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What is CAASPP?

CAASPP stands for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, which replaces the STAR program. CAASPP includes the following state assessments for high school students:


Grades 10, 11, or 12 (assigned by the state to each school)  Calfornia Standards Test (CAST) Field Test

Grade 11 Smarter Balanced Assessment or California Alternate Assessment (Cal-Alt)

California Alternate Assessment

This assessment (sometimes called CAA or Cal-Alt) is designed for 11th grade students who are deemed eligible by their IEP team, and is administered in a one-to-one setting by a trained, certificated teacher. It is a computer-based test aligned to the Core Content Connectors (CCCs), alternate achievement standards which are linked to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English-Language Arts and mathematics. It replaces the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) which was part of the STAR testing program.


Results for the Cal-Alt in English-Language Arts and Mathematics will be published  later this summer. Student score reports will be sent home in late August/early September. The Cal-Alt in Science was a pilot test in Spring 2017 and no results are available.


For more information, visit the CDE website.

California Assessment for Student Performance and Progress

CAASPP Results

Results from last spring's CAASPP testing are still being processed by the state. Individual student score reports for 11th graders who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English-Language Arts and Mathematics will be mailed the week of August 7-11. Score reports for 11th graders who took the California Alternate Assessment will be mailed once they are sent from the state in late August/early September. Students who participated in the California Science Test field test will not receive individual score reports as no results are available from the state. Overall school and district-level results for the Spring 2017 testing season will be available on the CDE DataQuest site in September.


The California Department of Education has created a short video to help parents understand their student's score report:

Entendiendo el Reporte de Calificaciones Individual de CAASPP del Estudiante: Este vídeo le ayudará a usted y a su hijo a aprender sobre el nuevo “Reporte de Calificaciones del Estudiante” de California y de los resultados de los exámenes estandarizados de fin de año.

CAASPP Student Score Report FUHSD letter:

  • Smarter Balanced (gr. 11):       English       Español         Chinese
  • California Alternate Assessment (gr. 11)


CAASPP Student Score Report Guides from CDE:

CAASPP Test Score Guide: an online resource for parents to help you understand your student's score report and what it means for your student's progress

Understanding the Results

Students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment will receive an overall scaled score, which is the total score calculated from all sections of the assessment. There are four achievement levels, shown below. You will notice that both the scaled scores and achievement levels look different from the results of the STAR tests that were administered in the past. This difference is deliberate--these are new standards and new assessments, and they are too fundamentally different to be compared to previous test results. These first year results serve as a baseline for schools to measure progress in the years to come.


Scaled Score Grade-level Ranges (CDE)

The Smarter Balanced assessments are designed around claims in each content area. These claims are broad, evidence-based statements about what students should know and be able to do as demonstrated by their performance on the assessment. Students receive information about their claim-level performance on the student score report.


Claim Achievement Levels rubrics (CDE)

CAASPP Results and College Readiness

11th graders taking the Smarter Balanced assessments receive information about their readiness for college-level work. This information is based on results from the Smarter Balanced assessments and indicates college readiness as one of three status categories:

  • Ready for College: overall achievement level 4, Standard Exceeded
  • Conditionally Ready for College: overall achievement level 3, Standard Met
  • Not Ready for College: overall achievement level 2, Standard Nearly Met or level 1, or Standard Not Met

List of colleges/universities adopting Smarter Balanced results for placement

CSU Early Assessment Program information

List of CA Community Colleges accepting EAP results for placement

Introducing Smarter Balanced

California's new assessment system (graphic) includes the Smarter Balanced Assessments, and is based on Common Core State Standards. 

California Department of Education (CDE) video on assessment system

Smarter Balanced Parent Guide--Grade 11

The tests are an academic check-up, designed to give teachers feedback they need to improve instruction and the tools to improve teaching and learning. Like class assignments and report cards, these assessments are one gauge of student progress, providing information to schools, teachers, and parents about how students performed against California’s challenging new goals for learning.

Academic check-up video

Check It Out

Check out the Smarter Balanced practice test to see sample questions and item types. Parents and students are welcome to give it a try, and no login information is required.

Smarter Balanced Practice Test