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CA Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit

 

June 2, 2016
Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

CALIFORNIA SUPERINTENDENTS TECH FOR SCHOOLS SUMMIT

I want to extend a special invitation for you to attend the Second Annual California Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit.

The Summit brings together the leading superintendents and district teams from across California to interact with the most creative education technology entrepreneurs.

Conference topics include digital equity, the Williams Act and how you can stay on top of it, and student data privacy. In addition, you will have an opportunity to meet with more than 30 companies selected by a panel of education advisors. Plus, there will be a fascinating tour of the Google campus the night before to network and mingle with education and technology leaders.

This event takes place on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Mountain View, California. Registration and information are available on the Ed Surge Web page at https://go.edsurge.com/TS- 1606CAa_07-LP-Partner-CDE.html.

You are encouraged to bring your central office teams comprised of the Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Chief Technology Officer, and any other member of your team who plays a pivotal role in selecting and implementing instructional technology. Optional attendance is also available for one school board member.

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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

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Smarter Balanced Assessments Explained

Published on Mar 20, 2015 Walk through real questions from the Smarter Balanced assessment with 2010 National Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling to see how the new test asks students to demonstrate their analytical, reasoning, and critical-thinking skills and what it means for their success.

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Smarter Balanced Assessment Overview

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CAASPP UPDATE #153

Smarter Balanced Content Development Opportunities This Summer!

If you are a California educator with the following qualifications, Smarter Balanced wants to hear from you regarding possible participation in content development activities:

l Currently certified or licensed to teach English language arts/literacy (ELA) and/or mathematics in a K–12 public school or certified to teach English learners and/or students with disabilities.

  • Currently teaching in a public school or currently employed by a public school, district, or state education entity, including higher education, located within a Smarter Balanced member state.

  • Within the past three years:

    • Have taught ELA and/or mathematics in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a classroom content support role, such as a literacy or mathematics coach or district/state content specialist.

      and/or

    • Have taught students with disabilities and/or English learners in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a support role, such as a district/school coordinator or instructional specialist. Educators with specialization in teaching students with visual impairments or who are deaf or hard of hearing are encouraged to apply.

  • Familiarity with part or all of the Common Core State Standards for the content area in which they are interested in working.

  • For ELA item review, educators who have documented expertise in the area of science and/or social science may apply.

  • Some opportunities will have additional preferred experience qualifications.
  • The activities are taking place this summer, beginning in July, and selected educators will participate in a meeting that lasts four or five days. The content development meetings are as follows:


    • Data review—review of field-tested items for possible content-related issues or accessibility-related issues

    • Item review—review of items before their being field-tested

    • Interim assessment block/Digital Library connections—development of resources to connect the Digital Library with interim assessment blocks

    Apply by e-mailing Dixie Abbott, California Educator Involvement Coordinator, , to request an application. Completed applications must be returned by May 20, 2016. An FAQ document can be requested by e-mail as well.

    Smarter Balanced and respective contractors will make the final selection of educators to serve from each member state. The goal of that selection will be to have a balance of geographic regions, grade levels, years of experience, and other demographic data. Lodging, travel costs, and applicable reimbursements to each selected participant will be provided following the meeting and may include substitute reimbursement defined by local policy.

    New This Week! Parent Resources for Understanding the Student Score Report

    The video “Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report 2015–16,” which explains how to interpret student results and highlights the new features found in the report, is now available in English. It is located on the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page. The Spanish version of the video is coming soon.

    A CAASPP document, Understanding Your Student Score Report, is now available in English for each of the following on the Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Reports Web page:

    • Grade three (ELA and mathematics)
    • Grades four, six, and seven (ELA and mathematics)
    • Grades five and eight (ELA, mathematics, and science)
    • Grade ten (science)
    • Grade eleven (ELA and mathematics, including Early Assessment Program results)

    Each document will be available soon in Spanish and other languages.

    In addition, the CAASPP Student Score Report documents for the Standards-based Tests in Spanish for grades two through eleven (reading/language arts) will be available shortly.

    Reminder: As of last week, the CDE samples of the 2015–16 Student Score Report are available in Spanish on the CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page.

