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Smarter Balanced Website


California Department of Education




Dear Parent/Guardian:

In spring of the 2017-2018 school year, your child participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which includes the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.  These exams are based on California’s challenging academic standards and are part of the State’s comprehensive plan for supporting high-quality learning at every level. The California standards are designed to help all students graduate ready for college and careers.

The Student Score Report, which shows your child’s achievement on these tests, will be mailed to your home. Please take a few moments to review it. You will notice that, along with an overall score for each subject, there is also information about how your child performed in different skill areas associated with English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics.  If your child tested in 2016 and/or 2017, the score report presents multiple years of data which allows you to see your child’s progress over time.

In grade 11, the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment for ELA and mathematics also serve as an indicator of readiness for college-level coursework and are used by the California State University and participating California Community Colleges to determine Early Assessment Program (EAP) status.  Students will find their EAP status reported on the front of the Student Score Report.  If further preparation is needed, they may need to take specific courses in their senior year to prepare for college.

In addition to the ELA and mathematics tests, students in grades 5, 8, 11 and 12 took part in a field test of the California Science Test (CAST).  CAST is a new assessment being developed to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), with emphasis on deep understanding of science concepts and engaging in scientific thinking.  Because this was a field test, the scores are not published on the student report.  As we receive information about your child’s preliminary results on the CAST, we will share them with you.  For more information about CAST, go to http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp.

In our school district, we see a student’s test results as one measure of his or her academic progress, and are not used to determine whether a student moves to the next grade.  School staff can use the results to identify specific areas in which to focus more attention and address individual student needs in the next school year.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please call the school office to arrange a time to speak with a teacher or administrator.


There are several resources available to help you interpret the results and better understand the CAASPP Student Score Report. Please visit the California Department of Education’s web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppssrinfo.asp.


Mike Biondi                                                                            
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services 

Kevin Grier
Director, Curriculum and Special Projects


Spanish version





How can I help my child get ready for the CAASPP?


You are an important part of your child’s education. Some things you can do to help your child are:


  • Talk about the test with your child. Make sure they are not scared or anxious.
  • Tell your child that you and his or her teacher have high expectations and that you are both there to help, every step of the way.
  • Take a practice test with your child.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing.