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Assessment Spotlight - June 26, 2019

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 Assessment Spotlight

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

CAASPP Post-Test Guide Available on CAASPP Portal

The 2018–19 CAASPP Post-Test Guide has been posted on both the Manuals and Instructions web page and the Score Reporting web page of the CAASPP Portal. This guide provides an overview of each assessment, information and guidelines for interpreting and comparing results, and descriptions of the features of the Student Score Report (SSR) for each subject area as well as additional resources for understanding assessments and scoring.

"The Results Are In … Now What?" Webcast Now Available!

Congratulations to LEA and school site staff as the school year comes to a close! With the 2018–19 CAASPP testing season almost finished and the delivery of SSRs under way to students and families, you may be asking yourself … so now what?

Fortunately, we have something for you—this year's webcast of the workshop "The Results Are In … Now What?" Gather some colleagues, download the materials, and learn from this webcast as education leaders like yourself come together to discuss how a protocol for data analysis can help support your team in examining the CAASPP results and developing concrete action plans that lead to improved teaching and learning.

The webcast and accompanying materials are available on the CAASPP Portal Summative Assessment Videos and Archived Webcasts web page, under the Training tab.

Attention New LEA Coordinators: Register Now for In-Person Training

Registration is now open for in-person training designed especially for new coordinators. These trainings will be held in August on the two days preceding the California Department of Education's annual Assessment Information Meeting. Staff can attend the training and meeting on consecutive days, and then start the school year with the most current information about California's assessment systems.

August is just around the corner, so visit the registration site today to find all the details and to hold your spot!

Initial ELPAC Testing Window Closes June 28

The 2018–19 Initial ELPAC testing window closes this Friday, June 28. LEA ELPAC coordinators are asked to complete testing and enter student raw scores into the Local Scoring Tool (LST) by that date, as the Test Operations Management System will be unavailable during a planned system downtime that will begin at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 1. At that point, LEAs will no longer be able to enter 2018–19 Initial ELPAC raw scores in the LST.

The 2019–20 Initial ELPAC testing window opens on July 1, 2019. The LST will be available once again when the system resumes at 8 a.m. on July 8, 2019.

Questions regarding the LST can be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at .

Smarter Balanced Members Voted to Approve Updates to UAAG

Smarter Balanced members recently voted to approve updates to the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG) for the 2019–20 school year. The following motions were approved:

  • Motion 1—New policy for illustration glossaries (embedded designated support)
  • Motion 2—New policy for illustration glossaries (non-embedded designated support)
  • Motion 3—Clarification to existing policy for braille (embedded accommodation)
  • Motion 4—Clarification to existing policy for medical supports (non-embedded designated support)

The updated UAAG will be available on the Smarter Balanced website on June 27.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to . Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Assessment Spotlight April 25, 2019

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Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

New for CAASPP and ELPAC: "Get Involved" Web Pages!

Are you interested in getting involved in the continuing development of the CAASPP and the ELPAC? We need input from California educators, and it is now much easier for you to find out about the activities the California Department of Education (CDE) has scheduled and to let us know which ones hold your interest! To learn about upcoming activities, visit our new Get Involved web pages:

  • CAASPP Opportunities to Get Involved web page. Find opportunities related to the California Alternate Assessments, the California Science Test (CAST), and the California Spanish Assessment here, including item writing (with training beforehand), item review, review of range achievement level descriptors, data review, standard setting, range finding, and braille item review.    Local educational agencies (LEAs) will be reimbursed for the cost of a substitute teacher (if needed) or participants will be paid an honorarium of $150.00 per day (if on non-contract days).

  • ELPAC Opportunities to Get Involved web page. Find opportunities related to the ELPAC and Alternate ELPAC here, including item writing (with training beforehand), content review, bias and sensitivity review, field test threshold score review, range finding, data review, item review, and ALD development.

    As with the CAASPP opportunities, LEAs will be reimbursed for the cost of a substitute teacher (if needed) or participants will be paid an honorarium of $150.00 per day (if on non-contract days).

In addition, these pages include qualification information, application instructions, and links to create an account and submit your application.

Educational Testing Service, in partnership with the Sacramento County Office of Education, developed the Get Involved web pages to facilitate educators' participation in upcoming workshops for 2019–20 and beyond. These web pages will be updated throughout the coming months, so please check back often for the latest developments. Remember, your participation and input provide important support in the development of our state assessments!

If you have questions about how to get involved in these educator opportunities, please contact the CAASPP and ELPAC Project Team by phone at 916-228-2682 or by email at .