    Accessibility Notes: Matrix One

    The CDE continues to receive numerous requests for unlisted resources for designated supports or accommodations that are already listed on the CDE Matrix One: CAASPP Web page. Before submitting an unlisted resource request, please review Matrix One, a four-part document that provides information about the use of accessibility resources on the CAASPP assessments:


    • Part 1, Embedded Resources lists the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations delivered digitally (e.g., highlighter, text-to-speech, American Sign Language videos) that may be used by a student having appropriate documentation to receive a valid test score for the designated test(s).

    • Part 2, Non-embedded Resources lists the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations delivered locally by school staff (e.g., separate setting, abacus) that may be used by a student having appropriate documentation to receive a valid test score for the designated test(s).

    • Part 3, Instructional Supports and Resources on the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)provides information on the resources available to students taking the CAAs.

    • Part 4, Unlisted Resources provides information on unlisted resources, what they are, and how they can be requested. Unlisted resources are defined as accessibility supports, documented through an individualized education program or Section 504 plan, that are not listed in Parts 1, 2, or 3 of Matrix One. Therefore, a local educational agency (LEA) must submit a request through the Test Operations Management System, specifying what kind of access the unlisted resource will provide and why it is needed. Page 9 of Matrix One displays the list of identified non-embedded unlisted resources that change the construct being measured. Remember, not all unlisted resources result in invalid scores; that determination is made by the CDE during its review of the unlisted resource request.

    The Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines document (PDF) is recommended as a reference for detailed information on the recommendations for use of the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations listed in Matrix One.

    Further questions about the use of any accessibility resources should be directed to the CDE CAASPP Office at 916-445-8765 or by e-mail to . Technical questions regarding the operation of any of the resources, including the setting of print on demand, should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

    Assessment Window Reminder

    Please make sure that all students are tested and STAIRS incidents reported before the end of your LEA’s available testing windows for all CAASPP assessments:

    • Smarter Balanced—end of the LEA-selected testing window
    • California Alternate Assessments—June 17
    • California Standards Test and California Alternate Performance Assessment—end of the LEA-selected, 25-day testing window

    Setting the Manner of Administration for Interim Assessments

    Two options are available for the Manner of Administration setting: “Nonstandardized” (the default setting) and “Standardized/Benchmark.” Interim assessments administered in 2015–16 in a nonstandardized manner will be purged from the Interim Assessment Reporting System at the beginning of the 2016–17 school year. At that time, all 2014–15 interim assessment results also will be purged.

    The status of the Manner of Administration setting can be located in the Interim Assessment Reporting System, which displays an icon adjacent to the performance level to indicate that an assessment was administered in a standardized manner. The following sample screen shot shows how the icon is displayed.

    The “Standardized/Benchmark” option should be selected only if the interim assessment will be administered in a standardized manner. The exact criteria for selecting the “Standardized/Benchmark” option for a student are determined locally. Setting the manner of administration to “Standardized/Benchmark” can be done in two ways:

    1. Recommended option—The test administrator sets it in the Test Administrator Interface before approving a student to begin an interim assessment. Specific instructions and screenshots are provided on page 30 of the Interim Assessment User Guide (PDF).

    2. Set it by using a downloadable data file from the Interim Assessment Reporting System after the test administration. This option requires the LEA CAASPP coordinator to work with CalTAC to re-upload the file and requires additional time for completion. Specific instructions are provided on pages 41–43 of theInterim Assessment User Guide (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab..

    Questions regarding the Manner of Administration setting should be directed to the CalTAC Digital Library and Interim Assessments Help Desk by phone at 855-631-1510 or by e-mail at .

    HumRRO’s Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Study

    The CDE has authorized the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), as the CAASPP independent evaluator, to conduct a study to investigate local experiences with the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. This study is an exploration of the usage of, experiences with, and utility of the interim assessments while also serving as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement. It is expected to provide insight as to the benefits and challenges of the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, their future improvement, and the enhancement of their ability to serve as a valuable resource for student learning.

    Today, HumRRO will begin surveying a random sample of CAASPP school site coordinators and test administrators. To those selected for the survey: We encourage you to respond, even if you have not completed any interim testing, and thank you in advance for your responses.

    Smarter Balanced Content Development Opportunities This Summer!

    If you are a California educator with the following qualifications, Smarter Balanced wants to hear from you regarding possible participation in content development activities:

    l Currently certified or licensed to teach English language arts/literacy (ELA) and/or mathematics in a K–12 public school or certified to teach English learners and/or students with disabilities.

  • Currently teaching in a public school or currently employed by a public school, district, or state education entity, including higher education, located within a Smarter Balanced member state.

  • Within the past three years:

    • Have taught ELA and/or mathematics in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a classroom content support role, such as a literacy or mathematics coach or district/state content specialist.

      and/or

    • Have taught students with disabilities and/or English learners in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a support role, such as a district/school coordinator or instructional specialist. Educators with specialization in teaching students with visual impairments or who are deaf or hard of hearing are encouraged to apply.

  • Familiarity with part or all of the Common Core State Standards for the content area in which they are interested in working.

  • For ELA item review, educators who have documented expertise in the area of science and/or social science may apply.

  • Some opportunities will have additional preferred experience qualifications.
  • The activities are taking place this summer, beginning in July, and selected educators will participate in a meeting that lasts four or five days. The content development meetings are as follows:


    • Data review—review of field-tested items for possible content-related issues or accessibility-related issues

    • Item review—review of items before their being field-tested

    • Interim assessment block/Digital Library connections—development of resources to connect the Digital Library with interim assessment blocks

    Apply by e-mailing Dixie Abbott, California Educator Involvement Coordinator, , to request an application. Completed applications must be returned by May 20, 2016. An FAQ document can be requested by e-mail as well.

    Smarter Balanced and respective contractors will make the final selection of educators to serve from each member state. The goal of that selection will be to have a balance of geographic regions, grade levels, years of experience, and other demographic data. Lodging, travel costs, and applicable reimbursements to each selected participant will be provided following the meeting and may include substitute reimbursement defined by local policy.

    New This Week! Parent Resources for Understanding the Student Score Report

    The video “Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report 2015–16,” which explains how to interpret student results and highlights the new features found in the report, is now available in English. It is located on the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page. The Spanish version of the video is coming soon.

    A CAASPP document, Understanding Your Student Score Report, is now available in English for each of the following on the Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Reports Web page:

    • Grade three (ELA and mathematics)
    • Grades four, six, and seven (ELA and mathematics)
    • Grades five and eight (ELA, mathematics, and science)
    • Grade ten (science)
    • Grade eleven (ELA and mathematics, including Early Assessment Program results)

    Each document will be available soon in Spanish and other languages.

    In addition, the CAASPP Student Score Report documents for the Standards-based Tests in Spanish for grades two through eleven (reading/language arts) will be available shortly.

    Reminder: As of last week, the CDE samples of the 2015–16 Student Score Report are available in Spanish on the CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page.

    Accessibility Notes: Matrix One

    The CDE continues to receive numerous requests for unlisted resources for designated supports or accommodations that are already listed on the CDE Matrix One: CAASPP Web page. Before submitting an unlisted resource request, please review Matrix One, a four-part document that provides information about the use of accessibility resources on the CAASPP assessments:


    • Part 1, Embedded Resources lists the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations delivered digitally (e.g., highlighter, text-to-speech, American Sign Language videos) that may be used by a student having appropriate documentation to receive a valid test score for the designated test(s).

    • Part 2, Non-embedded Resources lists the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations delivered locally by school staff (e.g., separate setting, abacus) that may be used by a student having appropriate documentation to receive a valid test score for the designated test(s).

    • Part 3, Instructional Supports and Resources on the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)provides information on the resources available to students taking the CAAs.

    • Part 4, Unlisted Resources provides information on unlisted resources, what they are, and how they can be requested. Unlisted resources are defined as accessibility supports, documented through an individualized education program or Section 504 plan, that are not listed in Parts 1, 2, or 3 of Matrix One. Therefore, a local educational agency (LEA) must submit a request through the Test Operations Management System, specifying what kind of access the unlisted resource will provide and why it is needed. Page 9 of Matrix One displays the list of identified non-embedded unlisted resources that change the construct being measured. Remember, not all unlisted resources result in invalid scores; that determination is made by the CDE during its review of the unlisted resource request.

    The Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines document (PDF) is recommended as a reference for detailed information on the recommendations for use of the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations listed in Matrix One.

