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English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

Understanding Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Summary Reports

Smarter Balanced Noteworthy Information

  • 2019–20 results are not available due to the suspension of testing as a result of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • Aggregate overall achievement and area achievement results, beginning in 2020–21, will be reported for tested groups of 11 or more with enrolled counts displayed for groups of 4 or more.
  • Aggregate claim results for 2020–21 are reported for groups of 30 or more because the test given in that year was shorter than the test given in previous years. Individual performance in these areas is not reported on Student Score Reports for 2020–21.

Smarter Balanced Results Definitions

Number Enrolled—A count of students in the selected entity (i.e., state, county, district, school, or student group) who were eligible to take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, by subject (English language arts/literacy or mathematics) in grades 3–8 and grade 11.

*Note: The number enrolled shown in the 2014–15 results includes all students in the selected entity (i.e., state, county, district, school, or student group) who were eligible to take any CAASPP test for any subject.

Number Tested—A count of students in the selected entity (i.e., state, county, district, school, or student group) who were administered the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, by subject (English language arts/literacy or mathematics). This number excludes students not tested by parent/guardian request, students not tested due to a significant medical emergency, students who only logged into one part of the assessment, and students who were assigned to take the test, but did not test.

Number of Tests with Valid Scores—The number of valid scores includes students in the selected entity (i.e., state, county, district, school, or student group) who were enrolled during the active testing window and responded to enough questions on both the performance task and the computer adaptive portions of the test to generate a score.

Mean Scale Score—The sum of scale scores for students with valid scores in the selected entity (i.e., state, county, district, school, or student group) divided by the Number of Tests with Valid Scores. For more information, please visit the Scale Score Ranges page.

CAASPP Reporting Calculations

For CAASPP public reporting purposes, the exemption date for recently arrived English learners (ELs) is calculated as follows:

  • Any recently arrived EL whose first date of entry into a U.S. school, as shown in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), is after April 15 of the year prior to the assessment, did not need to take the ELA assessment and will not be included in any aggregate CAASPP reporting. However, ELs with an enrollment date that is after April 15 of the year prior to the assessment who chose to participate in the ELA test will be included only in the percent of students tested calculations.
  • Any recently arrived EL whose first date of entry into a U.S. school is after April 15 of the year prior to the assessment will not be included in any aggregate CAASPP scoring calculations.

Definitions of Language Fluency Groups

Fluent English proficient and English only (IFEP, RFEP, and EO)—An aggregation of students who have an English Language Acquisition Status of Initial Fluent English Proficient, Reclassified Fluent English Proficient or English Only.

Initial fluent English proficient (IFEP)—A student whose score on the Initial ELPAC determines fluent English proficiency and places the student in mainstream classes. This student does not require English Learner services.

Reclassified fluent English proficient (RFEP)—A student in kindergarten through grade twelve who, upon entering public school in California, is identified as an English learner (EL) and is subsequently reclassified in California as proficient in English.

English learner (EL)—A student in kindergarten through grade twelve whose primary language is a language other than English as indicated on their Home Language Survey and who, upon initial assessment in California, is determined to be eligible for support with English language development based on the results of their initial assessment of English language proficiency.

Adult English learner (ADEL)—A student aged 22 years or older enrolled in grades Kindergarten through 12 who has been identified by a local educational agency as an English learner (EL) through a local process (e.g., Home Language Survey, and/or another local assessment) because the student is not eligible to take the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC). Adult English learners are not considered English learners for purposes of federal Title III funding or state-level accountability, and are not aggregated to any other English learner groups.

English only (EO)—A student in kindergarten through grade twelve for whom English is reported as the primary language on their Home Language Survey.

Ever-EL—A student who has been designated an English learner (EL) at any point during their enrollment in a U.S. school.

For more information, please visit the Understanding English Learner Achievement in California (PDF) document.

Reporting Achievement Level Descriptors

English Language Arts/Literacy Achievement Level Descriptors
English Language Arts/Literacy Achievement Level Descriptors
Grade Standard Exceeded Standard Met Standard Nearly Met Standard Not Met
Grades 3–5 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in future coursework.
Grades 6–8 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school.
Grade 11 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after completing high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school.
Mathematics Achievement Level Descriptors
Mathematics Achievement Level Descriptors
Grade Standard Exceeded Standard Met Standard Nearly Met Standard Not Met
Grades 3–5 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework.
Grades 6–8 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school.
Grade 11 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school.
For more information on Achievement Level Descriptors, please visit the Reporting Achievement Level Descriptors web page.

