Student Assessments

California’s statewide assessment program — called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) — is part of our state’s ambitious education remodeling project.

California’s statewide assessments were built to let parents and teachers know how well students are learning the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world. Depending on school calendars, testing in English language arts, mathematics, and science takes place mostly in April and May. Parents should receive their children’s reports soon after testing in their district is completed.

Score Reports: What you need to know

Beginning in 2019, school districts will be able to share students’ state test scores with parents electronically.

  • The CAASPP assessment report uses four achievement levels: standard not met, standard nearly met, standard met, standard exceeded. The levels designate the degree of “progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for success in future coursework.” For 11th-graders, they measure the degree to which students are on track to be ready for college or a career after graduating from high school.
  • The scores help improve learning for your child. Scores give teachers the opportunity to adjust instruction and give students and parents an idea of which areas should get extra attention each school year and which areas students have mastered.
  • Like progress on a growth chart, the tests, scores and expectations change with your child’s age and grade. As children grow and change, so do the educational standards and related assessments. Although you can see growth from year to year, scores can’t be directly compared to prior years, which measured different grade standards.
  • The scores are just one measure of how your child is doing. These new tests are part of an overall system of assessment including classroom assignments, quizzes, report cards and more.
  • Ask questions! The score reports generally go to parents before a new school year starts. Parents can start discussions on the score reports with their child’s teacher during back-to-school season and during parent-teacher conferences and other meetings.




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What should I look for in my child’s tests?

AssessmentsThere may be several assessments used by your child’s school, including interim or benchmark assessments administered throughout the year, as well as a year-end assessment. These tests allow teachers to check on student progress.

To be worthwhile, all tests should:

  • Be high-quality. Assessments should measure students’ ability to think critically, synthesize material from multiple sources, and analyze problems. High-quality tests are aligned to standards that prepare students for success beyond high school.
  • Measure what matters. Tests should cover what students learn in class and help predict their performance at the end of the year.
  • Provide meaningful results that inform instruction. Results from assessments should identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, allowing teachers to improve instruction. Tests should provide results that are timely and easily understandable by parents, teachers and students.
  • Go beyond multiple-choice. Tests should include a variety of questions—not just multiple-choice. Writing prompts and math questions that require students to formulate equations or explain their reasoning demonstrate that students truly understand the content.