Skip to main content

caaspp Logo.gifParent Notification Letters


CAASPP Parent Guides: Smarter Balanced Assessments

These guides provide information about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, including sample test items for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. This information will help parents better understand their children’s test results.

Parent Guide Grades 3-5

Parent Guide Grades 6-8

Parent Guide Grade 11

Summative Assessment Resources


California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System was established on January 1, 2014. The CAASPP System replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, which became inoperative on July 1, 2013.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System has three components: the Summative Assessments, designed for accountability purposes; Interim Assessments, designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year; and the Digital Library, designed to support classroom-based formative assessment processes.

The Summative Assessments are comprehensive end of year assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness. Each test, English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics is comprised of two parts: (1) a computer adaptive test and (2) a performance task, administered within a 12-week window beginning at 66 percent of the instructional year for grades 3 through 8, or within in a 7-week window beginning at 80 percent of the instructional year for grade 11.

The Summative Assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. The tests capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing—efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and timely turnaround of results.

More information: California Department of Education – About CAASPP

More information: California Department of Education – About State Testing 

Universal Tools, Designated Supports and Accommodations Guide and Tutorials

Below you will find brief clips and descriptions of the Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports and Accommodations that are available on the Smarter Balanced test. For more detailed information on SBAC Designated Supports and Accommodations, please consult the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines.

Embedded Universal Tools

Universal tools available to all students for computer administered Smarter Balanced assessments. It includes a description of each tool. Although these tools are generally available to all students, educators may determine that one or more might be distracting for a particular student, and thus might indicate that the tool should be turned off for the administration of the assessment to the student (see Section II – Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines).      

Calculator Grades 6-8 Calculator Grade 11 Digital Notepad English Dictionary
English Glossary Expandable Passages Highlighter Mark for Review
Strikethrough Zoom    

Embedded Designated Supports

Designated supports for the Smarter Balanced assessments are those features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student).

It is recommended that a consistent process be used to determine these supports for individual students. All educators making these decisions should be trained on the process and should be made aware of the range of designated supports available.

Color Contrast Masking Spanish Stacked Translation  Translation Glossary Tool for Math


Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the Smarter Balanced assessments. They allow these students to show what they know and can do. Smarter Balanced members have identified digitally-embedded and non-embedded accommodations for students for whom there is documentation of the need for the accommodations on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 accommodation plan. One exception to the IEP or 504 requirement is for students who have had a physical injury (e.g., broken hand or arm) that impairs their ability to use a computer. These students may use the speech-to-text or the scribe accommodations (if they have had sufficient experience with the use of these), as noted in this section.

Determination of which accommodations an individual student will have available for the assessment is necessary because these accommodations must be made available before the assessment, either by entering information into the ART, or member’s comparable platform, for embedded accommodations, or by ensuring that the materials or setting are available for the assessment for non-embedded accommodations.

American Sign Language (ASL)   Closed Captioning Streamline

CAASPP Student Score Report Information

Resources and guides for parents or guardians to help interpret the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) student score report.

Sample of student score reports for parents or guardians.

Sample CAASPP Student Score Report (PDF)

Versión en Español—Muestra del reporte individual de los resultados  de CAASPP (PDF)

Guide to Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report
These guides explain the CAASPP Student Score Report for grades three through eight and grade eleven.

Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report"

(Video; 5:14) explains how to interpret the results, and highlights the new features found on the report.

"Entendiendo el Reporte de Puntuación del Estudiante

(Video; 8:00) explica el Reporte de Puntuación del Estudiante en CAASPP y acentuá las nuevas características que se encuentran en el reporte.