Focus on Test Security—Pause Rules and Grace Period Extensions

This week, in our focus on test security, we look at the pause rules and grace period extensions. If a test is paused for more than 20 minutes during the Smarter Balanced computer adaptive test (CAT) portion or during the CAST discrete item blocks, the following will apply:

  • The student will be required to log back on to the student interface, using the student's logon information (name, Statewide Student Identifier, and test session).
  • The student will be presented with the page containing the item(s) the student was working on when the assessment was paused if the page contains at least one item to which there is not a complete response; if, however, all items on the page were answered, the student will be presented with the next page.
  • The student will not be permitted to review or change any previously answered items, even if they are marked for review (with the exception of items on a page that contains at least one item to which there is not a complete response).

Any highlighted text will be saved regardless of how long the test is paused; notes entered on the digital notepad, however, will not be saved. For a performance task (PT), no pause restrictions apply. If a PT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student can return to the section and continue entering responses.

Grace period extension (GPE) appeals are only for situations in which one of the following occurs during a Smarter Balanced CAT portion or the CAST:

  • A technical issue beyond the control of the test administrator results in the expiration of the 20-minute pause rule.
  • The 20-minute pause rule expires through no fault of the student; for example, because of a fire drill, illness, or technical difficulty. (A GPE extension will not be granted for student breaks such as recess or lunch lasting for more than 20 minutes or for students who misunderstood the pause rules.)

A GPE appeal for a CAT portion allows the student to review previously answered questions upon logging back on to the assessment after the expiration of the pause rule. Note that for a PT, having the test administrator open a new testing session may be all that is needed to continue testing.

To review the rules that govern pausing during testing, refer to Appendix E: CAT Pause Rules Scenarios in the Online Test Administration Manual.

New Video––ELPAC Accessibility Resources


The new video "ELPAC Accessibility Resources" demonstrates how the CDE supports accessibility resources (i.e., universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations) for the ELPAC. A useful resource for anyone interested in learning about how to match student needs to the appropriate resources, this video is especially helpful for teachers and parents/guardians.

Please be sure to view this video, approximately 19 minutes in length, to learn more about the process for identifying the appropriate resources to assist students in fully accessing the ELPAC.

Reminder: Registration Is Open for 2019 Summer Institute!


Registration is open for the 2019 Summer Institute, "Analyzing Student Work and Using the Interim and Digital Library Systems to Inform Teaching and Learning." Offered at eight locations throughout California in July and early August, this two-day, in-person professional development opportunity is for classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and teachers on special assignment. Administrators also may find this training useful. The goals of this training are for participants to understand the following:

  • The purpose of different types of assessment and how they work together to support learning
  • The design of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment items aligned with college- and career-ready standards and the use of hand scoring to analyze student responses
  • How to use interim assessment and Digital Library systems, including accessibility featuresSchools and LEAs may want to consider sending educator teams that divide their participation between the English language arts/literacy and mathematics content areas.

Visit the CAASPP 2019 Summer Institute registration website for online registration, details about the workshop, and a workshop flyer. Questions about this training should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

All About Accessibility


Spanish stacked translation is an embedded designated support that provides the student with the full translation of each test item. The translation appears above the original item. This designated support is available for students whose primary language is not English and who use dual language supports in the classroom. Caution is advised when considering this resource for students who are not fluent in Spanish. The following questions can help guide the decision:

·Are the student's skills in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish appropriate for this resource?

·Has the student had an opportunity to try the practice test with the Spanish stacked translation?

·Has the student or parent/guardian provided input on the use of this support?

·If the student does not have strong reading skills in Spanish but still needs translation, should read aloud in Spanish be assigned?

More information on the use of Spanish stacked translation can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced website, and the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing, available on the CAASPP Portal. In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP Portal. Find them on the Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials web page.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to . Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Setting up the CAASPP Test Administration Window

Instructions on how to set up the testing windows for CAASPP tests. 

CAASPP System Release Dates for 2018-19

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Enter your text here ...

Dear LEA CAASPP Coordinator:


Components of the CAASPP System are released at different times throughout the year. As you set up your local educational agency’s (LEA’s) test administration window and finalize your planning for another successful administration, please keep the following dates in mind:


Date

Release Milestone

September 4, 2018

·         Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments will be available.

September 17, 2018

·         The California Spanish Assessment (CSA) field test will be available. (Note that the window for the field test closes on October 12, 2018.)

November 5, 2018

·         The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science embedded performance task (PT) training test that shows the new online format of this assessment will be available.

·         The Content of Assessment information for all the 2018–19 embedded PTs that are available in January 2019 will be available.

November 5, 2018

·         The California Science Test (CAST) training tests will be updated.

·         New CAST practice tests for each grade assessed will be available. (Note that braille practice tests will be available in January 2019.)

November 5, 2018

·         The online CSA training test will be updated.

January 8, 2019

·         Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics will be available.

January 8, 2019

·         The CAST will be available. (Note that the braille assessment will be available in April 2019.)

·         The CAAs for ELA and mathematics and the CAA for Science field test will be available.

January 8, 2019

·         CAAs for ELA and mathematics and CAA for Science Directions for Administration (DFA) PDF documents will be available for download from the Test Operations Management System (TOMS).

·         The CAAs for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics practice tests will be updated.

January 8, 2019

·         The CSA practice test—one test per grades three through eight and high school—will be available.

January 2019

·         The new CAST braille practice tests for each grade assessed will be available.

April 1, 2019

·         The CSA operational assessment will be available.

April 2019

·         The CAST braille form will be available.

September 2019

·         The CAA for Science 2019–20 embedded PTs will be available for administration.

 

Questions regarding CAASPP should be directed to CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at .

Assessment Spotlight - Issue 5, August 1, 2018

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Editor's Note:  We routinely repost messages from the CDE that are marked as "Please share with educators" 



Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments.

August’s Featured Digital Library Resource—“Exploring Pi with ‘Sir Cumference’”


This month’s featured Digital Library resource, “Exploring Pi with ‘Sir Cumference,’” is a mathematics lesson intended for students in grade seven. It uses the fictional story Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi to introduce students to the relationship between the value of pi and the diameter and circumference of a circle. Emulating the mathematics work of the story’s medieval hero Sir Cumference, the students are challenged to complete circumference calculations by using data collected from real-world objects.

This lesson provides a number of opportunities for students and teachers to engage in the formative assessment process. As students gather and share data, the included resources allow them to elicit and analyze evidence before adding it to the class’s data table. Over the course of the lesson, several opportunities arise for students to engage in discussion, analyze their progress, and make adjustments to meet the intended learning goals. The materials include an interactive PowerPoint presentation that both clarifies the intended learning goals and provides links to web resources that support instruction.

Exploring Pi with ‘Sir Cumference,’” contributed to the Smarter Balanced Digital Library (Digital Library account required) by California State Network of Educators member Sabrina Jordan-Ortega, is designed to span two instructional days. It offers an optional assessment teachers can use to measure progress and culminates with an optional computer-based quiz that provides immediate feedback, allowing students to demonstrate their understanding. The digital content can be downloaded and printed for classroom use.


ELPAC Question Corner


You asked, and we heard you! This week, we answer the following questions received from the field:

 When will the California Department of Education (CDE) publicly report Initial ELPAC results?

Initial ELPAC results will be reported on the CDE’s public reporting site after the end of the 2018–19 school year. Until that time, local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to report Initial ELPAC results to parents within 30 days of enrollment in a California public school. Locally, LEAs can provide educators with access to the official scores after they are generated in the Local Scoring Tool (LST) by uploading the results file into their student information system.

 Who inputs raw scores into the LST?

LEAs have discretion in determining who inputs student raw scores into the LST.



Invitation to LEAs: Field-Testing the California Spanish Assessment


Your LEA is invited to participate in the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) field test from September 17 through October 12, 2018. The purpose of the CSA field test is to gather test response data from students representing diverse backgrounds and geographic locations throughout the state. This is an opportunity for your LEA to experience the assessment, which is designed to measure students’ Spanish skills in reading, writing mechanics, and listening. Once operational, the CSA will provide aggregate data that can be used for evaluating the implementation of Spanish language arts programs at the local level. The data may also provide a high school measure suitable for use, in part, for determining eligibility for the State Seal of Biliteracy.

While any number of school sites and students are welcome to participate, there is an especially high need for participation of students in grade nine. If your LEA is interested in participating in the CSA field test, please contact Marques Barron, CSA Program Administrator, Educational Testing Service, by email at .


CAASPP Update - July 11, 2018

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Notes on the ELPAC

-  The Initial ELPAC administration window opened on July 1.
-  The Local Scoring Tool (LST) became available in the Test Operations and Management System (TOMS) on July 9.
-  The Initial ELPAC data file layout will be posted on the ELPAC Test Administration web page by July 13.
-  The Initial ELPAC preliminary score sheet and instructions as well as the conversion tables will be posted in TOMS by July 13. They are available for optional summer use by local educational agencies (LEAs) that choose to wait until fall to enter raw scores in the LST.

"Understanding Your Student Score Report"—in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese—is now available on the ELPAC Resources web page of the ELPAC website. It provides parents and guardians with an explanation of their child's Summative ELPAC score report.

In addition, LEAs are reminded that non-scorable Summative ELPAC materials must be returned to Educational Testing Service (ETS) as soon as possible. Non-scorable test materials are not to be shredded locally. If your LEA shredded the test materials, please submit an ELPAC Testing Irregularity and Security Breach Form, available on the ELPAC Test Administration web page, and email the form to ETS at .

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to . Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.



CAASPP Scores Reports move to Electronic Delivery

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​Editor's note:  Below is a communication sent out by the CDE on April 26, 2018 detailing some of the information regarding the transition from paper distribution of CAASPP test scores to the electronic distribution (e.g. secure PDF files sent via email to parents).  The effort is being headed up by CDE and ETS and additional details are available in the CALPADS vendor notes.


Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

CALIFORNIA ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESS TRANSITION TO ELECTRONIC STUDENT SCORE REPORTS

In spring 2014, California took the bold step of transitioning almost completely from paper assessments to online assessments with the field test administration of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. California is taking another bold step by transitioning the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Student Score Reports (SSRs) from paper to electronic delivery to local educational agencies (LEAs). This process provides California and LEAs with opportunities and flexibility that are not available with paper SSRs. Electronic reporting makes it possible to:

Provide LEAs with the flexibility to decide the delivery method of the SSRs to parents/guardians, such as through their student information system (SIS) parent portal, instead of printing and mailing the SSRs.

Reduce the turnaround time for delivering SSRs to LEAs.

The transition to electronic SSRs has begun and will take place over a three-year period to provide LEAs with information updates and allow enough time to make the transition successfully:

Phase 1 - Pilot (2017-18) During Phase 1, LEAs and SIS vendors who volunteered to participate in the pilot will work with our testing contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), to test the technology solution for delivering electronic reports. All LEAs, including the LEAs participating in the pilot test, will receive paper SSRs, as usual.

Phase 2 - Initial Implementation (2018-19) During Phase 2, the California Department of Education (CDE) and ETS will work with all LEAs to implement and test the electronic reporting technology solution. When CAASPP reports are available for the 2018-19 administration, the default delivery method of the SSRs will be electronic. The CDE will offer support to select LEAs that demonstrate a clear need for continued support.

Phase 3 - Full Implementation (2019-20) During Phase 3, all LEAs will be expected to use the electronic reporting process.

To assist you, we will share the experiences of the LEAs that participated in the pilot. The lessons learned from this pilot will help us prepare and transition to full implementation.

If you have any questions, please contact the CAASPP Office by phone at

916-445-8765 or by e-mail at .

Sincerely,

/s/

Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent

Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch

KA:cp

cc: LEA CAASPP Coordinators

LEA CAASPP Technology Coordinators

CAASPP Update #221 August 30th, 2017

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Postponement of Public Release of 2016–17 CAASPP Summary Results

 During the preview period of the 2016–17 CAASPP public Web reporting site, some local educational agencies (LEAs) identified a small number of cases in which test results did not appear to aggregate as expected to their district or charter school summaries. The CDE delayed the release of the statewide test results in order to investigate these reported cases. 

The issue impacts only the CAASPP public Web reporting site and the research files available from that site for 2016–17. Please be assured that the individual student achievement levels and scale scores that have been reported to your LEA or direct funded charter school are correct. 

Once we complete our analysis and the new release date is finalized, the information will be provided to LEAs along with details and timeline for accessing the embargoed Web site. LEAs will have an opportunity, before the public release, to review the state, county, district, and/or school CAASPP reports once again to verify that the anticipated results are displayed and that all schools in the LEA are included. 

Reminder: CAASPP Online Systems Resume September 5! 

The Labor Day holiday marks the end of the system downtime period for the transition to the 2017–18 CAASPP assessments! On Tuesday, September 5, the CAASPP online systems will resume operations and provide LEAs with the following: 

    • Access to the 2017–18 Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments—which include new and revised Interim Assessment Blocks—and hand scoring materials 
    • A brand-new Interim Assessment Reporting System, chock-full of data features, including item-level student responses and advanced grouping features, for 2017–18 results (Results from prior school years will appear in the new reporting system but will not be displayed in the same level of detail as results from the 2017–18 school year.) 
    • New accessibility supports available for both summative and interim assessments 


Questions regarding the 2017–18 CAASPP online systems should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

CAASPP Update Issue #215

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Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.
 
Accessibility
 
Last month, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium passed eight motions to update the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG). The changes, which apply only to specific CAASPP assessments, are as follows:
 
New universal tools
- Embedded thesaurus
- Embedded line reader

New designated supports
- Non-embedded amplification
- Embedded mouse pointer size and color
 
New accommodations
- Embedded braille transcript for English language arts listening passages
- Non-embedded word prediction
- Non-embedded braille paper and pencil assessments
 
In addition, 10 existing policies have been updated for clarification or editorial changes. The updated UAAG, published on June 30, 2017, is available on the Smarter Balanced Accessibility and Accommodations Web page in the "What Are Accessibility Resources?" section.
 
On another accessibility note, Matrix One is in the process of being updated for the coming administration. The matrix updates will reflect the UAAG changes.
 
Student Score Reports in Spanish
 
We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Spanish versions of the Student Score Reports for both Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Alternate Assessments are now available on the CDE CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page.
 
Available—Guide to Understanding Student Score Reports
 
The 2017 version of the Guide to Understanding the Student Score Report is now available for both Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Alternate Assessments. These guides come in both English and Spanish, with other translations coming soon. These documents are organized by grade level and provide information about the assessments specific to each grade level.

ELPAC Update Issue #4, June 30th, 2017

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The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Update, from the California Department of Education (CDE), is an e-mail for K-12 educators, including testing coordinators, which focuses on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. When the ELPAC is operational, it will replace the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The ELPAC Update will be sent once per month beginning March 2017. Please forward this e-mail to any educators in your local educational agency (LEA) who would be interested in or benefit from this information.

ELPAC Regulations Approved!

Have you heard the news? The ELPAC regulations have been approved and will become effective on October 1! These regulations include definitions, requirements, responsibilities, and guidelines for the administration, test security, and reporting of the ELPAC. In addition, they include, but are not limited to:

-  Procedures for the administration of two separate assessments
-  A change in the annual summative assessment window to a four-month period, beginning February 1 and lasting through May 31
-  The use of universal tools, designated supports, and accommodation

    The ELPAC draft regulations are located on the CDE ELPAC Regulations Web page. Be on the lookout on the CDE ELPAC Web page after October 1, when the approved regulations will be posted and ready for the first administration of the ELPAC in spring 2018.

    New ELPAC Resources Next Month

    Are you interested in ELPAC resources for parents and educators? The CDE and Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) are developing an ELPAC flyer for parents, an ELPAC Fact Sheet, and ELPAC Domain Information sheets for educators. These resources are designed to provide the reader with valuable information about the ELPAC. Be on the lookout in August, when these resources will be posted on the ELPAC.org Web site.

    ELPAC Initial Assessment Field Test (FT): Coming Soon!

    With the ELPAC Summative Assessment having ended last April, we are now gearing up for this fall's ELPAC Initial Assessment (IA) FT. The CDE and its testing contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), are looking for LEAs interested in having several of their schools participate in the IA FT, which is scheduled for Monday, August 28, through Friday, September 22.

    Is your LEA interested in participating in this important work? If so, please contact Jackie Adams at SCOE by phone at 916-228-2207 by Monday, July 17. Interested LEAs will be required to send Test Examiners to a one-day training in August. The training schedule is as follows:

    Description

    Date

    Time

    Location

    In-person IA FT training

    August 16

    8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Sacramento—SCOE, New Conference Center

    In-person IA FT training

    August 17

    8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Bay Area—East Side Union High School District, Independence High School

    In-person IA FT training

    August 18

    8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Clovis—Veterans Memorial Building

    In-person IA FT training

    August 23

    8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Costa Mesa—Orange County Department of Education

    In-person IA FT training

    August 24

    8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    San Diego—Marina Village Conference Center


    Feedback on the ELPAC Student Score Report

    The CDE and ETS are in the process of developing the ELPAC Student Score Report. In order to develop a student score report, one that effectively communicates a student's progress toward English language proficiency, educators and parents/guardians will be invited to provide their input on the format and content of the score report. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon—in the July issue of the ELPAC Update.

    Due August 1: Superintendent's Designation of LEA ELPAC Coordinator Form

    Reminder: The online Superintendent's Designation of an LEA ELPAC Coordinator Form for the coming school year is due by August 1. This form was e-mailed to superintendents on March 1. After ETS has received the designation form, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the newly designated LEA ELPAC Coordinator. The confirmation e-mail will prompt the new coordinator to fill out and submit the Test Security Agreement for LEA ELPAC Coordinators and ELPAC Site Coordinators Form, which will grant the coordinator access to the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). TOMS is the online system that coordinators will use to manage all aspects of ELPAC testing, including the assignment of user roles.

    After August 1, important communications from ETS will be sent directly to LEA ELPAC Coordinators. Take care of this detail now, and then rest assured that the appropriate staff in your LEA will receive important ELPAC-related communications from ETS without delay!

    To subscribe to the ELPAC Listserv, please send a blank e-mail to .

CAASPP--REMINDER: 6/13/17 Webcast Announcement

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Dear LEA CAASPP Coordinator:

On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at approximately 3:30 p.m., Educational Testing Service and WestEd, in partnership with the California Department of Education, will broadcast the 2016–17 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Post-Test Workshop: Using Assessment Results to Inform Teaching and Learning live from the Post-Test Workshop at the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

The purpose of the workshop is to inform local educational agencies (LEAs) of the various components of the 2016–17 CAASPP student results and reports for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics and the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics, and how this information might be used to inform instruction.

Questions to be answered during the workshop will include

  • What do you need to know about these assessments?
  • What resources are available to you and your team?
  • Where and how can you access these resources?
  • How can you use the results and resources to inform teaching and learning?
  • How can you and your team optimize the results and the resources?

You may view the Webcast on the CAASPP Webcast Web page on the CAASPP Portal. This Webcast does not require preregistration or a logon account. It is highly recommended that remote viewers participate in a local group setting as there will be 20–30 minute blocks of time where you are asked to work with others in your group. We encourage you to watch this Webcast with curriculum, professional development, and instructional leaders, as well as other LEA or site representatives who might be expected to disseminate the information to other educators within your LEA.

