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Assessment Spotlight - October 9, 2019


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.

2018–19 Results Release

On October 9, 2019, the California Department of Education (CDE) publicly released the 2018–19 CAASPP results for the following:

  • Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics summative assessments in grades three through eight and grade eleven
  • California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven
The results can be found on the CDE Public Reporting website.

For CAASPP, performance continues to improve slightly overall within grades as measured by the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics assessments. Statewide results in all tested grades showed that 50.87 percent of students met or exceeded standards in ELA, a .99 percentage point increase from 2018 and a 6.87 percentage point increase from 2015. In mathematics, 39.73 percent of students met or exceeded standards, a 1.08 percentage point increase from 2018 and a 6.73 percentage point increase from 2015.

Additional information about the results can be found in the CDE news release.

The ELPAC results will be available at the same website, following final verification of the data by the CDE. 

First Operational CAA for Science: Time to Register All Eligible Students!

This week, we include a reminder for local educational agencies (LEAs) to register all eligible students for the first operational administration of the CAA for Science, which takes place this school year. We are happy to report that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act field in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) has been updated and is being uploaded to the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) (secure logon required). Once TOMS displays the CALPADS Special Education indicator and the indicator displays "Yes," you can register eligible students for the CAA for Science, and administration of the assessment can begin.

The CAA for Science is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and for whom an individualized education program team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments. Students must attempt all four embedded performance tasks to complete the assessment. The administration window for the CAA for Science, which differs from the other CAASPP assessments, opened in September and will remain open through the end of the instructional calendar year or July 15, 2020, whichever comes first.

Early registration will assist test examiners in planning for the administration of the four embedded performance tasks throughout the instructional calendar year. Please log on to TOMS and ensure that all eligible students are registered and ready to begin testing.

Updated Periodic Table and Reference Sheet for CAST

Be prepared for the 2019–20 testing! Two of the California Science Test (CAST) embedded universal tools—the periodic table and the reference sheet of formulas and constants, including the braille versions—have been updated and can be found on the CAASPP Portal Test Administration—CAST web page, under "Science Reference Tools." Be sure to access these resources, which are available as a universal tool during online testing for all grade eight and high school students. Students who are unable to access the online version during testing may use a printed version as a non-embedded designated support. If students use the printed version of these resources during testing, be sure to indicate their use of this non-embedded designated support in TOMS.

We encourage teachers to provide students with printable versions of the periodic table and reference sheet during regular class time to (1) signal to students that they do not need to memorize formulas or elements from the periodic table; and (2) help students become familiar with these resources prior to testing. Note, however, that these resources are not meant to guide instruction.

High School Science Participation Reports Available in TOMS!

Do you administer the science tests to high school students? If so, please remember that the high school participation report is now available on the CAASPP Portal in TOMS (secure logon required). LEAs can use this report to check their high school students' current participation status and whether they have been administered a science test (i.e., the California Science Test or the CAA for Science). This report will provide a "Yes" for completion of a science test and a "No" if the student still needs to complete an assessment.

To access the report, log on to TOMS and go to the Reports page, accessed from the top menu bar of the screen. Then, select the level of the report you wish to view: LEA or site. For the LEA-level report, select "LEA-Level High School Participation Report for the CAST and the CAA for Science" or, for the site-level report, select the "CAASPP School-Level High School Participation Report for the CAST and the CAA for Science" from the drop-down menu. Be sure to use this handy report for help in tracking high school students' science assessment participation status and anticipating the need to register any students! 

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