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AB2329 will Develop Computer Science Strategic Plan

In the last hours of the California legislative session, AB 2329 passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly and is now headed to the Governor! If you are so inclined, you can call or write letters to the Governor urging his signature on this important effort to develop a strategic plan for equity in computer science education in California.  Here is a sample letter from the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Bonilla, urging the Governor to sign AB2329.

TechNet, along with a wide array of education and industry supporters applaud the California state legislature for approving AB 2329, legislation which would develop a comprehensive plan for computer science education across the state.
 
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, Assembly Bill 2329 would establish a diverse advisory panel to develop a statewide computer science strategic plan, ensuring there is engagement from multiple stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, advocates, policymakers, and leaders from state and local government.
 
AB 2329
This legislation ensures that California will have a statewide strategic plan that considers the following issues:

  • Who can teach computer science and with what credentials;
  • How to increase the pool of teachers;
  • What computer science standards drive instruction; and
  • How to encourage students to take computer science classes.

 
TechNet’s California Executive Director Andrea Deveau co-authored an op-ed in the Sacramento Beeon the importance of passing this legislation with Julie Flapan, executive director of the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools. 

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2016–17 OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATOR INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ASSESSMENTS FOR CALIFORNIA

To support the development of the new English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), the California Department of Education (CDE) and its ELPAC contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), are offering several opportunities during the 2016–17 school year for California educators. The CDE and ETS are seeking applications from current and retired California educators who have experience and expertise in English language development (ELD) and/or experience teaching English to English learners (ELs) in kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12). Teachers, administrators, EL specialists, literacy specialists and coaches in K–12, and college and university educators ...
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Illuminate Education acquires Red Schoolhouse Software

Illuminate Education acquires Red Schoolhouse Software

Irvine based Illuminate Education, Inc. a leading educational software company that offers SIS, Assessment, and IEP software, announced recently that they have acquired Red Schoolhouse Software, maker of the OARS Online Reporting Assessment System.  This is big news for the 80 plus districts that use the OARS platform as it was also announced that they will ask districts to migrate from OARS to Illuminate over the course of the next 12 months.  

For those of us who know the incredible people at Red SchoolHouse Software (Axel, Katy, Veronica, Shea, and the whole crew!) this is bittersweet news.  I've used the OARS product for years and think aspects of it are extremely innovative.  And their team has been the most outstanding support crew around. So on one hand I'm happy they have found a great home with the Illuminate team, but on the other hand, a little nervous about the transition process we'll have to undertake in order to make a successful switch to Illuminate.

I think this extends the "reach" of Illuminate's assessment system to over 400 California school districts.  Making it by far the largest player in the K-12 assessment system space in California.  It will be interesting to see if this move puts any pressure on districts to move away from PowerSchool and/or Aeries to adopt Illuminate's combined SIS/Assessment/IEP platform.  

The team at Illuminate is incredible too.  They've grown to over 130 employees and are expanding rapidly outside of California.  I'm very much enjoying Dr. Jenny Rankin's new book on using student data, "Designing Data Reports that Work".

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Learn Google Forms by Brent Coley

Google Forms Made Easy!
I just attended Brent Coley's presentation at the LEAD 3.0 Symposium.  Fantastic presentation on how to use Google docs in meaningful ways in your school.  Discussed forms, 3rd party extensions like Easy Query, and something very cool called Autocrat.  Check out his website here:  www.brentcoley.com.   Amazing pre-made collection of google forms and docs that are K-12 school-centric, such as a weekly PLC agenda maker, an annual Williams Law survey, the entire policy manual for his school, etc.  Great presenter with very helpful and well thought out resources that he made available via a google drive link.  Thanks Brent!
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Why data should be over-the-counter | Jenny Rankin

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LCAP Redesign Survey

Not 100% happy with the LCAP template?  

Good!  That makes you a human being. :)

Want to improve it?  That's even better.  

That makes you a professional educator !


You can add your 2 cents by completing the CDE Foundation's survey: 

http://cdefoundation.org/lcap-survey/

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CAASPP Update, Issue 144 (March 9th, 2016)

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. 

 

Development to Begin! 

Today, after nearly a year of collaborative meetings—and the direct involvement of California teachers, national science education and test development experts, and other stakeholder groups—the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted a key recommendation on the development of new science assessments! This allows the California Department of Education (CDE) to implement an assessment development plan that proposes three summative assessments aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards for grades five and eight and for high school. See SBE March 2016 Agenda Item 02 for more information regarding this recommendation.

 

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Student Data and Privacy

There are many types of data that support student learning—and they're so much more than test scores. But individual data points don't give the full picture needed to support the incredibly important education goals of parents, students, educators, and policymakers. See the types of data that can come together—under requirements like privacy and security—to form a full picture of student learning. When used effectively, data empowers everyone.

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Test Results - Parent Video - Riverside Unified School District

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CAASPP Update #142, February 24, 2016

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.

System Downtimes: February, March, and April

Tonight, February 24, at 9 p.m. through Sunday, February 28, at 9 p.m., the Interim Assessment Viewing System as well as the Smarter Balanced practice tests and training tests will be unavailable.

NEW, March 18 at 5 p.m. through March 20 at 7 p.m., the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) will be undergoing system maintenance and will not be accessible.

April 7 at 4 p.m. through April 10 at 9 p.m., system downtime is scheduled for the  Test Delivery System (Test Administrator Interface and Student Testing Site) and the Online Reporting System.

Note:   If downtime impacts your local educational agency's (LEA's) selected testing window, please contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at . to extend the testing window.

Summative Test Security Incidents to Report? Go Through STAIRS

CAASPP LEA coordinators or site coordinators should use the online Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS) to report testing incidents for the CAASPP summative assessments. STAIRS is available online and can be accessed only in TOMS.

For any testing incidents or test security breaches involving the interim assessments, however, please contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

Accessibility Notes

Note that when requesting an unlisted resource, which is done through TOMS, it is important to describe in detail how the resource will be used by the student during the test. In regard to designated supports and  accommodations, before selecting and assigning them, please review the updated Matrix One: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for 2015-16. To summarize the Matrix One updates:

   

Changes/additions

  Separate setting, a non-embedded support accommodation for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, now includes special lighting or acoustics and administration of the test to the student at the most beneficial time of the day.

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  Translated test directions are an allowable non-embedded support for ELA.

  Text-to-speech, an embedded accommodation for reading passages, is now permitted for all grades. Smarter Balanced provides guidelines for choosing text-to-speech in grades three through five. Please refer to these guidelines before assigning this resource.

  The calculator, for allowed items, has been added as a non-embedded accommodation for mathematics in grades six through eight and grade eleven . If the calculator will be used for all items, not only the items for which it is allowed, an unlisted resource request must be submitted through TOMS.

  Read aloud in Spanish has been added as a non-embedded designated support for mathematics items and stimuli.

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Changes/removals

  American Sign Language for ELA reading items, reading passages, ELA writing and listening items, and mathematics has been removed as a non-embedded support. It is now available as a pre-identified unlisted resource through TOMS.

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  The non-embedded protractor and non-embedded ruler (math tools) have been removed as non-embedded supports for mathematics.

  Simplified test directions are no longer available as a universal tool and must be requested as an unlisted resource through TOMS. In the description of the unlisted resource, please indicate whether the request is that only the test directions be simplified or that the test questions be simplified as well.

Early Assessment Program

Reminder for grade eleven students:  Under the Early Assessment Program (EAP) of the California State University (CSU), student results from the grade eleven Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are used to determine student readiness for college-level coursework in English and mathematics. To automatically release their scores to CSU campuses and participating California community colleges, grade eleven students should select the release button at the end of each CAASPP test (i.e., for both the ELA and mathematics assessments).

Update for grade twelve students:  Grade twelve students who are currently applying to a CSU campus or a participating California community college but did not release their grade eleven CAASPP scores should wait until the admitting campus formally requests their CAASPP Student Score Report.

Accessing the Practice Tests over Multiple  Sessions Now Simplified

Use the new Practice Test Administrator Interface to set up a test session, By accessing the Practice Tests in this way, students will log on with a secure browser, their responses will be saved, and they will be able to return to the Practice Tests in a subsequent test session without having to start over,

Other advantages to using the Practice Test Administrator Interface to access the Practice Tests include:

   Students gain an opportunity to practice logging on through the secure browser.

   Teachers gain experience in setting up test sessions.

Weekend Scoring Workshops Begin Next Month

A series of weekend workshops on scoring the Smarter Balanced Assessments begins Saturday, March 12, and continues through Sunday, May 22, 2016. Participants will receive hands-on training and have the opportunity to become certified, paid raters.

The workshops are organized by content area and grade span:

Saturday Trainings

ELA, grades three through five

         ELA, grades six through eight

         Mathematics, grades six through eight

Sunday Trainings

         ELA, grade eleven

         Mathematics, grades three through five

         Mathematics, grade eleven

Registration

Participants choose the content area/grade band they wish to score, indicating their choice on the registration form. Registration is online, and participants may register for only one content area/grade band training session.