PowerPoint presentations and handouts are available on the Training Videos and Webcasts Web page on the CAASPP Portal.

If you would prefer to attend an in-person training, registration is still available at some locations. Visit the online registration form to see dates and availability.

Questions about the Webcast and all other topics regarding the 2016–17 CAASPP administration should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

ELPAC Update - May 31st, 2017

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The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Update, from the California Department of Education (CDE), is an e-mail for K–12 educators, including testing coordinators, which focuses on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. When the ELPAC is operational, it will replace the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The ELPAC Update will be sent once per month beginning March 2017. Please forward this e-mail to any educators in your local educational agency (LEA) who would be interested in or benefit from this information.

Superintendent's Designation of LEA ELPAC Coordinator Form Due August 1

Just a brief reminder: The Superintendent's Designation of an LEA ELPAC Coordinator Form is due by August 1. Be sure to take care of this detail to ensure that the appropriate staff in your LEA will receive the important ELPAC-related communications from the contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), in a timely manner as the coming school year begins.

After ETS has received this designation form, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the newly designated LEA ELPAC Coordinator. The confirmation e-mail will prompt the new coordinator to fill out and submit the Test Security Agreement for LEA ELPAC Coordinators and ELPAC Site Coordinators Form, which will grant the coordinator access to the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). TOMS is the online system that coordinators will use to manage all aspects of ELPAC testing, including assigning user roles.After August 1, important communications from ETS will be sent directly to the LEA ELPAC Coordinators.

TOMS and ELPAC Listening Domain Unite!

Have you heard the news? The ELPAC Listening domain is set to be streamed through the ELPAC TOMS for grades three through twelve! The current system allows both California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress and ELPAC users to have a single username and password. Stay tuned—more information about TOMS and the technology requirements for accessing the Listening audio files will be available in the fall!

CELDT Retest in 2017–18

Last month, the CDE sent a letter to LEAs regarding reclassification guidance for 2017–18. One option discussed in the letter was that an LEA may enter into an agreement with the CELDT contractor, Educational Data Systems (EDS), to order additional materials to retest students for reclassification purposes in 2017–18.

In early June, LEAs will receive a detailed e-mail from EDS. This e-mail will contain a link to a brief online survey regarding the RETEST options. The survey will ask you to fill in the approximate number of students your LEA plans to test. To assist us with planning for the 2017–18 RETEST, please complete the survey whether or not your LEA plans to participate. Thank you in advance for completing this brief survey.

Summative Assessment Trainings Slated for This Fall

ETS sent CELDT District Coordinators an e-mail in mid-May regarding the fall ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA) trainings. The e-mail provided each LEA's number of allocated seats for these trainings. If you did not receive the e-mail or have questions about your seat allocation, please contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at .

You may wonder, who needs to attend ELPAC SA training? This training is designed specifically for the LEA staff who will be responsible for training Test Examiners to administer the ELPAC. Using a scoring training of trainers model, the training will focus on overall test administration and the scoring of the Speaking domain. Note that the LEA ELPAC Coordinator is not required to attend in order to receive TOMS access. As an LEA ELPAC Coordinator, you will grant access to your Test Examiners in TOMS to stream the Listening audio.

Looking Ahead: Who May Administer the ELPAC?

As you prepare to administer the ELPAC in spring 2018, keep in mind that the ELPAC regulations state that the Test Examiner must be an employee of the LEA and a proficient speaker of English. However, your LEA may choose to have a more robust policy.

Will local scoring the operational ELPAC SA be available?

Once LEAs administer the operational ELPAC SA, LEAs will ship answer books to ETS for scoring. No local scoring of the ELPAC SA will be available. LEAs will not score the ELPAC SA nor will there be Answer Key Overlays, Scoring Conversion Tables, Writing scoring rubrics in the Examiner Manuals for the ELPAC. Score reports will be returned to LEAs within six to eight weeks after ETS receives the Answer Books. More details on this scoring schedule will be available soon.

ELPAC Basic Video Resource

We are excited to announce that the "ELPAC Overview Video" will be released to LEAs this October in both English and Spanish! It will be available for download and use at such functions as staff meetings, school board meetings, and parent meetings and will cover some of the basic information about the ELPAC. Stay tuned! 

A note from CAASPP Operations re: system stability

caasppupdate

From an email sent 5/2/2017:

Dear LEA CAASPP Coordinator: 

Testing is in full swing with large volumes of online CAASPP testers—today's peak had over 450,000 students testing concurrently. The usage of the system is monitored, and when it gets close to its maximum concurrent users, it protects the system and those students who are testing by restricting access to new sessions. This situation occurred for about 20 minutes today. At that time, some test administrators received a system message and were able to log on after waiting approximately 10 minutes.

