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Figure 1. Sample 5th Grade CAASPP Student Score Report – Front Page.

This fall, parents in California will receive their children’s results on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the state’s standardized test. These results provide a lot of information and can sometimes be difficult to interpret.  On top of that, this year’s report will look a bit different than it did last year. This blog post will help guide you through reading and understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report.

What will the CAASPP Student Score Report look like?

The entire report will take up two pages, front and back.

The first side of the page will show your child’s overall test scores in English Language Arts (English) and Mathematics (math) and will include a few graphs, tables, and yellow rows. Let’s take a closer look at this page.

What are the most important parts of this page to consider?

Two very important pieces of information are found on this page: your child’s overall score and overall progress.

Overall Score

The report shows your child’s overall score in each subject area (see above), letting you know where your child’s score falls in the range of achievement levels from “Not Met Standard (Level 1)” to “Standard Exceeded (Level 4).” In the example above, Matthew has a score of 2512 in English, meeting the standard in that subject for his grade level. Matthew also has a score of 2460 in math, almost but not quite making the 5th grade Math standard.

It should be noted that the overall score is not a measure of how your child is performing in comparison to other children, but rather a measure of your child’s absolute progress towards standards in each subject and grade level. Ideally, you want your child’s score to fall somewhere within “Standard Met (Level 3)” and “Standard Exceeded (Level 4)” to be sure that your child is on track for college- and career-readiness.

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Overall Progress

The report also provides a short summary of your child’s overall progress and lets you know how prepared your child is for future coursework in this subject area. In the example above, Matthew met the standard in English for his grade level, and his overall progress summary indicates that he is prepared for future coursework in this subject. However, he did not meet the state standard for math, and the overall progress summary provides guidance for Matthew’s parents on what to do to help him improve his performance.  

Again, student progress is not measured in comparison to other students’, but only in absolute terms for each particular student.

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Figure 2. Sample 5th Grade CAASPP Student Score Report – Back Page.

Below each yellow row, to the left, is a vertical bar chart that shows your child’s progress in each subject since last year’s test performance. Your child’s score is indicated by a black dot, with “whiskers” above and below it, indicating the range of scores that your child might fall in if he or she took the test again. This information allows you to see the difference between performance last year and this year in this subject to see how much progress your child has made. You want your child’s test score and achievement level to go up from year to year.

What should I look for on the other side of the page?

The back page of this report includes:

  • Your address and other identifying information about your child, including grade level, date of birth, testing date, and name of school and district;
  • A note from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction that discusses your child’s specific test performance;
  • A general description of the CAASPP system; and
  • A brief guide to understanding your child’s scores.

Results on the California Standards Test for Science (Grades 5, 8, and 10 only)

If your child is in grade 5, 8, or 10, this page will also provide your child’s results on the California Standards Test for Science.

There are five performance levels for this test: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and far below basic. The goal in California is to have all students perform at proficient or above. In the sample above, Matthew scored 267 on the Science test, which is deemed far below the basic.

Where should I go for help understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report?

Your child’s score report may be difficult to understand, even with this blog post to guide you! If you need additional support and help in understanding your child’s test results, try these additional resources: