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About CAASPP and ELPAC

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) system consists of the following online summative assessments:

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) consists of two assessments:

School Type Definitions

Suppression Rules

CAASPP Reporting Student Groups

ELPAC Reporting Student Groups

The CAASPP System

CAASPP—The primary purpose of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System is to assist teachers, administrators, students, and parents by promoting high-quality teaching and learning through the use of a variety of assessment approaches and item types. The CAASPP includes the Smarter Balanced assessment system for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, the California Science Test (CAST), the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA, mathematics, and science, and the optional California Spanish Assessment (CSA).

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and Mathematics

The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics are an annual measure of what students know and can do using the Common Core State Standards for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.

The purpose of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments is to assess student knowledge and skills for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, as well as how much students have improved since the previous year. These measures help identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills early so students get the support they need for success in higher grades and for college and career readiness.

All students in grades three through eight and grade eleven take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments unless a student’s active individualized education program (IEP) designates the California Alternate Assessments.

Visit the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced Assessment System web page for more information.

California Science Test

The California Science Test (CAST) measures what students know and can do using the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS), which focus on understanding the scientific concepts found in the Earth and Space Sciences, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences. These standards integrate Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts to help students understand how science works in the natural world.

The purposes of the CAST are to assess student knowledge and skills in science, to foster science education at every grade level, to measure the range and depth of the CA NGSS, and to prepare students for college and careers.

The CAST is for eligible students in grades five and eight and one time in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve). The California Department of Education recommends testing high school students when they are enrolled in their last science course. High schools have the option to test any or all students in grade ten or eleven as long as all students have been tested by the end of grade twelve.

Visit the California Department of Education’s California Science Test web page for more information.

California Alternate Assessments for ELA, Mathematics, and Science

Designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA, mathematics, and science are an annual measure of what students know and can do using alternate achievement standards. Known as the Core Content Connectors, these standards are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards for science.

The purpose of the CAAs is to assess student knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy, mathematics, and science while helping to identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills so students get the support they need.

Students are eligible to take the CAA only if it is indicated in their active individualized education program (IEP). The CAAs for ELA and mathematics are administered to all eligible students in grades three through eight and grade eleven. The CAA for science is administered to all eligible students in grades five, eight, and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve).

Visit the California Department of Education’s California Alternate Assessments for ELA and Math web page or the California Alternate Assessment for Science web page for more information.

California Spanish Assessment

The California Spanish Assessment (CSA) measures students’ skills in reading, writing mechanics, and listening using the Common Core State Standards en Español.

The purpose of the CSA is to measure a student’s competency in Spanish language arts in grades three through eight and high school in order to provide student-level data in Spanish competency and to provide high school students with a measure suitable to be used, in part, for the State Seal of Biliteracy. These measures help identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills for students working towards biliteracy.

Any students in grades three through eight and high school seeking a measure to recognize their Spanish-specific reading, writing mechanics, and listening skills, regardless of their current enrollment in Spanish instruction may take the CSA.

Visit the California Department of Education’s California Spanish Assessment web page for more information.

The ELPAC System

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) system is used to determine and monitor the progress of the English language proficiency for students whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards and assesses four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Initial ELPAC

The Initial ELPAC is administered to students in kindergarten through grade twelve whose primary language is a language other than English as indicated on their Home Language Survey. The purpose of the Initial ELPAC is to identify students as being either an English learner or fluent English proficient. It is administered only once during a student’s initial enrollment in a California public school. The Initial ELPAC is scored locally, and the results are considered the official score.

A domain exemption may be used if an English learner has a disability that precludes assessment of the student in one or more domains of the English language proficiency assessment such that there are no appropriate accommodations for the affected domain(s). This use of a domain exemption(s) must be identified in the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. For a student to be assigned an Overall score, the student will need to be assessed in all domains to receive a student score report.

Until the Alternate ELPAC is field tested, alternate assessments are decided locally and are allowed only for potential English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The use of alternate assessment(s) for each domain must be identified in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.

Visit the California Department of Education’s English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) web page or the ELPAC.org website for more information about the Initial ELPAC.

Summative ELPAC

The Summative ELPAC is administered only to students who have previously been identified as an English learner based upon the results of the Initial ELPAC. The Summative ELPAC measures how well English learners are progressing toward English language proficiency.

A domain exemption may be used if an English learner has a disability that precludes assessment of the student in one or more domains of the English language proficiency assessment such that there are no appropriate accommodations for the affected domain(s). This use of a domain exemption(s) must be identified in the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. For a student to be assigned an Overall score, the student will need to be assessed in at least one domain for both the Oral and Written Language composites of the ELPAC. Visit the California Department of Education’s Summative ELPAC Participation and Scoring (PDF) document for more information.

