California Spanish Assessment
Go to: Videos || Key Features of the CSA || Testing Materials || Updated Training Tests || Practice Test Scoring Guides || Test Administrator Tutorial for General Assessments || Accessibility Resources || Estimated Testing Times || Reporting || Test Security || Get Involved
California's student population is greatly diverse, and among the largest of those groups are Spanish-speaking students, which includes native speakers and non-native Spanish language speakers. To better serve this group of students, California has developed a new optional online test called the California Spanish Assessment (CSA). The CSA gives all students in grades three through eight and high school the opportunity to demonstrate their reading, writing mechanics, and listening skills in Spanish. The test is aligned with the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) en Español and was developed with the help of California Spanish language educators and assessment experts. The CSA not only demonstrates a student's literacy in Spanish, it is also a valuable tool that local educational agencies (LEAs) can use to evaluate their local Spanish reading language arts instruction.
The California Spanish Assessment (CSA), presented in Spanish, is available to serve the more than 1.2 million students who speak Spanish as their primary language, as well as those who are learning Spanish as an additional language. Every device used for testing must have the secure browser installed. Stable, high-speed internet is required.
The purposes of the CSA are to
- measure a student's competency in Spanish reading/language arts and provide student-level data in Spanish competency;
- evaluate the implementation of Spanish reading/language arts programs at the local level; and
- provide a high school measure suitable to be used, in part, for the State Seal of Biliteracy . Currently, the CSA does not meet the requirements identified in California Education Code, Section 51460(a) of the State Seal of Biliteracy.
The CSA is expanding to include the speaking domain and one full-write item for the writing domain at each grade level and the high school grade band. Prior to the expanded test becoming operational in 2024–25, a field test of the new items must occur in spring 2024 to evaluate their performance prior to using them on an operational form where they will contribute to a student's score. The accommodated and braille forms will not contain these new item types until the new CSA domain content becomes operational.
Note that the CSA 2023–24 SSRs will not incorporate the speaking and full-write item results into the overall score reporting range, as new test items are being field-tested. The SSRs will incorporate the results of the speaking and full-write items when the new CSA domain content becomes operational in 2024–25.
For the 2023–24 field test only, ETS will score all student speaking and writing constructed responses. Once the test is operational in 2025, ETS will continue scoring the full-write items, and test administrators will listen to each recorded audio response for speaking and score each one in the Teacher Hand Scoring System.
Who Takes the CSA?
The targeted test-taking population of the CSA consists of students in grades three through eight and high school who are receiving instruction in Spanish in California and seeking a measure that recognizes their Spanish-specific reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
Visit the California Department of Education (CDE) California Spanish Assessment web page for additional information.
The following videos provide an opportunity to learn about the CSA and its benefits.
- Bilingualism and the CSA—English (Video; 06:16) (Posted 07/20/23)
- Bilingüismo y la prueba CSA, por sus siglas en inglés—Spanish (Video; 08:49) (Posted 08/15/23)
- What's New for the CSA? (Video; 09:38) (Posted 09/19/23)
Key Features of the CSA
The CSA is the primary language assessment in Spanish for California students. What follows are some of its key features:
- Aligns with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts en Español
- Includes technology-enhanced items
- Assesses Spanish reading, writing, listening, and speaking
- Includes speaking audio response items
- Includes one full-write item at grades three through eight and high school
- Is accessible to students with disabilities
- CAASPP remote testing information
- Preparing for Administration document—(Coming Soon)
- CSA Administering an Online Test Session (Posted 01/22/24)
- CSA High-Level Test Design
- CSA High-Level Test Design Addendum (Posted 12/14/22)
- CSA Blueprint (Posted 04/04/23)
For use through the 2023–24 administration
- CSA Revised Blueprints (Posted 12/29/22)
For use beginning with the 2024–25 administration
- CSA Accessibility Supports for Operational Testing (Updated 09/14/18)
- Guidance for Analyzing CSA Results (Posted June 2021)
- CSA Fact Sheet (Posted 01/16/20)
- Parent Guide to Understanding the CSA (Posted 01/16/20)
- CSA Training Test Flyer (Posted 07/25/23)
- CSA Speaking and Writing Rubrics—(Coming Soon)
- Starting Smarter — A website for parents and guardians with information on the CSA and how to understand the SSRs
- Parent Guide (Posted November 2019)
Testing Notification Templates
Parent/Guardian notification templates are available on the Parent/Guardian Notification web page to notify parents and guardians of the year's statewide assessments.
Updated Training Tests
The CSA training tests have been updated to include a speaking audio item and a full-write item. To prepare for the 2023–24 CSA administration, educators can use the CSA training test so students can
- practice the full-write and speaking items;
- practice recording, listening to, and rerecording their responses;
- practice using the writing tools (e.g., to insert a character with an accent mark, to utilize the new spellcheck feature);
- interact with technology-enhanced items; and
- familiarize themselves with the embedded accessibility resources.
Practice Test Scoring Guides
The CSA practice and training tests include all accessibility resources found in the operational assessments. Refer to the "California Spanish Assessment" section of the Online Practice Test Scoring Guides, Preparing for Administration (PFAs), and Directions for Administration (DFAs) web page for additional information.
Test Administrator Tutorial for General Assessments
The Test Administrator Tutorial is designed to prepare test administrators to administer the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics, the California Science Test, and the CSA. This tutorial is optional and may be used in addition to the local educational agency's (LEA's) local training.
The tutorial is available on the CAASPP Test Administrator Tutorial web page on the CAASPP website, so no logon information is required. This public offering does not allow for tracking of course completion. LEA CAASPP coordinators can use the Test Administrator Tutorial course on the Moodle Training Site (Moodle) if they want to track staff completion of the course. Moodle will provide participants with an online Certificate of Completion after a participant answers the Checks for Understanding questions correctly.
The following resources are available for LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators:
- CAASPP Test Administrator Tutorial Moodle Template Letter (Posted 01/11/23)
- Moodle Access At-A-Glance (Posted 01/18/22)
Once it has been determined that a student should receive an embedded or non-embedded designated support or accommodation, an LEA CAASPP coordinator or CAASPP test site coordinator should assign the student's accessibility resource(s) in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) at least 48 hours prior to testing. More information about accessibility resources can be found on the CAASPP Accessibility Resources web page.
Estimated Testing Times for the CSA
Administration of the CSA is estimated to take approximately four to four-and-one-half hours. The CSA can be administered in several sessions over multiple days. Note that the CSA is an untimed test, and students should be given as much time as they need to complete this assessment.
Once a student completes the CSA, the student's score will be available in the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) . Student Score Reports (SSRs) will be produced and available for download in TOMS and made available to parents and guardians through parent or student portals.
Each student receives an SSR in English and Spanish. To view a sample SSR, visit the CAASPP Sample Student Score Reports (SSRs) web page. If the student needs an SSR in Spanish only, the LEA should change the language of the SSR in TOMS prior to student testing.
Reminder: The CSA 2023–24 SSRs will not incorporate the speaking and full-write item results into the overall score reporting range, as new test items are being field-tested. The SSRs will incorporate the results of the speaking and full-write items when the new CSA domain content becomes operational in 2024–25.
LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators have the ability to submit Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System cases in TOMS as a means of reporting testing incidents. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide and the Test Security web page for more information.
ETS is recruiting bilingual, biliterate California educators with experience in teaching Spanish at varying grade levels to participate in the continuing development of the CSA.
To apply, navigate to the Get Involved web page. All qualified applicants will be contacted as specific opportunities become available.
Last Reviewed: August 22, 2023