In an abundance of caution to maintain smooth operations of the CAASPP assessments for your test administrators and students, the CAASPP practice and training tests will be unavailable from 8 a.m. through 11 a.m. PT on May 3, 4, and 5, 2017. At this time, we do not anticipate the need to take the interims offline this week but please note that we may modify that decision if volumes increase.

I would like to emphasize that all CAASPP systems are running well. We are taking this step to ensure a positive testing experience for your test administrators and students. We are posting this information as a reminder on caaspp.org. The 2016–17 CAASPP summative assessments include: the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics; the California Science Test (CAST); and the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA, mathematics, and science. 

If you have any questions about this e-mail, please contact the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at . Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Assessing the Assessment System!

In my role as Director of Data & Assessment for Westchester Secondary Charter school I had the pleasure of supporting a research evaluation of the CAASPP/SBAC efforts underway in California.  The Independent Evaluation Report was  posted to CDE’s website today.  You can find it at:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caaspprptstudies.asp

As an advocate for effective software systems and a participant in the study, I added my voice to the notion that the CDE should be looking much closer at existing 3rd party assessment systems.  More than half of California's school districts have a 3rd party assessment system in place already, in ADDITION to the formative/summative resources available through CAASPP.  The report explains in very understandable language the need to understand these 3rd party systems and the need to provide more integration resources to get data moving back and forth between systems.  

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I also provided the investigative team with a list of known California assessment system providers.  They incorporated that information into a survey (pictured above) which was distributed to school-site CAASPP coordinators (orange) and District CAASPP coordinators (blue).  Though not a representative sample for state-wide assessment system adoption, it was interesting to see the results.   Is the somewhat large discrepancies between what the schools are doing and what the districts are doing have any significance?

 

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Table source:  http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caaspprptstudies.asp (Pages 45/46).

A Note from Sunny Becker, one of the authors: 

This report includes results of our two 2016 studies: the CAASPP Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Administration Study and the Access to Designated Supports and Accommodations Study.  Many thanks to the representatives of Corona-Norco Unified, Fresno County Office of Education, Greenfield Union, Learning for Life Charter, Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Poway Unified, Salinas Union High, San Diego Unified, Tulare City, Victor Valley Union High, and Westchester Secondary Charter, who participated in one or both of these studies! 

Hooray Westchester Charter for helping to advance the assessment system conversation.  Woot-woot! 

CAASPP Coordinators Update - March 20, 2017

CAASPP Coordinators Update - March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017 


Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators: 


LAUNCH OF THE PILOT TESTS FOR SCIENCE 


The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce the launch of two new assessments for pilot testing, the California Science Test (CAST) and the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science. These assessments will be available once your local educational agency (LEA) testing windows opens. Please note that students and schools will not receive results from the CAST and CAA for Science pilot tests. I encourage you to use this opportunity to begin the transition to the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). 


The items on the CAST pilot test reflect the new, innovative approach to teaching science called for in the CA NGSS. Item types used for the CAST pilot range from traditional multiple-choice item types to items that utilize simulations and other technology-enabled item types. The CAST is designed to encompass items that assess at least two of the three learning dimensions in the CA NGSS: Disciplinary Core Ideas; Science and Engineering Practices; and Crosscutting Concepts. The CAST practice test Online Practice and Training Test Portal contains sample items for grades five, eight, and high school and is available on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Portal. The Quick Reference Guide: How to Start a Training Test for Science is a resource for educators and parents on how to access the CAST training test and is available on the CDE CAST Web page. 


The CAA for Science pilot test consists of an embedded performance task, that consists of a collection of activities and questions that can be administered after related concepts are introduced and taught to the students. The administration of the embedded performance task following instruction allows students to demonstrate what they know and can do in a less burdensome environment and minimizes the gap between instruction and assessment. A Training Sample of an Embedded Performance Task is posted on the CAASPP portal. 


Building the CAST and the CAA for Science tests are a learning process. We are continually seeking new ways to improve our items as California continues to implement the CA NGSS to ensure that the CAST and the CAA for Science best measures what students know and can do. The CDE continues to engage stakeholders, teachers, and science and assessment experts for input on this journey of creating a quality assessment that best reflects the richness of the CA NGSS. Because the science pilot tests serve as a learning process, we encourage educators and students to complete the surveys at the end of the pilots to provide feedback that will be used to refine the science assessments. 


