Student Participation

Participation of Students with Disabilities and ELs

Consistent with the Smarter Balanced testing plan, all students, including students with disabilities, ELs, and ELs with disabilities, should have equal opportunity to participate in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. This also applies to the CAST.

All students enrolled in grades three through eight and grade eleven are required to participate in the Smarter Balanced for ELA Summative Assessment and the Smarter Balanced for Mathematics Summative Assessment. All students enrolled in grade five, grade eight, and high school (either grade ten, eleven, or twelve) are required to participate in the CAST. The key exceptions are:

  • Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who meet the criteria for the alternate assessments, which is based on alternate achievement standards (approximately 1 percent or fewer of the student population) do not take the CAST.
  • EL students who are within the first 12 months of enrollment in a U.S. school as determined on or after April 15 of the previous school year have a one-time exemption from the Smarter Balanced for ELA assessment (CCR, Title 5, Section 851.5[a]), although these students may opt to take the ELA assessment along with the required mathematics assessment. These students will also participate in California’s English language proficiency assessment, the ELPAC, consistent with state and federal policy.