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What to Bring

Participants must  bring a Windows or Mac OS laptop that is Wi-Fi compatible to the workshop. There will be a limited number of laptops available during the workshop on a first-come, first-served basis. Chromebooks, iPads, and all other tablets cannot be used .

Interim Assessments: Using the Manner of Administration Setting 

The Manner of Administration setting in the test administrator (TA) interface is provided for interim assessment administrators to indicate whether an administration of the interim assessments will be standardized. This setting is available when both interim comprehensive assessments (ICAs) and interim assessment blocks (IABs) are being administered.

Two options are available for this setting: Standardized/Benchmark and Non-standardized. As interim assessment administrators begin to use this setting, they should consider the following information:

  • The default selection is Non-standardized.
  • The interim assessment for a student should be marked Standardized/Benchmark only if the interim assessment will be administered in a standardized mannerand a valid interpretation of results can be made. The exact criteria for selecting the Standardized/Benchmark option for a student are determined locally.
  • Results marked Standardized/Benchmark will be retained in the Interim Assessment Reporting System for potential longitudinal analyses locally.

Note that results  from the 2015-16 interim assessments marked Non-standardized will be purged from the Interim Assessment Reporting System at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, at which time all 2014-15 interim assessment results also will be purged. LEAs can download all 2014-15 and 2015-16 interim assessment results from the Interim Assessment Reporting System at any time before these data are removed.

More information about the Manner of Administration setting can be found in the November 3, 2015 e-mail notification from CalTAC to LEA CAASPP coordinators.

New, State Network of Educators Web Page

Visit the new California Department of Education (CDE) State Network of Educators (SNE) Web page, Educators from across Smarter Balanced member states comprise the SNE . They are trained to contribute and review resources for inclusion in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library  (Digital Library account required) .  Each month, a new SNE member will be featured on the CDE SNE Web page. In addition, the CDE is creating videos of select SNE members demonstrating the formative assessment process. These videos will be available beginning in March 2016 on the new SNE Web page and will accompany a detailed resource (e.g., lesson plan) in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library.

CAASPP Update #141

February System Downtime Coming Soon

During scheduled system downtime this month—9 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, through 9 p.m. Sunday, February 28—the Interim Assessment Viewing System and the Smarter Balanced practice tests and training tests will be unavailable. The interim and summative assessment Test Delivery System will not be affected.

Mark your Calendar Now for System Downtime in April

System downtown is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, and end at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, to load the California Alternate Assessments into the Test Delivery System. Issue 139 contains details on the particular systems that will be impacted.

Report Test Security Incidents in STAIRS

The CAASPP online Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS) is up and running! STAIRS is the starting point for local educational agencies and schools to report all incidents that interfere with the administration of an assessment. For more information on the submission process, please visit the CAASPP STAIRS Process Web page.

Meet an SNE Member!

February’s featured State Network of Educators (SNE) member is Steve Krolikowski, a 23-year veteran of education in the field of mathematics. Steve currently teaches grade six mathematics and chairs the Mathematics Department at Griffiths Middle School in the Downey Unified School District. In his spare time, Steve serves as the Grade Six Professional Learning Community Lead and Middle School Sports Director. He joined the Smarter Balanced Digital Library SNE in May 2015 to contribute to the development and sharing of quality, formative assessment-based, Common Core State Standards-aligned resources for inclusion in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library.

 

Since joining the SNE, Steve has participated in two SNE collaboration workshops, hosted by Smarter Balanced, in which he worked on the submission and review of resources for the Digital Library. He has vetted more than 20 resources submitted by other SNE members and contributed several of his own, including Elevate Your Number Sense, a grade six task that helps students find the absolute value of rational numbers. In this task, the students are asked to draw, on a vertical number line, various objects and animals, the positions of which are then used to find distance and answer various questions aligned with grade six standards.

 

Steve believes that one of the best ways to bring formative assessment practices into the classroom is by selecting strategies that can be used daily. He actively uses the Digital Library by selecting problem-solving activities that engage students in the formative assessment process. One of Steve’s favorite strategies for eliciting student evidence is through an activity he calls “Stand up –Pair up –Share out,” which provides him with immediate feedback on his students’ comprehension of the concept taught that day.

 

To learn more about Steve and other members of the State Network of Educators, please visit the new CDE Meet an SNE Member Web page!

Designing the NGSS-aligned Physical Science Assessment for Middle School

California and its partner, Achieve, Inc., a collaborator in developing the NGSS, are part of the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) Collaborative—a project to develop, test, and analyze sets of technology-supported diagnostic classroom assessments for middle school physical science.

 

The NGSA Collaborative project addresses core ideas in physical science by integrating middle school chemistry content of structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions, and energy with two science practices—constructing explanations and developing and using models. More information about the project, sample tasks, and classroom resources can be found on the NGSA Web site.

CALPADS News Flash!!! HOT!

FALL 1 CALPADS AMENDMENT WINDOW DEADLINE EXTENDED!Due to the delay in the availability of the preview of Fall 1 data, which includes the Unduplicated Pupil Count (UPC) that will be used in 2015–16 Second Principal Apportionment (P-2), the California Department of Education (CDE) has extended the Fall 1 deadline to March 18, 2016. The Fall 2 deadlines remain the same. The deadlines are summarized below: ​Submission ​ ​Original Deadline ​New Deadline ​Fall 1 ​Last Day of Amendment Window ​February 19, 2016 ​March 18, 2016 ​Fall 2​CertificationDeadline​March 4, 2016​No Change​Fall 2​Last Day of Amendm...
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CAASPP Update #139

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

February Downtime Coming Up

The Interim Assessment Viewing System, as well as the Smarter Balanced practice tests and training tests, will be unavailable during scheduled downtime this month: 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, through 9 p.m. Sunday, February 28. All other CAASPP online systems will be available, and there will be no interruption to the interim or summative assessment Test Delivery System.

The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) training tests will be loaded into Test Delivery System  during this downtime. Once the practice system is brought back online, the CAA training tests will be available for use by the CAA test examiners.

Looking Ahead: April Scheduled Downtime

Scheduled downtime for the Test Delivery System will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, and end at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. This downtime is necessary for the loading of the CAAs into Test Delivery System . 

Systems offline during this period will include:

Online Reporting System

Systems not impacted include:

  • Test Operations Management System (TOMS)
  • Practice and Training Tests
  • Assessment Viewing Application (Interim Assessment Viewing System)
  • Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Module
  • Appeals

Important note for planning:  Although TOMS will remain operational during the downtime, any changes to student test settings, test assignments, and unlisted resources during this time will take at least 24 hours to load into the Test Delivery System;therefore, they will not be available until April 12 at the earliest.

Accessibility Resources: Test Settings

When determining the appropriate test settings for a student, the first step is for the individualized education program (IEP) team to determine which assessments the student will take either the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments or the California Alternate Assessments. Then, keep in mind that universal toolsare available to all students, by student preference and selection. Designated supports are available to all students, by teacher recommendation. Accommodations are available only to students with an IEP or Section 504 plan and must be referenced in the IEP/Section 504 plan.

There is no need for the California Department of Education (CDE) to approve the use of designated supports, such as an unlisted resource. For example, separate setting (most beneficial time, special lighting/acoustics, adaptive furniture, small group) is considered a designated support, and the test examiner simply activates this setting in TOMS for the Smarter Balanced tests and the CAAs.

As with other accommodations, start the selection of an unlisted resource by logging into TOMS and locating the students profile. Then:

  Choose the tab labeled Resources.

  Review the list of student needs in step1 and choose those that best describe the student.

  Select the applicable pre-approved non-embedded unlisted resources from the table in step 2. Note that these resources have been determined to change the construct of the assessment; therefore, their use will invalidate the results for the purpose of accountability. 

If you do not see the applicable unlisted resource in the table in step 2, select the "Other" button next to the table in step 3.

  When that window opens, identify the student needs, select the appropriate test (Smarter Balanced or CAAs) and the content area (English language arts, mathematics, or science), and then answer the last three questions:

Name of the unlisted resource being requested?  

How will this resource be used by the student?  

v  Why is this unlisted resource necessary? (i.e., What kind of access does this resource provide that is not already available on the CDE Matrix One: CAASPP Web page ?)

Select save, and then select submit. 

The CDE will review your request, and you will receive a response indicating whether the requested resource has been approved or denied.

Digital Library Featured Resource - 4th Grade Subtraction Mistake Detectives: Place Value and Algorithm

This months featured Digital Library  resource, 4th Grade Subtraction Mistake Detectives: Place Value and Algorithm , consists of a classroom lesson presented through a slide show and a corresponding teachers guide. The presentation slides engage students in the process of analyzing error patterns and explain how error patterns can be corrected. Five developmentally appropriate strategies are demonstrated: estimation, concrete models, drawing pictures, standard form, and simplification. Each strategy reinforces the patterns related to regrouping in the base ten number system when solving subtraction problems.