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

Area (Claim) Descriptors

These categories were identified by using the distance a student's performance on the questions related to that claim is from the Level 3 "Standard Met" achievement level criterion. The claim achievement category indicates that the score on a claim is one of the following:

  • If the scale score of a claim is above the "Standard Met" achievement level on the total content-area test, the achievement category for the claim is "Above Standard".
  • If the scale score of a claim is at or near the "Standard Met" achievement level on the total content-area test, the achievement category for the claim is "Near Standard".
  • If the scale score of a claim is below the "Standard Met" achievement level on the total content-area test, the achievement category for the claim is "Below Standard".
English Language Arts/Literacy Claim Achievement Level Descriptors
English Language Arts/Literacy Claim Achievement Level Descriptors
Area Above Standard Near Standard Below Standard
ReadingDemonstrating understanding of literary and non-fictional texts The student demonstrates a thorough ability to read closely and analytically to understand a range of informational texts (e.g., biographies; articles; and other writing covering disciplines like science, social studies, and technical topics) and literary texts (e.g., stories, plays, poems, and science fiction) of high complexity. The student demonstrates some ability to read closely and analytically to understand a range of informational texts (e.g., biographies; articles; and other writing covering disciplines like science, social studies, and technical topics) and literary texts (e.g., stories, plays, poems, and science fiction) of moderate complexity. The student does not yet demonstrate an ability to read closely and analytically to understand a range informational texts (e.g., biographies; articles; and other writing covering disciplines like science, social studies, and technical topics) and literary texts (e.g., stories, plays, poems, and science fiction) of moderate complexity.
WritingProducing clear and purposeful writing The student demonstrates a thorough ability to produce well-organized, developed, and supported writing (e.g., narrative, informational, explanatory, and argumentative) for different purposes and audiences. The student demonstrates some ability to produce organized, developed, and supported writing (e.g. narrative, informational, explanatory, and argumentative) for different purposes and audiences. The student does not yet demonstrate an ability to produce organized, developed, and supported writing (e.g. narrative, informational, explanatory, and opinion) for different purposes and audiences.
ListeningDemonstrating effective communication skills The student demonstrates a thorough ability to use effective listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences. The student demonstrates some ability to use effective listening skills for a range of purposes and audiences. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to use effective listening skills.
Research/InquiryInvestigating, analyzing, and presenting information The student demonstrates a thorough ability to engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information. The student demonstrates some ability to engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to engage in research and inquiry to investigate topics, and to analyze, integrate, and present information.
Mathematics Claim Achievement Level Descriptors
Mathematics Claim Achievement Level Descriptors
Area Above Standard Near Standard Below Standard
Concepts and ProceduresApplying mathematical concepts and procedures The student demonstrates a thorough ability to consistently explain and apply mathematical concepts and the ability to interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with ease and accuracy. The student demonstrates some ability to explain and apply mathematical concepts and the ability to interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with ease and accuracy. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to explain and apply mathematical concepts or the ability to interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with ease and accuracy.
Problem Solving/Modeling and Data AnalysisUsing appropriate tools and strategies to solve real world and mathematical problems The student demonstrates a thorough ability to consistently solve a variety of well-posed mathematics problems by applying his or her knowledge of problem-solving skills and strategies. The student also demonstrates a strong ability to analyze real-world problems, and can build and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems. The student demonstrates some ability to solve well-posed mathematics problems by applying his or her knowledge of problem-solving skills and strategies. The student also demonstrates some ability to analyze real-world problems, and can build and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to solve a variety of mathematics problems by applying his or her knowledge of problem-solving skills and strategies. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to analyze real-world problems, or build and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems.
Communicating ReasoningDemonstrating ability to support mathematical conclusions The student demonstrates a thorough ability to clearly and precisely put together valid arguments to support his or her own mathematical thinking or to critique the reasoning of others. The student demonstrates some ability to clearly and precisely put together valid arguments to support his or her own mathematical thinking or to critique the reasoning of others. The student does not yet demonstrate the ability to put together valid arguments to support his or her own mathematical thinking or to critique the reasoning of others.
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