California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)

The California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) are part of CAASPP. The CAAs are administered to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments. There are CAAs for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science.

Find more detailed information about test administration in the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual.

How the CAAs for ELA and Mathematics Work

1

Who takes these tests?

Students who are in grades three through eight and grade eleven and whose IEP identifies the use of alternate assessments take the CAAs for ELA and mathematics.

2

What is the test format?

The CAAs are computer-based and administered one-on-one by a test examiner who is familiar with the student.

3

When is the testing window?

For information on the testing window and assessment timeline, refer to the Assessment System Chart and the California Assessment Timeline.

4

Which standards are tested?

The CAAs for ELA and mathematics test the California Common Core State Standards through the Core Content Connectors: Prioritized ELA Connectors and Essential Understandings: Reading, Prioritized ELA Connectors and Essential Understandings: Writing, and Prioritized Mathematics Connectors and Essential Understandings.

5

What is the estimated testing time?

The CAAs for ELA and mathematics are estimated to take approximately 60–100 minutes for each content area, although the assessments are untimed. Tests may be administered to a student over as many testing sessions and days as required to meet the needs of that student.

How the CAA for Science Works

1

Who takes the test?

Students who are in grades five and eight and once in high school (grade ten, eleven, or twelve), whose IEP identifies the use of alternate assessments, take the CAA for Science.

2

What is the test format?

The CAA for Science is a series of four embedded performance tasks administered one-on-one at any time, in any order, throughout the year, shortly after the student has received instruction on the related science content.

3

When is the testing window?

The testing window for the CAA for Science opens in September. For information on the testing window and assessment timeline, refer to the Assessment System Chart and the California Assessment Timeline.

4

Which standards are tested?

The CAA for Science tests the Science Connectors, which are alternate achievement standards derived from the California Next Generation Science Standards and found in the Preliminary Science Content Connectors and Essential Understandings.

5

What is the estimated testing time?

The CAA for Science is estimated to take less than one average class period per embedded performance task, although the assessments are untimed. Tests may be administered to a student over as many testing sessions and days as required to meet the needs of that student.

CAA Resources

Available Resources

CAAs for ELA and Mathematics Assessment Fact Sheet CAA for Science Assessment Fact Sheet CDE Parent Guides to Understanding Alternate Assessment Decision-Making Tool for California
Tips for Administering CAA for Science

Lists tips for planning, teaching the associated material, and administering the CAA for Science, as well as provides additional resources

Organization of the CAA Science

Explains the types of items included on the CAA for Science assessment and shows how they are organized on the assessment

Science Test Administration for High School Students

Provides guidance for determining when high school students must take the CAA for Science