    Further questions about the use of any accessibility resources should be directed to the CDE CAASPP Office at 916-445-8765 or by e-mail to . Technical questions regarding the operation of any of the resources, including the setting of print on demand, should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

    Assessment Window Reminder

    Please make sure that all students are tested and STAIRS incidents reported before the end of your LEA’s available testing windows for all CAASPP assessments:

    • Smarter Balanced—end of the LEA-selected testing window
    • California Alternate Assessments—June 17
    • California Standards Test and California Alternate Performance Assessment—end of the LEA-selected, 25-day testing window

    Setting the Manner of Administration for Interim Assessments

    Two options are available for the Manner of Administration setting: “Nonstandardized” (the default setting) and “Standardized/Benchmark.” Interim assessments administered in 2015–16 in a nonstandardized manner will be purged from the Interim Assessment Reporting System at the beginning of the 2016–17 school year. At that time, all 2014–15 interim assessment results also will be purged.

    The status of the Manner of Administration setting can be located in the Interim Assessment Reporting System, which displays an icon adjacent to the performance level to indicate that an assessment was administered in a standardized manner. The following sample screen shot shows how the icon is displayed.

    The image is a screen shot of a mock student list in the Interim Assessment Reporting System. The image contains a gray navigational menu bar at the top followed with the title of the assessment below the menu bar. Sample student names are listed alphabetically by last name in the column on the left. The appropriate icon for indicating how well the student met assessed standards and the icon indicating the test was administered in a standardized manner are side by side in the column on the right. When the icon for administration in a standardized manner is not present, the student was administered the interim assessment in a nonstandardized manner.

    The “Standardized/Benchmark” option should be selected only if the interim assessment will be administered in a standardized manner. The exact criteria for selecting the “Standardized/Benchmark” option for a student are determined locally. Setting the manner of administration to “Standardized/Benchmark” can be done in two ways:

    1. Recommended option—The test administrator sets it in the Test Administrator Interface before approving a student to begin an interim assessment. Specific instructions and screenshots are provided on page 30 of the Interim Assessment User Guide (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab..

    2. Set it by using a downloadable data file from the Interim Assessment Reporting System after the test administration. This option requires the LEA CAASPP coordinator to work with CalTAC to re-upload the file and requires additional time for completion. Specific instructions are provided on pages 41–43 of theInterim Assessment User Guide (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab..

    Questions regarding the Manner of Administration setting should be directed to the CalTAC Digital Library and Interim Assessments Help Desk by phone at 855-631-1510 or by e-mail at .

    HumRRO’s Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Study

    The CDE has authorized the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), as the CAASPP independent evaluator, to conduct a study to investigate local experiences with the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. This study is an exploration of the usage of, experiences with, and utility of the interim assessments while also serving as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement. It is expected to provide insight as to the benefits and challenges of the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, their future improvement, and the enhancement of their ability to serve as a valuable resource for student learning.

    Today, HumRRO will begin surveying a random sample of CAASPP school site coordinators and test administrators. To those selected for the survey: We encourage you to respond, even if you have not completed any interim testing, and thank you in advance for your responses.

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    CAASPP UPDATE #154

     

    Summative Assessments

    The closing of the summative assessment testing window is nearing for many local educational agencies (LEAs). As the testing season winds down, we ask that you:

    • Continue your vigilance regarding security breaches involving the exposure of secure materials and ensure that all test administration environments are secure. The California Department of Education (CDE) is monitoring social media sites to make certain that CAASPP testing content has not been posted. 
    • Remember to submit your Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS) form and/or appeals requests as soon as possible and to follow-up on all requests to ensure that their processing is complete prior to the end of the testing window.

    Spanish Resource: “Understanding the Student Score Report” Video 

    The Spanish version of the video “Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report” is now available on the CDE CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page. This eight-minute video highlights the new features on the score report, using samples of the report in Spanish.

    The “Other” Testing Issue Category on the STAIRS Form

    The CDE has seen an increase in the number of testing issues reported as “Other.” Before selecting the testing issue “Other,” please ensure that your test security incident does not fall into a listed test issue category by referring to the STAIRS—Applicable Testing Issues chart External link opens in new window or tab..

    Note that selecting the category “Other” when a listed issue actually applies may cause a significant delayin the processing of your report. Further explanation of testing incidents can be found in the CAASPP Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide External link opens in new window or tab..

    Accessibility Notes: Reporting an Issue with a Universal Tool, Designated Support, or Accommodation

    When contacting the California Technical Assistance Center to report a universal tool, designated support, or accommodation that does not seem to be functioning correctly, please provide the test session ID number and the student’s Statewide Student Identifier to allow technical staff to investigate the issue in a timely manner. 

