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California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)


On January 1, 2014, California Education Code Section 60640 established the CAASPP System of assessments. The CAASPP - CalEdFacts Web page provides a more detailed overview of the system. For 2014–15, the CAASPP System includes the following required assessments :

Please visit the California Department of Education website for more information: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/  

Guides for helping parents and guardians interpret the CAASPP student score reports can be found on the CDE Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Reports Web page. 


Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents have the right to exempt their child from statewide assessments.

Smarter Balanced Assessments

The Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing all students for success in college and careers.

  • The Common Core State Standards establish consistent academic expectations in English and mathematics for the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in college and careers. More than 40 states have adopted these standards and are working to provide teachers and students the support they need to reach them.

  • States are partnering in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop a new assessment system aligned to the Common Core to measure how well students are progressing toward readiness for college and careers.

  • The Smarter Balanced assessment system will replace existing tests, and offer significant improvements over tests of the past, including writing at every grade, new question types, and performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills.

  • In addition to measuring student achievement at the end of the school year, the Smarter Balanced assessment system will provide information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help.

The work of Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help all students succeed—regardless of disability, language, or background.  The assessment system include a wide array of accessibility tools for all students and accommodations—such as Braille—for those who need them.

To access the student practice test, follow the link: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/

Please visit the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium website for Parents and Students: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/parents-students/

Dear Parents,

Newark students will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, which are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.


Why is this test important?


This test was created with teacher input to…


  • Measure how well your child has mastered the skills and content in mathematics and English language arts at his or her grade level
  • Align with the instruction that takes place in the classroom everyday
  • Match the learning goals of each grade level
  • Assess critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving skills, which are needed for success in college and a 21st century career.


The test has different kinds of questions, including traditional multiple-choice questions as well as ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work, and compose essays.


What should I expect after my student takes the test?


As you may remember from last year’s score report, each subject will be broken down into areas. The report shows how students are doing in each area and where they need help. Depending on the student’s needs, teachers can use this information to provide targeted help to students to address their needs.


But remember, the results from this test aren’t meant to tell the whole story. Your child’s scores are meant to be one of several ways for you and your child’s teacher to see how your student is progressing in school. Test scores, along with student report cards and teacher’s observations of your child’s performance in the classroom, are used together to form a complete picture of your child’s achievement.   


Where can I learn more?


For information about the specific dates and times when your child will take the test in each subject, see the enclosed testing schedule. I also encourage you to take a look at a practice test for your child’s grade level. The practice tests are posted on the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp


At Newark Unified, our goal is for all students to achieve their full potential. The Smarter Balanced tests are just one way that we are able to better understand if we are meeting that goal. Thank you for all you do to partner with us in your child’s education. 




Every spring, students in grades three through eight and grade eleven take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These assessments are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. Results from these assessments are just one piece of information to help teachers, parents, and students understand how well a student is meeting the grade-level expectations. Here are some suggestions to help you better understand what your child will be tested on and how you can prepare your child for the assessments.


  • FIND OUT THE FACTS. To start, students will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments between March and June. Students usually take the ELA and mathematics tests on different days. Since the test includes questions that measure critical thinking and problem solving they do take longer than “fill in the bubble” tests given on paper. However, the tests are untimed, so students will have plenty of time to finish. For more information about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, talk to your child’s principal and teacher and visit http://bealearninghero.org/classroom/smarter-balanced.
  • TAKE A LOOK AT THE PRACTICE TEST. This will help you better understand the types of questions your child will be answering. You may want to walk through the test with your child to help familiarize him or her with the test format and features and answer any questions. To see a practice test, visit the California Department of Education’s (CDE’s) Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp.
  • KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE LEARNING IN ELA AND MATHEMATICS. To find out the learning expectations of your child’s grade level in both subjects, take a look at the CDE’s Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppssrinfo.asp. The guides explain the skills and knowledge your child is expected to learn each year. You can also see samples of test items that appear on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Separate guides have been developed for grades 3–5, 6–8, and grade 11.
  • USE YOUR CHILD’S TEST RESULTS FROM LAST YEAR TO IDENTIFY AREAS WHERE HE OR SHE MIGHT NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT. Talk with your child’s teacher to see what types of supplemental activities you can do at home. Find activities that match your child’s performance in both subjects in the Be a Learning Hero Skill Builder at http://bealearninghero.org/skill-builder.
  • PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Homework is a great way to reinforce the skills and content your child learns everyday in the classroom and that the tests measures. In addition to the state tests, it is another measure you can use to see how well your child is progressing throughout the year. To get homework help in both subjects, visit https://homeworkhelpdesk.org/. For sample problems and questions along with solutions and answers, visit http://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/sample-questions/.


California Department of Education                                                                                                                                    April 2016