their reading, writing mechanics, and listening skills in Spanish
  • To serve, in part, as an optional measure for high school students to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy
  • To provide LEAs with a means to evaluate their Spanish language programs
If my LEA chooses to administer the CSA, will every school have to participate?
No; any subset of schools within an LEA or students within a school can be administered the CSA. The CSA is completely voluntary.
Will the CSA be accessible to all students?
Yes; the CSA is being developed so it is accessible to all students. Most of the accessibility resources that students receive in the Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy test will be available for students in the CSA. Please refer to Matrix One: CAASPP System Accessibility Resources external icon, a California Department of Education web page, with information about the embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations allowed as part of CAASPP.
How does the CSA compare to the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS)?
The CSA is similar to the STS in the following ways:
  • The CSA is a Spanish reading and language arts assessment.
  • The CSA is an optional assessment, as was the STS in its last two years.
  • The CSA will produce score reports for all students who participate.
The CSA differs from the STS in the following ways:
  • The CSA is being developed as a computer-based assessment.
  • The CSA is composed of multiple item types; the STS contained multiple-choice questions only.
  • The CSA is cost-free for LEAs.
  • The CSA has a broader test-taking population.
  • The CSA has accessibility resources that were not available in the STS.
Can the STS still be used?
No, the CSA replaces the STS as the statewide standardized assessment in Spanish.

Test Administration

When does the first operational administration of the CSA take place?
The first operational test administration window for the CSA opens April 1, 2019, and closes July 15, 2019. LEAs can test students at any time within this fixed testing window.
When does the second operational administration of the CSA take place?
The second operational test administration window for the CSA opens January 6, 2020, and closes July 20, 2020. LEAs will administer the CSA within their assigned CAASPP testing window only, similar to the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics assessments.
Will scores be reported on the operational CSA? If so, when?
Yes; the operational CSA will produce score reports for all students who take the CSA. Scores are expected to be released in the late fall of 2019. This is also true for the second year of the operational CSA administration.
How can my LEA participate in the operational CSA?
As with other CAASPP assessments, use the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) to manage the administration of the CSA. LEA CAASPP coordinators, in cooperation with test site coordinators, must assign the CSA to students in their selected LEA who are expected to take the CSA.
How do I assign students to take the CSA?
The LEA CAASPP coordinator can assign students one at a time or upload a file in TOMS to assign the CSA to a group of students. Refer to chapters 4 and 8 of the TOMS Pre-Administration Guide for CAASPP Testing for more information.
When will training materials be available for the operational CSA?
  • Training test scoring guides for grades three through five, six through eight, and one for high school (grades nine through twelve) are available on the California Spanish Assessment web page.
  • Practice test scoring guides for grades three through eight and one for high school (grades nine through twelve), are available on the California Spanish Assessment web page.
  • Training videos and manuals are available on the CAASPP Portal website.
How will the CSA be administered?
LEAs will administer the CSA through the CAASPP test delivery system online. Students will take the test using the CAASPP secure browser.
How long will it take to administer the CSA?
The administration of the CSA takes approximately two hours. Note that the CSA is an untimed test, but most students complete it within two hours.
Must the CSA be completed in one session?
No; the CSA is divided into two sections so LEAs may administer it over multiple test sessions within the testing window.
What are the demographic survey questions?
At the beginning of the CSA, there are three student-specific demographic questions. The test administrator should guide students through this survey, as accuracy is paramount. The questions are presented in both Spanish and English. Following are the three survey questions:
  • Did you receive instruction in Spanish in the 2018–19 school year? ¿Recibiste educación en español en el año escolar 2018–19?
    • Yes (Sí)
    • No (No)
  • Which program were you enrolled in? ¿En qué tipo de programa escolar estuviste matriculado/inscrito?
    • One-Way Immersion (Inmersión únicamente para hablantes de español)
    • Dual-Language Immersion (Inmersión para hablantes de español y de inglés)
    • Developmental Bilingual (Programas de desarrollo del idioma)
    • Heritage Language or Indigenous Language (Programas para hispanohablantes [hablantes de español])
    • Spanish as a foreign language (i.e., Spanish I, Spanish II, etc.) (Español como lengua extranjera [es decir, Español I, Español II, etc.])
    • None of the above (Ninguno de los anteriores)
  • What percentage of your school day instruction was provided in Spanish? ¿Qué porcentaje de tu educación diaria recibiste en español?
    • 0–25%
    • 26–50%
    • 51–75%
    • 76–100%
What are the technology requirements for the CSA?
The technology requirements for the CSA are aligned with the requirements necessary for all CAASPP assessments, which can be found in the Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for CAASPP Online Testing.
Where can I get more information about the CSA?
For more information about the CSA, please visit the California Spanish Assessment web page.