English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities as determined by the student’s IEP team or Section 504 plan will take the Alternate ELPAC beginning in 2021–22. Visit the California Department of Education’s English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) web page or the ELPAC.org website for more information about the Summative ELPAC.

School Type Definitions

The ‘All Schools’ school type includes all charters, both direct-funded and locally-funded, and all non-charters. Direct-funded charters are aggregated to themselves in this school type, meaning that a direct-funded charter school is aggregated to a district with the same name as the school.

The ‘Charter Schools’ school type includes only charter schools, both direct-funded and locally-funded. Direct-funded charters are aggregated to their authorizing district in this school type.

The ‘Non-charter Schools’ school type includes only non-charter schools.

Suppression Rules

Student Enrollment Counts

In order to protect student privacy, data is suppressed when a limited number of student results are available. The following information outlines the conditions in which student results will be suppressed. All suppressed values will be denoted with an asterisk (*).

Enrolled counts will always be displayed if the count is greater than 3. If not, it will be suppressed.

If the tested count is zero, zero will be displayed. If the tested count is 1, 2, or 3, the tested count will be suppressed. If the tested count is greater than 3, the tested count will be displayed.

If the tested with scores count is zero, zero will be displayed. If the tested with scores count is 1, 2, or 3, the tested with scores count will be suppressed. If the tested with scores count is greater than 3, the tested with scores count will be displayed.

Performance Level Tables

When the tested with scores count is zero, the Mean Scale Score and Area Performance Level results will be N/A.

When the tested with scores count is suppressed, the Mean Scale Score and Area Performance Levels results will be suppressed.

When the tested with scores count is greater than 3 but less than 11, the Mean Scale Score and Area Performance Level results will be suppressed.

When the tested with scores count is 11 or greater, the Mean Scale Score and Area Performance Levels results will be displayed.

CAASPP Reporting Student Groups

Reports are available for all CAASPP assessments at the state, county, school district, and school levels for "All Students" and disaggregated for student groups using the following criteria:

  • All Students
  • Disability Status*
    • Reported disabilities
    • No reported disabilities
  • Economic Status
    • Economically disadvantaged
    • Not economically disadvantaged
  • English-Language Fluency
    • IFEP and EO – Initial fluent English proficient and English only
    • IFEP – Initial fluent English proficient
    • RFEP – Reclassified fluent English proficient
    • ELs enrolled less than 12 months
    • ELs enrolled 12 months or more
    • EL – English learner
    • ADEL – Adult English learner
    • EO – English only
    • Ever–EL
    • TBD – To be determined
  • Race and Ethnicity
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Filipino
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Two or more races
  • Ethnicity for Economically Disadvantaged
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Filipino
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Two or more races
  • Ethnicity for Not Economically Disadvantaged
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Filipino
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Two or more races
  • Gender
    • Female
    • Male
  • Migrant
    • Migrant education
    • Not migrant education
  • Parent Education
    • Not a high school graduate
    • High school graduate
    • Some college (includes AA degree)
    • College graduate
    • Graduate school/Post graduate
    • Declined to state
  • Military Status
    • Armed forces family member
    • Not armed forces family member
  • Homeless Status
    • Homeless
    • Not homeless

* Not applicable to CAAs for ELA, mathematics, and science

ELPAC Reporting Student Groups

Reports are available for all ELPAC tests at the state, county, school district, and school levels for "All Students" and disaggregated for student groups using the following criteria:

  • All Students
  • Gender
    • Female
    • Male
  • Primary Language
    • Spanish
    • Vietnamese
    • Mandarin (Putonghua)
    • Arabic
    • Filipino (Pilipino or Tagalog)
    • Cantonese
    • Korean
    • Hmong
    • Punjabi
    • Russian
    • All remaining languages
  • Migrant
    • Migrant education
    • Not migrant education
  • Disability Status
    • No reported disabilities
    • Reported disabilities
    • Tested w/ alternate assessment
  • Economic Status
    • Economically disadvantaged
    • Not economically disadvantaged
  • Race and Ethnicity
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Filipino
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • White
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    • Two or more races
  • English Learners*
    • All English learners – (All ELs)
    • ELs enrolled less than 12 months
    • ELs enrolled 12 months or more
  • English Learners Time in Program*
    • EL – 1 year in program
    • EL – 2 years in program
    • EL – 3 years in program
    • EL – 4 years in program
    • EL – 5 years in program
    • EL – 6+ years in program
  • Military Status
    • Armed forces family member
    • Not armed forces family member
  • Homeless Status
    • Homeless
    • Not homeless

* Not applicable to Initial ELPAC

California Department of Education 1430 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814