Each instructional sequence in the module has been designed to help students detect errors made while performing the subtraction algorithm, and the module teaches the content-area vocabulary necessary to explain how error patterns can be corrected. Through the analysis of error patterns, students will be able to demonstrate and articulate relationships between the subtraction algorithm and place value concepts.

This resource was contributed by California's own State Network of Educators member, Dr. Carol Kohn. Check out this resource and try it in your classroom! Then consider taking a few moments to write a review for the benefit of colleagues who are visiting the Digital Library .

New Resource: Extracting Meaning from Performance Task Responses

WestEd  and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity  have partnered to create the Understanding Proficiency: Learning from Student Work on Performance Tasks. This resource for educators lays out how to develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards by analyzing student work on performance tasks of the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests. Central to this resource are samples of actual student work that has been collected, scored, and annotated by teachers to illustrate proficiency across the range of score levels possible for each task.

Currently, resources are provided for English language arts/literacy performance tasks. Resources for mathematics are expected to be available this spring.

CAASPP Update #136

CAASPP Update #136

CAASPP System Downtime

Just a reminder: System downtime starts tonight at 9 p.m. and continues through January 18, 9 p.m., as part of final preparations for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. During that time, the Test Administrator Interface and Interim Assessment Viewing System will be unavailable. Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments will not be available to administer or preview.

New Reporting Process for Irregularities and Appeals Effective Next Week

A new reporting process for test irregularities and appeals—the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS)—will go into effect on January 19, which is the same date the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments will become available to local educational agencies (LEAs) whose testing window opens before or on January 19. STAIRS will be accessed in Test Operations Management System (TOMs). Detailed information on how to report an incident or an appeal will be available on the CAASPP Web site later this month.

Assessment Accessibility Notes

New accessibility Web pages have been posted on the California Department of Education (CDE) and CAASPP Web sites! These new pages include important changes in selecting, assigning, and uploading universal tools, designated supports, accommodations and unlisted resources. Please visit the Student Accessibility Supports Web page and CAASPP's Student Accessibility Resources and Test Setting Web page for links to such resources as:

Unlisted resources (previously called "individualized aids") must be requested in TOMS student settings. The new online request form is now available in TOMS and provides for a more streamlined process that includes pre-population of student and school information.


Summative Assessments Nearing for Some LEAs

As mentioned earlier, the summative assessment administration begins on January 19 for LEAs that have selected a testing window starting before or on January 19. As your LEA's window approaches, please note:

  1. ·Smarter Balanced translated test directions have been posted on the CAASPP Web page under the TA-Resources tab and Summative Assessments. NEW—English language arts/literacy test directions have been translated into 18 languages and are now available. The test directions for mathematics have also been updated.
  2. ·NEWClassroom activity informational letter regarding the required use of the classroom activity is now available. Last year, some districts, schools, and test administrators found the classroom activity to be a useful tool for their students in preparation for taking the performance task, while others found the classroom activity to be less valuable. The letter lays out that LEAs may make their own determination as to whether it would be useful to administer the classroom activity and will not be penalized if they do not administer it.
  • Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 852(b), LEAs are required to inform parents of their right to exempt their child from taking the CAASPP tests.


New Guidance on Calculator Use with the California Alternate Assessments

New guidance has been provided to clarify the allowed use of a calculator during the administration of the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs). While taking these tests, students will be allowed to use the non-embedded calculator they are most familiar with in their day-to-day schoolwork—as opposed to the embedded "digital" version on the computer screen.

For the CAAs in grade three, any test item that would be compromised by the use of a calculator will be embellished with a "no calculator" icon as a prompt to not allow the use of a calculator for that item.

The CDE is committed to promoting, to the extent possible, students' comfort, sense of security, and ability to perform at their best during the activities of the assessments.

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



UPDATES ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ASSESSMENTS FOR CALIFORNIA


On November 4, 2015, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved the test blueprints and task types for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). These documents can be found on the ELPAC Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov//ta/tg/ep/index.asp. Approval of the blueprints and task types was the first step of many in moving towards a fully operational ELPAC.

In December 2015, the testing contractor for the ELPAC, Educational Testing Service, conducted pilot testing at several schools in the Sacramento area. Pilot testing ensures that new task types planned for the ELPAC elicit useful information about language proficiency, as described in the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. Evaluation and analyses of the pilot testing results are currently underway.

As a next step in moving forward, the CDE is pleased to announce that on January 14, 2016, the SBE approved the General Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) which will be used to guide the development of domain and grade/grade span-specific PLDs (specific PLDs) in summer 2016. General PLDs (sometimes called policy definitions) provide generic descriptions of student performance level expectations, and are used to guide the development of the specific PLDs. These definitions are not specific to the ELPAC initial or summative assessment, or to grade or domain (i.e., listening, speaking, reading, or writing). Rather, they are broad descriptors of how well students understand and use language at each level as they progress in learning English and develop proficiency in productive and receptive language skills.

As part of the ongoing test development activities, in February 2016, the Sacramento County Office of Education will provide training on writing items for the ELPAC based on the ELPAC test blueprints to a select group of California educators. Although the deadline to participate in this training has passed, please encourage district staff to go to the following link to find additional information on upcoming opportunities to participate in the continued development of the ELPAC https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ELPACApp2015.

As a reminder, the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) will be administered as usual in 2015–16 and 2016–17 for the purposes of initial identification, instructional placement, and possible reclassification as well as federal reporting requirements. A copy of the Transition Timeline, which lays out the shift from the CELDT to the ELPAC from 2015–16 through 2018–19 can be located at http://www.cde.ca.gov//ta/tg/ep/index.asp.

The CDE will continue to reach out to you periodically with updates on the development of the ELPAC. You can also subscribe to the ELPAC listserv by sending a blank e-mail to . If you have questions, please contact the English Language Proficiency Assessments Office by phone at 916-319-0784 or by e-mail at

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CAASPP Update # 135

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.

CAASPP System Downtime Next Week

System downtime is scheduled January 13, 9 p.m., through January 18, 9 p.m., as part of final preparations for the 2015–16 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. During that time, the Test Administrator Interface and Interim Assessment Viewing System will be unavailable, and Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments will not be available to administer or preview.

CAASPP and the State Board of Education Meeting, January 13 and 14

The next State Board of Education (SBE) public meeting will occur January 13 and 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. both days. The meeting will include discussions of CAASPP-related topics:

  • Agenda item 3 will include updates on activities related to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, Interim Assessments, and Digital Library as well as the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) and California Next Generation Science Standards assessments.

  • Agenda item 4 will provide sample CAASPP Student Score Reports and will request that the SBE approve the Student Score Report for 2015–16 and beyond.

  • Agenda item 7 will submit proposed general performance level descriptors (PLDs) for the CAAs and recommend the general PLDs for adoption by the SBE.

The meeting agenda and links to each agenda item are available on the SBE Agenda for January 2016 Web page. The meeting can be accessed via live Webcast on the SBE Meeting Live Webcast Web page. In addition, the Webcast archive of the meeting will be available on the SBE Meeting Webcast Archive Web page.

Summative Assessment Reminders

Summative assessment administration begins on January 19 for local educational agencies (LEAs) that have selected a testing window starting before or on January 19. Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 852(b), LEAs are required to inform parents of their right to exempt their child from taking the CAASPP tests.

New Features in the Test Operations Management System

NEW! Test Operations Management System (TOMS) features available as of January 4:

· Coordinators may now enter student condition codes—Medical Emergency and Parental Exemption—by content area. These condition codes may also be batch uploaded.

· Delivery code and delivery name information for pre-ID labels may be batch uploaded. This information identifies the location (i.e., classroom) and test administrator on the pre-ID label and assists schools in organizing the answer documents.

· Coordinators may now request a 2015–16 Student Score Report in Spanish.

· The Unlisted Resources Request is now available in TOMS:

‒ Submit the request at least 10 business days before testing.

‒ The California Department of Education (CDE) has four business days to review and approve the request.

· LEA CAASPP coordinators can batch upload a template for student settings and, starting January 19, site coordinators will be able to submit a batch template upload for student settings.

· Test assignments—assign tests (e.g., CAAs) for students who are taking tests other than default tests (e.g., Smarter Balanced Assessments).

Digital Library Featured Resource: Introduction to the Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile Tool

While administrators work to ensure technology readiness for the coming summative assessments, teachers and test administrators are encouraged to review the 15-minute interactive professional learning module “Introduction to the Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile (ISAAP).” This Digital Library resource, updated in July 2015, demonstrates how educators can make the Smarter Balanced Summative and Interim Assessments accessible so every student can demonstrate what he or she knows and can do.

This resource focuses on using the ISAAP tool to identify access needs for all students versus only those who have needs documented through an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. It provides information about the three types of supports available to meet students’ access needs and provide a positive testing experience for every student:

· Universal tools are available to all students on the basis of student preference and selection.

