California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

In the spring of 2015, students in San Joaquin County joined students across the state taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) summative assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, part of the state’s California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). It was the first statewide administering of the online tests replacing the paper-based Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. The new tests are taken by third- through eighth-grade students as well as students in the 11th grade.

The California Science Test or CAST is part of the statewide assessment system called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress or CAASPP. The CAASPP System is designed to give information to teachers, students, and their families about what students know and are able to do. It also indicates whether students are on track to be ready for success in college or career when they graduate from high school.

The CAST is aligned with the CA NGSS. The CAST assesses the student’s ability to think critically and solve problems. This assessment uses questions that bring together science content, practices, and concepts. It also covers more than one science domain, such as Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Earth and Space Sciences.

Parents Guide to Understanding CAST

CAST Informational Video

More Resources:

Smarter Balanced Assessment System Video

Starting Smarter families have a new website for resources to support their child’s learning. The Starting Smarter website includes information on student score reports, sample test questions, parent-teacher conferences, and other no-cost resources in English and Spanish.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has published short, easy-to-understand flyers providing parents the basics about California's school assessment programs.

Understanding the new test scores

The CAASPP test assesses how well students are learning new and rigorous state standards designed to prepare them for college coursework and 21st-century careers. CAASPP scores measure different skills in a different way and cannot be compared to the STAR scoring system.

The 2015 test scores marked a baseline to measure future progress. It is expected that relatively low scores will rise over the years as the standards and test become more established. Scores will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade. But they can guide parent-teacher discussion and help schools adjust instruction to meet student needs.

Parents, teachers, and schools can find tools to help them understand CAASPP results, and how they can be used to improve teaching and learning, at

For more information about test scores, including links to a video and parent guides to score reports in both English and Spanish, please go to Additional CAASPP Test Score Resources.


Parent guides and other resources for families

Information for parents from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium/

More Information for parents from California State PTA