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March 4, 2024

Dear Parent/Guardian:           

There are many ways to measure your child’s learning. Your child’s teacher uses classroom work, observations, and end-of-year statewide test results, for instance, to get a complete picture of your child’s learning, as well as benchmark tests and surveys throughout the year.

One primary tool that school districts use to assess children’s progress each year is the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Students who have the most significant cognitive disabilities are eligible to take the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs), as designated in their active individualized education plan (IEP).These statewide tests help us determine whether students have acquired skills in Math, English Language Arts, and Science for their specific grade level. 

The CAASPP and CAAs are important because they provide information about the effectiveness of our public education system and programs. The more information we have about our system, the more proactive measures we can take to ensure our program benefits all families, equips all students to succeed in reaching the state’s standards, and effectively  closes existing opportunity gaps. We appreciate your support in ensuring we gather this information through CAASPP and CAA testing.

Depending on their grade level or instructional program, your child will take the following CAASPP/CAA tests during school hours,

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English Language Arts and Math (required in grades 3–8 and 11)

  • California Science Test (CAST) (required in grades 5,8, and once in high school)

  • CAAs for English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven if applicable

  • CAA for Science in grades five and eight and once in high school if applicable

The CAASPP/CAA test is intended to…

  • Determine whether your child understands and can use the skills needed for their grade level and 

  • Ensure that all students are learning the high-quality Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math that were introduced in 2013.

  • Allow schools and districts to assess performance and progress of all students, as well as gaps among particular student groups such as disadvantaged students

  • Improve how students are taught

  • Identify students who may benefit from additional support

  • Affect district funding allocations from the government (a high percentage of students must participate for districts to receive certain funds)

  • CAASPP scores can help high school students determine their readiness to take college level English and Math courses at a California State University (CSU) or California Community College (CCC). Click for more information about the Early Assessment Program (EAP) program.

The CAASPP/CAA test will NOT:

  • Affect your child’s grades in school

  • Influence whether or not your student progresses to the next grade level

  • Be used punitively towards students, teachers, or schools

  • Determine the incremental progress and growth a student makes throughout the year (we use other assessments to determine this)

How can I help my student get ready for the CAASPP/CAA?

  • Talk about the test with your child. Help them understand that this is just a tool for seeing how much they have learned and in what areas they might need support. 

  • Encourage your child to do their best so the tests can measure what they’ve learned.

  • Take a practice test with your child.

  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing. 

  • Help your child get to school on time on testing days.

When will my student take the CAASPP/CAA tests?

Your child’s principal and/or teacher will let you know the specific dates and times when your child will take the test in each subject. If you have questions, please contact your child’s school/teacher.

When and how can I review my student’s results?

The results from the CAASPP/CAA will be posted in your AERIES Parent Portal at the end of the 2023-24 school year. We will notify you when the results are posted.

How can I get more information about the CAASPP/CAA tests?

To learn more about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments or the CAST, go to the California Department of Education Parent Guides to Understanding Summative Assessments web page . This page provides information in seven different languages.


You also can look at sample test questions on the practice tests, which can be found on the CAASPP Web Portal.


Thank you for your continued partnership in your student’s education. 


The Alameda Unified Data, Assessment, & Research Department