· Designated supports are available to all students as determined for use by an educator or a team of educators (with parent/guardian and student input, as appropriate).

· Accommodations are available to students with an IEP or Section 504 plan.

The process for selecting and assigning appropriate supports through the use of the ISAAP tool can be customized on the basis of LEA and school site needs. California educators must use the 2015–16 Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile Tool for CAASPP assessments located in the Additional Resources area of the CAASPP Portal; the ISAAP tool in the Smarter Balanced ISAAP module is not compatible with TOMS.

There is still time for educators and students to try out the different types of supports using the Practice and Training Tests. Doing so will encourage familiarity with the supports as well as an optimal summative assessment experience.

CAAs: New Web Pages Coming Soon!

New CAA Web pages are nearing completion! The main CAA Web page will include the CAA blueprints, approved by the SBE in July 2015, as well as information for parents and other IEP team members on making the decision whether a student will participate in the CAAs. In addition, a separate, related Web page featuring the Core Content Connectors and the essential understandings for English language arts and mathematics is being finalized.

Which Students Take the CAAs?

Students are eligible for the CAAs if the IEP team designates the use of an alternate assessment. The CDE recommends that IEP teams base their decision regarding the use of an alternate assessment on the following:

  1. The student has a significant cognitive disability.

    The student is learning content derived from the Common Core State Standards.

    The student requires extensive direct individualized instruction and substantial supports to achieve measurable gains in the curriculum.


All students eligible to take the CAAs and enrolled in/assigned to grades five, eight, or ten will take the CAPA for science.

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

How new tools meant to help special education students take standardized tests actually made it harder

Source:  LA TIMES, December 21st, 2015:

Last spring, Julia Kim's students with disabilities at Fairmount Elementary in San Francisco were ready to take a new standardized test. They were excited that it had been built especially for them. In past years, students with visual perception disorders had test questions read out loud. 

This time, the students sat in front of their computers awaiting the new technology designed to help them complete the test on their own for the first time. But as soon as the first question appeared, students complained that the print was too small. 

The color contrast tool, which used a background to minimize visual distortions, had been developed for the Common Core test to make it easier for special education students to see. 

But in practice, the tool prevented the one student in Kim's class who used it from reading questions and marking answers. "I can't see it," he told Kim. It was too dark to read.

Read more here:  http://www.latimes.com/local/education/standardized-testing/la-me-edu-how-new-tools-meant-to-help-special-education-students-take-standardized-tests-actually-made-them-ha-20151130-story.html?utm_source=Dec.+21+daily+email+--+Erin&utm_campaign=Daily+email&utm_medium=email


CAASPP Update #132 Dec 16, 2015

CAASPP Update #132 Dec 16, 2015

Issue 132
December 16, 2015

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.

A Fresh, New Look for the CAASPP Update

With a more engaging way of delivering assessment information in mind, the California Department of Education (CDE) has redesigned the CAASPP Update. We hope the new look improves readability and better reflects the new face of testing in California!

CDE Testing iOS9.2 for Smarter Balanced Assessments

The CDE is beta testing iOS 9.2, released by Apple for the iPad on Wednesday, December 9, and hopes to formally approve this operating system by the end of the month for use with the administration of the Smarter Balanced assessments—both interim and summative.

LEAs can continue to use iOS 9.0, and 9.1 until the summative assessment release on January 19. This will allow LEAs to transition to iOS 9.2 while still being able to administer practice/training tests and interim assessments. Only Apple devices with supported iOS versions (i.e, iOS 7.0 through 7.1, 8.0 through 8.2, and 9.2) will be able to access the interim and summative assessments beginning January 19.

Timely Webcasts Coming Up!

Timely opportunities for training in the form of Webcasts are available this month and next!

December 16, 1–2 p.m.—Accessibility and Accommodations
This Webcast will feature updates on assessment accessibility procedures that are new for 2015–16, including a demonstration of the newly updated CAASPP Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile tool, and examines the new process for requesting an unlisted resource (previously called “individualized aids”) in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). Also included will be a walkthrough of the revised Matrix One.

January 14—Pre-Test Administration
This Webcast is for those who are unable to attend one of the many live Pre-Test Administration Workshops being held throughout the state in January and February. The Webcast will cover the topics of roles and responsibilities, technology infrastructure, practice and training tests, the use of TOMS, test administration, test security, the Digital Library and interim assessments, and the California Alternate Assessments.

Both Webcasts will be archived and posted on the Current Administration of the CAASPP System Tests—Training Videos and Resources Web page.

