Research Files for Smarter Balanced Assessments

Downloading CAASPP Research Files
Research File Formats, Layout, and Lookup Tables
Getting Accurate Results from the Research Files

CAASPP Research Files

These research files contain results from the administrations of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced Assessments and is the same information presented in the Test Results section of this site. These files are provided to allow for more complex analyses and customized reporting of the data.

In order to protect student confidentiality, no scores are reported (or included in the research files) for any group of 10 or fewer students.

The research files are available in two formats: fixed width and comma delimited. All research files contain the data for entities comprising the level of that file.

  • The "statewide" files include the data for the state, and all counties, districts, and schools. Files can also be downloaded for any single county or district.
  • The "county" files include the data for the selected county and all districts and schools associated with that county. "School only" files are not available.

Please note Independent Charter schools (Direct Funded) are treated as a district. Test results for these schools are included in the numbers for the state, county, and school.

Downloading CAASPP Research Files

Use of these research files requires some expertise in the handling of data and advanced data management skills. Many of the district and county research files are very large (up to 130MB) and maybe too large for spreadsheet applications. Database applications such as MS Access, SAS, or SPSS are required to manage these files.


Year

Statewide files (include data for the state, and all counties, districts, and schools)

2017 California Statewide research file, All Students, fixed width (TXT; 4MB)
2017 California Statewide research file, All Students, comma delimited (CSV; 4MB)
2017 California Statewide research file, All Subgroups, fixed width (TXT; 83MB)
2017 California Statewide research file, All Subgroups, comma delimited (CSV; 84MB)



Countywide/Districtwide files

Select a county or a county and district to search for local research files.




View County, District, or Charter School Lists

View County List  |   View District List  |   View Charter Schools




Entity files

The following entity files list the County, District, and School entity names and codes for all entities as the existed in the administration year selected. This file must be merged with the research file to join these entity names with the appropriate score data.

2017 Entities List, fixed width (TXT)
2017 Entities List, comma delimited (CSV)


Access Database (.mdb) file

A database “shell” is another alternative provided at this site. Once downloaded to the target computer, this application provides a powerful school, district, CDS, and ZIP code search capability as well as a formatted report containing all the data for the selected entity. This MS Access 2007 shell contains all entity data and is designed to import any of the selected state, county, or district comma delimited files. In order to use the shell, MS Access 2007 must already be installed on your computer.

2017 Access Database - Main Component (MDB)



Research File Formats, Layouts, and Lookup Tables

Fixed-Length* ASCII Files Record Definitions page - research file layout and lookups.

Test ID / Test Name table, comma delimited, Tests.zip (CSV)

Subgroup ID/Name Lookup Table – This table identifies each demographic subgroup and ID reported in the CAASPP results.

Subgroup ID / Name table, comma delimited, Subgroups.zip (CSV)

Both of these lookup tables are useful when associating test and subgroup IDs and names with codes in the comma delimited or fixed width test data file.

Getting Accurate Results from the Research Files

Achieving accurate results when working with these research files requires an understanding of the structure and content of the two primary tables: the entities table and the test data table. The research files have many rows for each entity. There are records for each combination of grades, tests, and subgroups. This means that there are hundreds to thousands of records for each entity, with an average of approximately 900 records. In order to correctly work with the data, you must use constraints to limit the data you are reporting. These constraints are discussed below.

Entities table

This table is comprised of the state, all counties, districts, and schools in California. Because there are both school-level and district summary records as well as county and state summary records, it is critical that in any analysis, a “Type ID” record type be selected. This will help avoid the double or triple-counting that will occur when a school count is also counted in the associated district record.

Test Data table

This table is comprised of the school, district, county, and state aggregate CAASPP counts and scores. To accurately analyze and report from these research files, the appropriate constraints must be applied to the following elements:

  • CDS code – The research files contain summary district and county records. A district summary record will have a “school” code of “0000000.” When working with the file, be sure to include the county, district, and school codes. Failure to include all three data codes will result in double-counting in any summary calculations.
  • Test type – Identifying the desired test (ELA or mathematics) will help to provide clear query results.
  • Subgroup ID – Each student will be included in both the “All Students” subgroup aggregation and each of the appropriate subgroup aggregations. Consequently, an individual subgroup must be selected to avoid duplicate counts.
  • Test ID – In general, each student will take a number of tests. A specific test should be selected to avoid confusion.

Providing accurate and meaningful reports from the research files generally requires the “linking” of the Entities and Test Data tables. Additional efforts might include linking to the “lookup” tables. Working with these tables requires an understanding of “relational” data tables and their manipulation.