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 participate in the CSA.
  • There will be a grade level test in each grade for grades three through eight and one test for high school students (grades nine through twelve).
Who can/should take the CSA?
  • Students receiving instruction in Spanish in California can/should take the CSA.
  • Students who have received instruction in Spanish can/should take the CSA.
  • Students seeking a measure that recognizes their Spanish-specific reading, writing mechanics, and listening skills can/should take the CSA.
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 with linguistic augmentations specific to the Spanish language.
Is the CSA a computer adaptive test?
No; the CSA is a computer-based, nonadaptive, linear assessment.
Will there be a paper-pencil version of the CSA?
No; the CSA is administered entirely online.
How will the CSA be delivered?
The CSA will be delivered through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system online. There is no paper-pencil version of the CSA.
What language will the CSA be delivered in?
The CSA will be delivered completely in Spanish.
What are the domains assessed in the CSA?
Reading, Writing mechanics, and Listening are the three domains assessed on the CSA.
Is the CSA mandatory?
No; the CSA is an optional test.
Why should I administer the CSA?
The CSA should be administered
  • if a student is seeking a measure that recognizes his or her Spanish-specific reading, writing, and listening skills;
  • to serve, in part, as an optional measure for high school students to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy;
  • as a measure for local educational agencies (LEAs) to evaluate their Spanish language programs.
Will the CSA be accessible to all students?
Yes; the CSA is being developed so that it is accessible to all students. Most of the accessibility supports that students receive on the Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy test will be available for students on the CSA.
How does the CSA compare to the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS)?
  • Like the STS, the CSA is a Spanish reading/language arts assessment.
  • The CSA is being developed as a computer-based test.
  • Unlike the STS, the CSA is composed of multiple item types; the STS includes multiple-choice questions only.
  • The CSA has a broader test-taking population.
  • The CSA is an optional assessment, similar to what the STS has been for the past two years.
  • The CSA has accessibility resources that were not available on the STS.
  • The CSA will replace the STS once it is operational.
When will the first operational administration of the CSA take place?
The first operational administration of the CSA will take place in spring 2019.

CSA Field Test

When is the CSA field test?
The CSA field test will have a fixed testing window from September 17 through October 12, 2018.
What are the purposes of the field test?
The purposes of the field test are to evaluate the CSA reading, writing mechanics, and listening items and create a pool of high-quality, statistically viable items to be used for the operational administration. Feedback from the field test will also be used to update and inform item writing guidelines and future item development.
How can my LEA participate in the CSA field test?
If your LEA would like to participate in the CSA field test, please fill out the Test Participation Survey. If you have any questions, contact CSA program administrator, Marques Barron, at mbarron@ets.org. All LEAs are invited and encouraged to participate in the CSA field test.
If my LEA chooses to participate in the field test, will every school have to participate?
No; any subset of schools within an LEA or students within a school can participate in the CSA field test. The field test is completely voluntary.
Will scores be reported on the CSA field test?
No; the CSA field test will not produce scores or reports for LEAs to view.
How will the data from the field test be used?
Field-test data will be used to inform the development of the operational assessment.
When will training materials be available for the CSA field test?
  • Training tests (at the following grade bands: grades three through five, grades six through eight, and high school) will be available on the CSA Web page as early as spring 2018.
  • Training videos and manuals will be available August of 2018.
How will the CSA field test be administered?
LEAs will administer the CSA field test through the CAASPP test delivery system online and students will take the test on testing devices through the CAASPP secure browser.
Why is the CSA field test assessed off-grade? What is off-grade testing?

The CSA is a summative assessment. Because the CSA field test will be administered in the fall of 2018, students will be assessed based on the knowledge they gained during the prior school year (i.e., 2017–18).

Off-grade testing, as it pertains to the CSA field test, is the administration of a grade-level test to a student based on the grade the student was in the previous school year.

Do I need the secure browser for the CSA field test?
Yes; the same secure browser used for the CAASPP online assessments is required for the CSA. Instructions for downloading the secure browser can be found in the Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for CAASPP Online Testing. Secure browsers can be downloaded directly from the Secure Browsers external icon Web page.
How long will it take to administer the CSA field test?
The administration of the CSA field test is estimated to take approximately three to four hours. Note that the CSA is an untimed test, but almost all students should complete it within three to four hours.
Should the field test be completed in one session?
No; LEAs may administer the field test over multiple test sessions within the fixed testing window.
What are the technology requirements for the CSA?
The technology requirements for the CSA are aligned to 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 CSA Web page.