    Post-Test Workshop Webcast Tomorrow!

    Tomorrow, May 19,from 10 a.m. to noon (Part 1) and 1 to 3 p.m. (Part 2), Educational Testing Service, in partnership with the CDE and WestEd, will present a Webcast of the 2015–16 CAASPP Post-Test Workshop “Connecting Assessments to Instruction.”

    The purpose of this Webcast is to inform LEAs of the various components of the 2015–16 CAASPP assessment student results and reports and how they can be used to inform instruction. Topics will include:

    • Principles of scoring (including high-level information on the scoring of the online Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments)
    • Using the Online Reporting System
    • Understanding how to access, use, and interpret the 2015–16 student reports and results to improve classroom instruction
    • Providing supplementary resources and reference materials to assist LEA CAASPP coordinators with their training efforts to improve teaching and learning

    This Webcast External link opens in new window or tab. is open to all school and district staff—please notify curriculum instruction leaders, professional development leaders, and/or LEA representatives who would disseminate the information to other teachers in your LEA. No preregistration or logon account is required. 

    The Webcast and related materials will later be archived and available in the “Webcast Archives” section on the CAASPP Current Administration of the CAASPP System Tests Training Videos and Resources Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

    Survey Reminder—HumRRO’s Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Study

    The CAASPP independent evaluator, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), is continuing to collect responses to its statewide survey, which is the final stage of a study exploring local experiences with the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. The survey invites primary LEA CAASPP coordinators and a random sample of CAASPP school site coordinators and test administrators to answer questions about the usage of, experiences with, and utility of the interim assessments. 

    Today, HumRRO will be e-mailing reminders to those selected for the survey who have not yet submitted their completed responses. The survey will remain open through May 27. We encourage selected LEA staff to respond, even if they have not completed any interim testing, and thank all respondents advance for providing insight as to the benefits and challenges of the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments.

    Meet an SNE Member!

    Carol Kohn is May’s featured State Network of Educators (SNE) member. Carol has worked in the education profession for more than 45 years. A retired educator, she worked for the Bakersfield City School District, where she served as a teacher in the elementary grades for 29 years. Before that, she taught at California State University, Bakersfield, for 17 years.

    Carol joined the SNE in 2013, during the beginning stages of the Smarter Balanced Digital Library. She feels that the SNE provides an effective way to work with educators throughout the state. As a member of the SNE, Carol has completed more than 40 reviews of resources and contributed four of her own. One of her favorites, Counting Coins to One Dollar Checklist External link opens in new window or tab., provides teachers with a list of coin counting sub-skills used to inventory student understanding and a list of activities that can be used to reinforce these skills, especially with struggling students. Also included in the lesson is a checklist of activities that educators can give to parents to help the students at home.

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

     

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    CAASPP Update, Issue 155

    Accessibility Notes: Multiplication Table 

    Please note the following information about the Multiplication Table (PDF) External link opens in new window or tab., available through the CAASPP Portal External link opens in new window or tab

    • It is a non-embedded accommodation available to students in grades four and above who have an individualized education program or Section 504 plan. 
    • For students in grade three who have a documented need, it must be requested as an unlisted resource in TOMS. The use of the multiplication table in grade three can be found in Matrix One: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for 2015–16 (PDF), "Unlisted Resources" (pages 8 and 9), as a pre-identified unlisted resources that is known to change the construct. Unlisted resources that change the construct are not valid for accountability calculations. 

    California Alternate Assessments Reminder 

    Students must complete both the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for English language arts and the CAA for mathematics. If a student does not orient during or respond to the first four questions of the first subject area they engage, the test examiner (TE) may end the test as instructed in the Directions for Administration (DFAs). The TE still must administer the subsequent subject-area assessment, and if the student does not orient or respond to the first four questions of the following assessment, the TE may end the test as instructed by the DFAs. 


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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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    CALPADS Update FLASH #116

    OPENING OF 2015–16 END-OF-YEAR SUBMISSION WINDOW

    The 2015–16 End-of-Year (EOY) submission window opens May 23, 2016. Local educational agencies (LEAs) are expected to certify all applicable EOY submissions this year.

    LEAs are strongly encouraged to start on the EOY submissions immediately and not wait until school is out to begin file uploads to CALPADS. All the EOY submissions use a reporting period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. It is to an LEA's advantage to begin the upload process now, prior to school ending, because doing so can provide reports to help LEAs resolve data problems before staff leave for the summer. Once school ends, LEAs will need to re-upload the files, but the reconciliation process should be much faster because the majority of issues would have already been resolved.

