California Science Test (CAST)

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California Science Test (CAST) in grades five, eight, and once in high school.

Student Participation: The CAST is required for all students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) unless their IEP indicates assessment with an alternate test. The CAST includes stand-alone or discrete items and PTs. The discrete item types consist of selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, and so forth. The PTs measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards through extended activities.

Content and Format: The CAST is aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). The California State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the CA NGSS in September 2013. The CAST census field test took place in 2018, and the first operational test was administered in 2019. The 2020 CAST is the second operational administration of the test. 

California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science in grades five, eight, and once in high school.

Student Participation: The CAA for Science is required for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CAST even with accessibility supports and whose IEP indicates assessment with an alternate test. The CAA for Science is administered to students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve).

Content and Format: The content of the alternate assessment is based on alternate achievement standards derived from the CA NGSS. The CAA for Science is administered to students in a one-on-one environment by a test examiner who is familiar with the student. In 2018, the pilot year two consisted of three embedded PTs; in 2019, the CAA for Science field test consisted of three embedded PTs administered online; and in 2020, the operational assessment was administered for the first time. The CAA for Science embedded PTs may be administered anytime during the school’s instructional calendar.

  

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