Parent and Family Resources
This page features assessment resource links, support videos, and descriptions of state assessments in California. Parents and family members can use these resources to improve their knowledge of these assessments and to assist their child in being successful on these tests.
State Assessment Descriptions
- California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP): A group of tests that are administered each spring to measure how well students in California’s public schools are achieving California Standards. These assessments include the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) summative assessments and California Alternate Assessement (CAA) in ELA/Literacy and mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11, and the California Science Test (CAST) and the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science in grades 5, 8, and once in high school. The California Spanish Assessment (CSA) is also available for students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.
- English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC): A required state test for English language proficiency that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English. An initial test is given to English Learners during thier first thirty days of enrollment, and a summative test is given to English Learners annually each Spring.
- Physical Fitness Test (PFT): A series of tests administered to all students in grades 5, 7, and 9 regarding six areas of physical fitness. Students can use this information to assess and plan personal fitness programs, schools use the information to design the curriculum for physical education programs, and by parents and guardians to understand their children’s fitness levels.
State Assessments - Further Details
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) - CAASPP test results are used for student and school accountability purposes. The tests in the CAASPP Program are an important part of the state assessment system. These tests are administered each spring to measure how well students in California’s public schools are achieving the rigor and content of the California Standards. These achievement tests target English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven. In addition, new tests in science are in development that will be given in selected grades. All students in assessed grades within California public schools participate in the CAASPP Program. This includes students with disabilities and English learners. Currently, the CAASPP system is comprised of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Summative Assessments in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics, and the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) in English Language Arts and Mathematics, the California Science Test (CAST) along with a CAA for Science, and the California Spanish Assessments (CSA). Test scores are sent to parents with a written explanation and teachers are available to review student performance upon request. A parent or guardian may annually submit to the school a written request to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of any CAASPP test provided pursuant to Education Code section 60615 for the school year. If a parent or guardian submits an exemption request after testing has begun, any test(s) completed before the request is submitted will be scored and the results reported to the parent or guardian and included in the pupil’s records. An LEA and its employees may discuss the CAASPP assessment system with parents and may inform parents of the availability of exemptions under Education Code section 60615. The school district and its employees shall not solicit or encourage any written exemption request on behalf of any child or group of children. For more information on CAASPP testing, visit the California Department of Education's CAASPP System page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/.
English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) - There are three fundamental purposes for the ELPAC test, which replaced the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) starting in the 2017-2018 school year. English language proficiency tests are specified in state law (see Education Code Section 60810 (d)(1-3)), and include as functions to: 1) identify pupils as limited English proficient, 2) determine the level of English language proficiency (ELP) who are limited English proficient, and 3) assess the progress of limited English proficient students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. For more information, please see the California Department of Education's ELPAC page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ep/. You may also direct questions to the PSUSD English Language Learner Department.
Physical Fitness Testing (PFT) - This program provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students. By law (California Education Code Section 60800), all school districts in California are required to administer the PFT annually to all students in grades five, seven, and nine. The State Board of Education (SBE) designated the FITNESSGRAM® as the PFT for students in California public schools. The FITNESSGRAM® is a comprehensive, health-related physical fitness battery developed by The Cooper Institute. The primary goal of the FITNESSGRAM® is to assist students in establishing lifetime habits of regular physical activity. For more information, please see the California Department of Education's Understanding the PFT page located at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/overview.asp.
Any questions regarding student participation in any or all sections of state assessements, including written requests for exemption (pursuant to Education Code 60615), should be directed to the PSUSD Office of Assessment and Data Analysis.