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    SBAC Smart Tip #3 - Teacher Info Packets

    To help teachers administer the Smarter Balanced CAASPP tests we made each teacher an info packet.  Inside each packet we put a one-page summary of the steps they needed to take to become familiar with the test, learn how to administer it online, and provide the necessary signs and student ID cards.  Basically we tried to make it as simple as possible.

    We included a one-page "quick check" since we knew they probably wouldn't read the whole 50 page manual :).  We also printed out a "login ticket" for each student with their first name, SSID#, and class schedule (helpful when conducting make-ups).  We included a class roster, signs, and other helpful items.

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    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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    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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    Test Results - Parent Video - Riverside Unified School District

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    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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    Why Understanding These Four Types of Mistakes Can Help Us Learn

    by Eduardo Briceño

    This article was first published in the Mindset Works newsletter.

    We can deepen our own and our students’ understanding of mistakes, which are not all created equal, and are not always desirable. After all, our ability to manage and learn from mistakes is not fixed. We can improve it.

    Here are two quotes about mistakes that I like and use, but that can also lead to confusion if we don’t further clarify what we mean:

    “A life spent making mistakes is not only most honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” – George Bernard Shaw

    “It is well to cultivate a friendly feeling towards error, to treat it as a companion inseparable from our lives, as something having a purpose which it truly has.” – Maria Montessori

    These constructive quotes communicate that mistakes are desirable, which is a positive message and part of what we want students to learn. An appreciation of mistakes helps us overcome our fear of making them, enabling us to take risks. But we also want students to understand what kinds of mistakes are most useful and how to most learn from them.

    Types of mistakes

    The stretch mistakes

    Stretch mistakes happen when we’re working to expand our current abilities. We’re not trying to make these mistakes in that we’re not trying to do something incorrectly, but instead, we’re trying to do something that is beyond what we already can do without help, so we’re bound to make some errors.

    Stretch mistakes are positive. If we never made stretch mistakes, it would mean that we never truly challenged ourselves to learn new knowledge or skills.

    Sometimes when we’re stuck making and repeating the same stretch mistake, the issue may be that we’re mindlessly going through the motions, rather than truly focusing on improving our abilities. Other times the root cause may be that our approach to learning is ineffective and we should try a different strategy to learn that new skill. Or it may be that what we’re trying is too far beyond what we already know, and we’re not yet ready to master that level of challenge. It is not a problem to test our boundaries and rate of growth, exploring how far and quickly we can progress. But if we feel stuck, one thing we can do is adjust the task, decreasing the level of challenge but still keeping it beyond what we already know. Our zone of proximal development (ZPD) is the zone slightly beyond what we already can do without help, which is a fruitful level of challenge for learning.

    We want to make stretch mistakes! We want to do so not by trying to do things incorrectly, but by trying to do things that are challenging. When we make stretch mistakes we want to reflect, identify what we can learn, and then adjust our approach to practice, until we master the new level of ability. Then we want to identify a new area of challenge and continue stretching ourselves.

    The aha-moment mistakes

    Another positive type of mistake, but one that is harder to strive or plan for, is the aha-moment mistake. This happens when we achieve what we intend to do, but then realize that it was a mistake to do so because of some knowledge we lacked which is now becoming apparent. There are lots of examples of this, such as:

    When we lack the content knowledge: e.g. not finding water, we try to extinguish a fire with alcohol, which we didn’t realize is flammable. When we find there is more nuance than we realized: e.g. in our painting, we color a sun near the horizon as yellow, and later notice that the sun does not always look yellow. When we make incorrect assumptions: e.g. we try to help someone else, thinking that help is always welcome, but we find out that the person did not want help at that moment. When we make systematic mistakes: e.g. a fellow educator observes us doing a lesson and later points out, with compelling back-up data, that we tend to call on Caucasian girls much more often than we do other students. When we misremember: e.g. we call a friend for their birthday on the right date, but the wrong month.

    We can gain more aha moments from mistakes by being reflective. We can ask ourselves What was unexpected? Why did that result occur? What went well and what didn’t? Is there anything I could try differently next time? We can also ask people around us for information we may not be aware of, or for ideas for improvement.

