CAA - Science: California Alternate Assessment - Science
CA-NGSS Alternate Summative Assessment Plan (CAA-Science)
The CAA-Science will be administered to any student in grades five, eight, and once in grades 10-12 with an individualized education program (IEP) that identifies them for alternate assessment. Instructions for assigning tests can be found in the TOMS Pre-Administration Guide for CAASPP Testing linked on the CAASPP Portal Manuals and Instructions Web page.
Many revisions have been made to the CAA-Science to facilitate administration and reporting.
Who Will Participate: The CAA-Science is administered to eligible students in grades five and eight and once in high school. For the pilot test, all eligible grade 12 students will take the CAA-science. LEAs also have the option to test any or all grade 10 or 11 students; however, it is recommended that LEAs select students in grades ten or eleven who are enrolled in their last science course. For additional guidance, please refer to guidance for IEP teams.
Testing Window: The period for administering the CAA-Science differs from the testing window that an LEA selects for the other CAASPP assessments. Since November 2017, LEAs have had access to the CAA-Science for administration to eligible students, and that access will extend through the LEA’s last day of instruction or July 16, 2018, whichever comes first.
Submitting Results: The period for test examiners to input students’ CAA results from the answer recording document (ARD) into the Data Entry Interface (DEI) is under way and will continue through the last day of school or July 16, 2018, whichever comes first. It is recommended that the test examiner input the student’s scores into the DEI as soon as the student completes the test; that way, the test examiner and LEA and site coordinators can track completion rates for all three embedded performance tasks.
Tracking Participation and Completion: In order for the CDE to count a student as having participated in the CAA for Science, (1) the student must attempt all three embedded PTs; and (2) the student’s results must be entered into the DEI. Also note that LEAs must keep ARDs for one year. Questions about the DEI should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at.
About the Test: The 2017–18 CAA for Science pilot test consists of three embedded performance tasks designed to be administered closer to the student’s instructional activity rather than once in the spring. LEAs will have access to student scores and provisional information for each student. The provisional results will be based on a new assessment that is still being refined. More information about the CAA for Science administration is available via this informational video.
Surveys: Test examiners respond to a general online survey after administering the CAA for Science to students. The survey will gather feedback on the pilot assessment, providing crucial guidance on test administration procedures and the operational design of the CAA for Science for future administrations. The survey takes approximately eight to ten minutes to complete. Test examiners should complete this survey once they have completed science testing for this year. Note that survey responses are confidential. Because the test examiner survey asks general questions and is not student-specific, the test examiner responds to the survey once only. The test examiner survey must be completed before July 17, 2018.
High School Administration Guidance: All eligible grade twelve students are to take the pilot test; if the student is in grades ten or eleven has finished their last science class, and the LEA elects to administer the assessment at those grade levels, those students may also be assessed. Regardless of the grade level in which the test is taken, students will only take the test once in high school. Refer to the High School Test Administration Flowchart (PDF) for additional information.
Please also visit CDE's Alternate Assessments site for more information.
CDE Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit
For the 2017–18 school year, California is reporting results for the CAST field test and for the CAA for Science, year 2 pilot. Student results will include preliminary indicators consisting of a percent correct score and a category description that will be provided to parents/guardians. LEAs are responsible for providing this information to parents/guardians.
To facilitate this communication, CDE has developed a suite of communications tools, information, and FAQs.
LEAs will have access to student scores and provisional information for each student.
California's Plan to Comply with Federal Regulations (ESEA) for 2017/18
Last year (for the 2016/17 school year), CDE successfully obtained a one-year waiver from federal testing regulations relating to the administration of a science assessment from the U.S. Department of Education. On November 27, 2017, CDE released its plan for complying with federal testing regulations for science in 2017/18, thereby signaling that they are not seeking a second year waiver.
The plan details how California will comply with the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The plan includes using a common set of preliminary indicators, including percent correct, used to measure performance. Preliminary indicators will consist of three levels (the operational assessment will have four - see below for more details). The state plans to aggregate student results by state, LEA, school, and student groups and make that data available via their public reporting mechanism, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Reporting Web site. Finally, per the plan, the state will produce and provide student-level data and preliminary indicators to LEAs for communication with parents and educators.
CDE has developed and made available numerous resources to support the 2017/18 administration Year Two CAA-Science Pilot:
- CAA Web Page
- CAA-Science Blueprint
- CAA-Science Preliminary Science Core Content Connectors and Essential Understandings: For the CA NGSS alternate summative assessments, Educational Testing Service, in collaboration with its subcontractor edCount (the developers of the National Center and State Collaborative Connectors for ELA and mathematics), developed the preliminary CA NGSS alternate summative assessment Connectors. As with those developed for the ELA and mathematics, the Connectors developed for science provide learning goals aligned appropriately with the needs of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. They serve as a basis for the state's CA NGSS alternate summative assessments for eligible students.
- CAST High School Test Administration Flowchart: Illustrates the requirement that all grade twelve students take the science test in 2017–18 and how LEAs have flexibility in deciding when to test their grade ten or eleven students.
- Assessment Fact Sheet: Provides answers to the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about the CAA for Science.
- Training Embedded Performance Tasks: Training embedded performance tasks, listed under “Additional Training Materials”.
- Quick Reference Guide: How to Access the Data Entry Interface: Gives step-by-step instructions on how to input CAA for Science results into the Data Entry Interface.
- Training Video: How to Input CAA for Science Results into the Data Entry Interface:
Provides guidance on how to input CAA for Science results into the Data Entry Interface
- Training Video: How to Administer the CAA for Science: Provides guidance on how to administer the CAA for Science embedded performance tasks.
- California Alternate Assessment for Science Video: This video provides an overview of the pilot California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science and how it is administered. This video will also offer a brief walk through of the training samples. Resources for the CAA for Science will also be recommended in the video.
- Science Reference Tools for Students in Grade Eight and High School: Students can access CAST reference tools during online testing. The tools, which include a periodic table and a reference sheet of formulae and scientific constants, are made available to signal that students are not expected to memorize this information. They are not required to be used during classroom instruction and are not meant to guide instruction.
- CAST Field Test Accessibility Resources: This graphic displays the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations (embedded and non-embedded) allowed as part of the CAST Field Test for 2017–18.
- Parent Guide to Understanding the California Alternate Assessment: Provides answers to key questions, such as who takes the assessments and why, when, and how they are administered, and other questions parents and guardians might have. Also available in other languages.
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