Countdown to System Downtimes

System downtimes are coming up soon that will result in new features for 2016 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. If you have not marked your calendar, now is the time!

TOMS will be unavailable December 28, 8 p.m. through January 3, 9 p.m. Student test assignments and testing settings cannot be modified during this time.

The Test Administrator Interface and Interim Assessment Viewing System will be unavailable January 13, 9 p.m. through January 18, 9 p.m. Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments cannot be administered or previewed during this time.

Summative Assessments Are Coming Up—Will You Be Ready?

To help in preparing for a successful 2015–16 administration of the summative assessment, the CDE offers the following reminders:

·    Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments testing opens Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Please verify that your selected test administration windows have been created in TOMS.

·   After receiving notification from the CDE, update all Apple devices to iOS 9.2 (approval of the operating system is expected by the end of this month). Note that iOS 9.0 and 9.1 will continue to be supported for testing through January 18.

·   Verify that CALPADS data are current, including program participation, English learner designation, individualized education program (IEP) and disability code, Section 504 plan, and demographic information. Note that only students who are identified in CALPADS as having an IEP or Section 504 plan will have access to embedded accommodations.

Heads Up: New Testing Irregularity Process

The testing irregularity reporting process is being migrated to an online system for the 2015–16 CAASPP administration. The Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS) will be the central location for LEAs to report such testing incidents as breaches, irregularities, and administration issues. STAIRS will provide immediate feedback to LEAs regarding subsequent actions to be taken by the LEA, including submitting an appeal. Watch for details on this new process, coming soon.

Security Requirements for the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments

While the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments are not secure resources, they are also not public resources. Therefore, LEA staff using the interim assessments should exercise caution to maintain the integrity of interim assessments and associated materials. The CAASPP Regulations require that a Test Security Affidavit be completed only for accessing and using CAASPP achievement tests which are defined as “ . . . any summative standardized test that measures the level of performance that a pupil has achieved on state-adopted content standards.” While there is no state regulatory requirement for LEA staff to sign the CAASPP Test Security Affidavit to access and administer the interim assessments, LEAs may have local security requirements for staff to adhere to locally.

Participation Criteria for Modified and Alternate Science Tests

The California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science and California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science are included in the upcoming 2015–16 CAASPP administration.

The CMA for Science is for eligible students in grades five, eight, and ten. An eligible student is any student in one of these grades who has an IEP in which the student’s IEP team has designated the use of this test.

The CAPA for Science is for eligible students in grades five (Level I or III), eight (Level I or IV), and ten (Level I or V) who have significant cognitive disabilities. An eligible student is one who is enrolled in one of these grades and has an IEP in which the student’s IEP team has designated the use of an alternate assessment. The IEP states whether the student should take the grade-assigned CAPA level or CAPA Level I. Students who repeat grade eleven for multiple years continue to take Level I or Level V until they are enrolled in grade twelve.

California Alternate Assessments

The California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) are for students with an IEP designating the use of an alternate assessment on statewide testing. Beginning in 2016, that designation must be indicated in CALPADS along with a designated disability code for the student.

In additional CAA news, content reviewers are being requested for the development of the performance level descriptors for the CAAs. The reviewers will meet in Sacramento for up to two days in February 2016. Please complete a 2015–16 CAASPP Content Reviewer Application if you are interested in this professional development opportunity.

 

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

What are the LCFF and LCAP?

What are the LCFF and LCAP?

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

Big Changes in School Funding

California's system for funding schools is getting its biggest overhaul since Prop 13, which significantly altered funding sources, passed in the 1970s. Beginning this school year, California Public Schools (including Charter Schools) will be funded through a new system that replaces the old "categorical" approach of the last several decades. The new system is known as the Local Control Funding Formula or LCFF for short.

What is LCFF?

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) establishes a base grant for every student attending a public school in California. It then provides a supplemental grant for every student in a district who qualifies as low income, is a foster youth, or is an English language learner. Finally, a concentration grant is provided to school districts where more than 55 percent of students receive the supplemental grant.

Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)

In order to receive funding, every California school district is required to prepare a "Local Control and Accountability Plan which spells out a list of annual, measurable goals. Each Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) must address eight areas of state priorities:

  • Basic Services
  • Student Outcomes
  • Course Access
  • School Climate
  • Implementation of Common Core State Standards
  • Parental Involvement
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Achievement

For planning purposes, the state's proposed LCAP template groups the eight state priorities into three categories:

  • Conditions of Learning
  • Student Outcomes
  • Engagement
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