Dear Parents/Guardians:

Last spring your child, along with other students throughout the State in grades 3-8 and 11, participated in the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.  This letter will explain your child’s performance and provide additional resources for you to understand his/her scores.

These tests are based on alternate achievement standards, which make them more accessible for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. These new tests are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.  

Note: If your student was in grade 5 & 8 last spring, he/she also took a science test, and results on California's science assessment can be found on the bottom of his/her report.

Your child’s results on the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs): The new California Alternate Assessments are based on alternate achievement standards and give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning by taking a test commensurate with their abilities. Working with a teacher, your child was encouraged to complete items as independently as possible. Your child had an opportunity to answer questions representing different levels of complexity, which helps all students demonstrate what they know and can do.

These results are one measure of your child’s academic performance and provide limited information. Like any important measure of your child’s performance, they should be viewed with other available information—such as progress on individualized education programs (IEPs) goals, assignments, and teacher conferences—and they can be used to help inform a conversation with your child’s teachers about how to help him/her progress in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics.

caaspp2  

Here is what you’ll find on the score report:

Overall score for ELA and mathematics: The left side of the score report provides your child’s overall score and performance level by subject.

Graph of this year’s scores for ELA and mathematics: The graph on the left side shows your child’s score and performance level. The gray shades on the bar graph represent the three performance levels, with the darkest gray color representing Level 1 – Alternate to the lightest gray representing Level 3 – Alternate.

Performance Level of the year’s scores for ELA and mathematics: The right side of the score report offers a summary of your child’s performance by subject. For a detailed description of performance level descriptors (PLDs), please visit the CAA PLD Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caapld.asp. We encourage you to review the results of this assessment with your child's teacher and other members of the IEP team. Please note that this is a new assessment and should not be compared with prior assessment results

What are the California Alternate Assessments? The California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) are online tests for students with individualized education programs (IEPs) that designate the use of an alternate assessment to measure student progress on alternate achievement standards. This alternate assessment is part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) system, and replaces the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for English language arts and mathematics. In the coming year, a new component aligned with new science standards will be incorporated into CAASPP and will replace the current CAPA for science.

The CAAs give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning by taking a test commensurate with their abilities. The CAAs use alternate achievement standards, called Core Content Connectors (“Connectors”), to make the test more accessible for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Visit the CDE CAASPP System Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/altassessment.asp for more information and resources intended for parents about the CAAs, including sample questions and a parent brochure.

The CAAs are administered to each student individually. CAA items and tasks represent three different levels of complexity, and students' responses to the first set of test questions determine the complexity of the items that follow. Students who take CAAs are encouraged to complete items as independently as possible. If they are able, students can respond to test questions by using a mouse or keyboard. If needed, a test examiner will select a response indicated by the student by gesture, eye gaze, alternative communication device, or other means.

What are the score ranges for each level? There are three levels of scores for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics:

 score ranges

What were my child’s results on the science assessment? The score report provides your child’s score and performance level. There are five performance levels: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and far below basic. California is transitioning to recently adopted California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) to meet both state and federal test requirements. As part of California’s transition to these new standards, tests aligned to the CA NGSS are under development and will be pilot tested in the spring of 2017.

What resources are available to help me understand my child’s score? Visit the CDE CAASPP System Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/altassessment.asp for more information and resources intended for parents about the CAAs, including sample questions and a parent/guardian brochure.

As partners in the education of your children, we hope this information is helpful to you. If, after reading both sides of the report, you still have questions, please contact your child’s school.

 
Deborah Bettencourt
Superintendent
 
CLOSE