California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

On January 1, 2014, California Education Code Section 60640 established the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System of assessments. The CAASPP System includes the following required assessments which are administered annually in the spring:

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English–Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11 are based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and measure progress toward college and career readiness.
  • California Science Test (CAST)  measures students' achievement of the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the application of their knowledge and skills of the Science and Engineering practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts.  The CAST is administered to students in grades five, eight, and once in high school (i.e. grade ten, eleven, or twelve).  PAUSD high school students enrolled in grade 12 participate.  For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s California Science Test webpage.
  • California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) - Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAAs as determined by Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams. Any student identified for alternate testing takes the alternate versions of all assessments including Smarter Balanced and CAST assessments.  IEP teams “shall determine when a child with a significant cognitive disability shall participate in an alternate assessment aligned with the alternate academic achievement standards” (Title 1, Part A, Subpart 1, Sec. 1111(b)(2)(D)(ii)(I)—Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015).

While the district has a broad testing window (March through May), school sites determine their site-specific testing windows.  Principals will notify their communities of the testing dates as they are solidified.  In addition, parents should note that Education Code section 60615 states that parents/guardians may annually submit a written request to the principal of their student’s school to excuse their child from any or all parts of the CAASPP summative assessments for the school year. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s principal with any questions they may have about CAASPP assessments.

Questions about CAASPP? Need more information?
What do the CAASPP Assessments look like?

Parent Guides to Understanding CAASPP Assessments 

The Parent Guides to Understanding CAASPP Assessments are two-page flyers written in easy-to-understand language that answer key questions (what, why, who, how, and when) about California's assessment programs.

Smarter Balanced Sample Items Webpage

This site provides examples of test questions used on Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts / literacy and math. Teachers, parents, students, administrators, and policymakers can experience these test items just as students encounter them.

These samples are not intended to be used as practice tests, but educators can use them to better understand how Smarter Balanced measures college- and career-ready content.

Universal Tools

Universal Tools are available to ALL students during Smarter Balanced and CAST testing.  The Universal Tools Tutorial provides an overview of how those tools work in the testing platforms.

Practice and Training Tests 

This link allows the public to access both the Practice and Training Tests portal. The Practice Tests provide students with grade-specific testing experiences that are similar in structure and format to the Summative Assessments. The Training Tests provide students with the opportunity to quickly become familiar with the software and interface features. The Training Tests are organized by grade-bands (e.g., 3–5).

The following Quick Reference Guides provide step-by-step instructions for how to access the training and practice tests.

Smarter Balanced grades 3 – 8, 11:  Start a Practice Test (PDF)  Start a Training Test (PDF) 

California Science Test (CAST) grades 5, 8, high school:  CAST – Start a Training Test (PDF)

California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) grades 3 – 8, 11:  CAA – Start a Practice Test (PDF)   CAA – Start a Training Test (PDF)  

How do I Interpret My Child's CAASPP Score Report?

Additional Information for High Schools

How do I Access District CAASPP and Other Data?

The links on this page provide access to public data available for all public schools in the state of California.