    Four

    The sloppy mistakes

    Sloppy mistakes happen when we’re doing something we already know how to do, but we do it incorrectly because we lose concentration. We all make sloppy mistakes occasionally because we’re human. However, when we make too many of these mistakes, especially on a task that we intend to focus on at the time, it signals an opportunity to enhance our focus, processes, environment, or habits.

    Sometimes sloppy mistakes can be turned into aha moments. If we make a mistake because we’re not focused on the task at hand, or we’re too tired, or something distracted us, upon reflection we can gain aha-moments on how to improve, such as realizing we’re better at certain tasks after a good night’s sleep, or that if we silence our gadgets or close our doors we can focus better.

    The high-stakes mistakes

    Sometimes we don’t want to make a mistake because it would be catastrophic. For example, in potentially dangerous situations we want to be safe. A big mistake from the person in charge of security in a nuclear power plant could lead to a nuclear disaster. We don’t want a school bus driver to take a risk going too fast making a turn, or a student in that bus to blindfold the bus driver. In those cases, we want to put processes in place to minimize high-stakes mistakes. We also want to be clear with students about why we don’t want the risk-taking behavior and experimentation in these situations, and how they’re different from learning-oriented tasks.

    Aside from life-threatening situations, we can sometimes consider performance situations to be high-stakes. For example, if going to a prestigious college is important to someone, taking the SAT could be a high-stakes event because the performance in that assessment has important ramifications. Or if a sports team has trained for years, working very hard to maximize growth, a championship final can be considered a high-stakes event. It is okay to see these events as performance events rather than as learning events, and to seek to minimize mistakes and maximize performance in these events. We’re putting our best foot forward, trying to perform as best as we can. How we do in these events gives us information about how effective we have become through our hard work and effort. Of course, it is also ok to embed learning activities in high-stakes events that don’t involve safety concerns. We can try something that is beyond what we already know and see how it works, as long as we realize that it may impact our performance (positively or negatively). And of course, we can always learn from these performance events by afterwards reflecting and discussing how things went, what we could do differently next time, and how we could adjust our practice.

    In a high-stakes event, if we don’t achieve our goal of a high test score or winning the championship, let’s reflect on the progress we’ve made through time, on the approaches that have and haven’t helped us grow, and on what we can do to grow more effectively. Then let’s go back to spending most of our time practicing, challenging ourselves, and seeking stretch mistakes and learning from those mistakes. On the other hand, if we achieve our target score or win a championship, that’s great. Let’s celebrate the achievement and how much progress we’ve made. Then let’s ask ourselves the same questions. Let’s go back to spending most of our time practicing, challenging ourselves, and growing our abilities.

    We’re all fortunate to be able to enjoy growth and learning throughout life, no matter what our current level of ability is. Nobody can ever take that source of fulfillment away from us.

    Let’s be clear

    Mistakes are not all created equal, and they are not always desirable. In addition, learning from mistakes is not all automatic. In order to learn from them the most we need to reflect on our errors and extract lessons from them.

    If we’re more precise in our own understanding of mistakes and in our communication with students, it will increase their understanding, buy-in, and efficacy as learners.

    Eduardo Briceño is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mindset Works, which he created with Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell and others to help people develop as motivated and effective learners. Carol Dweck is still on the board of directors, but has no financial interest in or income from Mindset Works. The ideas expressed in this article, which was first published in the Mindset Works newsletter, are entirely Eduardo Briceño’s.

    Original author: MindShift
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    New English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

    The California Department of Education (CDE) has posted the new English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Web site.

    In preparing for the transition from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to the ELPAC in 2018, the ELPAC Web site has been developed and posted here to provide you with new and updated resources and information. Be sure to visit the ELPAC Web site frequently at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ep/ to get information about the status of ELPAC development and administration.

    In spring 2016, the ELPAC contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS) will launch the ELPAC.org Web site. Information will be posted about upcoming opportunities to participate in activities such as content review, bias and sensitivity review, and training.

    In addition to the ELPAC Web site, a new e-mail list has been created to provide up-to-date information regarding the ELPAC. To join the ELPAC e-mail list, send a blank e-mail to . Additional information about ELPAC activities is available on the CDE ELPAC Web site.

    If you have questions, please contact the English Language Proficiency Assessments Office in the Assessment Development and Administration Division by phone at 916-319-0784 or by e-mail at .

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