In addition, the CDE will be providing new resources to assist you during the transition to these new assessments on the CAASPP System Web page. These resources will include: 


• Introductory videos to the CAST and the CAA for Science pilot tests 



• CAST and CAA for Science Fact Sheets providing the who, what, where, why 
and how questions about the pilot tests 



• Quick Reference Guide: How to Start a CAST pilot test 
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the CAASPP Office by phone at 916-445-8765 or by e-mail at .

cc: LEA CAASPP Coordinators

CAASPP Updates for January 9th, 2017

CAASPP Updates for January 9th, 2017

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) systems are back online. The following features are now available in the test delivery system and the Test Operations Management System (TOMS):

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments Now Available
    • The Smarter Balanced Summative assessments are now available for administration within your local educational agency’s (LEA’s) selected testing window. The interim assessments also can be administered at this time.
  • California Alternate Assessment (CAA) Practice and Training Tests Now Available
    • New practice tests for the CAA are available for each grade level and content area (14 tests)
    • The CAA training tests for English language arts/literacy and mathematics have been updated with new item types.
  • Logon Web Page for CAASPP System Access Updated to Include English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Users
    • The logon Web page that provides access to CAASPP systems has been updated to include ELPAC users. Note the following about this update:
      • Users with CAASPP system access cannot access the ELPAC version of TOMS unless they have been assigned that access, and vice versa.
      • User credentials—username and password—will be the same for users who have been granted access on behalf of both testing programs.
      • CAASPP users still access the appropriate systems via the buttons and links on http://www.caaspp.org/ .
    • System e-mails with information for users about usernames and passwords will now include a sender address of . To ensure users receive these e-mails, please ask your technical staff to white-list this new e-mail address.
  • CAASPP Assessment Color Coding
    • The Test Administrator Interface now includes additional color coding intended to help LEAs visually confirm that the appropriate assessment is selected for student testing. Additional information about color coding is available in the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual .
  • Audio and Video Check Prior to Student Testing
    • A short sample video has been added to the audio check in the student testing interface. If a student does not hear the audio chime and/or see the video animation, he or she will be presented with an opportunity to test these features work prior to administering the assessments. The updated check is available for the summative, interim, practice, and training tests.
  • New Online Calculator
    • The Desmos Calculator has replaced the previous online calculator in the test delivery system. To learn more about the benefits of the Demos Calculator and how it differs from the previous online calculator, view the New Online Calculator for the CAASPP System PowerPoint presentation.

CAASPP Update # 161 - July 6, 2016

CAASPP Update # 161 - July 6, 2016

Focusing on the CAASPP System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Updated Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines

The Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines document has been updated for the 2016–17 CAASPP administration. Among the changes are two new resources:

- Simplified Test Directions (non-embedded designated support)

- 100s Number Table (non-embedded accommodation)

In addition, the recommendations on the use of scratch paper (non-embedded universal tool) now include the use of a whiteboard and marker as well as low-tech assistive devices for taking notes. Internet access must be disabled on assistive technology devices and, where appropriate, separate setting may be used to maintain a secure testing environment.

Mailing of Student Score Reports to Parents

California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 863 requires that local educational agencies (LEAs) mail the Student Score Reports to parents or guardians within 20 working days after they receive the printed reports from Educational Testing Service. The exception to this requirement applies when an LEA receives the printed reports after the last day of instruction, in which case it must mail the reports within the first 20 working days of the next school year.

Schools must maintain each student's results (print and/or electronic) in the student's permanent records.

CAASPP Update #159

A Weekly E-Mail from the California Department of Education

CAASPP Update

Focusing on the CAASPP System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Summer Hand Scoring Workshops Online Registration Coming Soon!

Educational Testing Service (ETS) will conduct one-day CAASPP Summer Hand Scoring Workshops in July and August. These workshops will train educators to score constructed-response items and performance tasks for English language arts/literacy and mathematics and to prepare students for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments.

The workshops, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., are scheduled as follows:

Continue reading

CAASPP Update #158

Issue 158

June 15, 2016

A Weekly E-Mail from the California Department of Education

CAASPP Update

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Revised CAASPP Regulations Now Available

On May 18, 2016, the Office of Administrative Law approved California Code of Regulations for CAASPP. The CAASPP regulations are located on the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP System Web page under the “CAASPP Info” tab. Highlights of the revisions made to the CAASPP regulations include the following:

Section 851.5(c) clarifies eligibility for the Standards-based Tests in Spanish as a student in one of grades three through eight and grade eleven (1) whose primary language is Spanish and who is receiving instruction in Spanish; or (2) who is enrolled in a dual language immersion program that includes Spanish; or (3) who is a recently arrived English learner and whose primary language is Spanish.

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Faster results for California student tests aligned with Common Core

Faster results for California student tests aligned with Common Core

As millions of California students take tests aligned with the Common Core standards for the second year, results are coming in more quickly than they did the first time around, a change that could help educators make better use of the tests to help guide classroom instruction.

One of the major selling points of the Smarter Balanced tests was that schools would get the results much more quickly than they did under the old California Standards Tests, and that the scores would be more useful in informing how students were taught.   

Read the entire article here:  http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_29949767/faster-results-student-tests-aligned-common-core