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CCSS Update: Volume III, Issue 9, March 11, 2014

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Update includes information regarding the implementation of the CCSS.

New Resources

New CAASPP Technology Readiness Web Site

The Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards, with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, has made available the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Technology Readiness Web site. This curated and searchable collection of resources was created primarily to support technology support staff but may also be helpful to administrators, assessment/evaluation staff, teachers, and members of the public. This Web site is meant to supplement the essential California Department of Education (CDE) and California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) Smarter Balanced Field Test Web sites. Please see the attached flyer for more information. [These Web pages are no longer available.]

Refreshed External link opens in new window or tab., the official online home of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative, has taken on a new appearance. The site has been refreshed in order to make it easier for all visitors—including parents, educators, and policymakers—to obtain clear and accurate information about the CCSS. The refreshed version of External link opens in new window or tab. includes an introductory video to the standards, a section specifically for parents, and a dynamic state map that directs visitors to information about the implementation efforts currently underway in each state.

Regional Leadership Sessions on Common Core State Standards Implementation

Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and California County Superintendents Educational Services Association are pleased to sponsor regional leadership sessions on CCSS Implementation. These meetings introduce a variety of strategies, tools, and resources that districts can use to support successful implementation of the CCSS. The sessions feature local examples of effective implementation, along with strategic advice on key issues including:

  • Professional development for teachers
  • Messaging and communications
  • Investments in technology

You can find a schedule of the sessions, videos of presentations, and resources on the PACE Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

Federal Approval of California Testing Waiver

To view the joint statement from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education (SBE) President Michael W. Kirst regarding the federal approval of California’s testing waiver, please visit the CDE March 7, 2014 News Release Web Page.

Opportunity to Participate

SBE CCSS Agenda Items

The SBE will address four items related to CCSS systems implementation during its March 12–13, 2014 meeting, including the following topics:

  • Update on the Activities of the CDE and SBE Regarding the Implementation of CCSS Systems.
  • Update on CAASPP Activities, Including, but not limited to, the Smarter Balanced Digital Library, Spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test, National Center and State Collaborative Activities, and Planning of the Science Assessment Stakeholder Meetings.
  • 2015 English Language Arts/English Language Development Instructional Materials Adoption: Approval of the draft Schedule of Significant Events (Timeline) and the draft Instructional Materials Reviewer and Content Review Expert Online Application.
  • English Language Development Supplemental Instructional Materials Review: Approval of Recommended Supplemental Instructional Materials.

To review these agenda items or watch the live Webcast, please visit the SBE Meeting for March 2014 Web page.


We Can Achieve Equity Through Implementing the Common Core

March 13, 2014, 3:30 p.m.

In this webinar, Dr. Rose Owens-West, Director of the Region IX Equity Assistance Center at WestEd, will address the importance of attending to the needs of parents, teachers, and students to ensure the success of every student as we implement the CCSS. This is the sixth webinar in the Secondary Literacy Partnership's series, "Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards: Spotlight on Instruction, Assessment, and Equity." For more information and to register for this event, please visit the Schools Moving Up West Ed Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd Presents: Moving Forward with Common Core State Standards: Harnessing the Power of Technology Webinar Series

This series of four FREE webinars is intended to provide research-based strategies and support for education leaders bringing technology initiatives to scale. The first Webinar, A Curriculum-First Approach to Technology and the Web, which takes place Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 2:30–4 p.m., examines technology through the lens of teaching and learning. This curriculum-first approach requires a clear articulation of academic goals in order to identify the programs, applications, and devices that will support these goals. For more information about the series and to register, please visit the REL West at WestEd Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

California's Smarter Balanced Assessment System: An Update

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 3:30–4:45 p.m.

Join us for a presentation and discussion with Deb Sigman and Diane Hernandez from the California Department of Education, who will provide resources, updates, and answers to questions about the CAASPP system. They will also address the Digital Library, Interim Assessments, and additional resources to assist with implementing the new assessment system in California. This webinar is part of a series sponsored by the Secondary Literacy Partnership. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the Schools Moving Up WestEd Web page. [This event has passed.]

Field Test Flash #8, #9, & #10

Smarter Balanced Field Test Flash #8, #9, & #10

This is the Field Test Flash from the CDE providing updates about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Field Test. Please forward these announcements to all educators who want to stay apprised of the latest information about the Field Test. If you would like to receive Flash updates via e-mail notification, please subscribe to the CAASPP listserv by sending a blank message to

  • The Test Security Affidavit that appears in the CAASPP regulations states, “I will not include, nor will I display, a pupil’s name and Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) together in any written or electronic format.” This prohibits the pupil’s full (i.e., first and last) name and SSID from appearing together in any written or electronic format for the purposes of CAASPP testing. This regulation, however, does not prohibit a CAASPP test examiner from providing each pupil with their first name only and SSID in written or electronic format in order for them to log into the FT. As an example, a test examiner may provide each pupil with a slip of paper containing the pupil’s first name only and SSID. The slip of paper is considered secure material, so it must be provided to, and viewable only by, the pupil to whom the login information pertains and must be returned to the CAASPP test site coordinator immediately after testing for confidential destruction.
  • A video that provides an overview of the Smarter Balanced Field Test is now available on the CDE YouTube Channel External link opens in new window or tab.. The purpose of this nine-minute video is to provide an overview of the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test. The primary audiences for the video are teachers, administrators, school board members, and other educators responsible for test administration. Resources for use with students and parents are referenced in the video.
  • A table that provides information about Smarter Balanced question types is now available on the CDE Smarter Balanced Question Types Web page. The table lists various question response types (e.g., multiple choice, drag and drop, matching tables) and the technology skill students will use to respond to each question type. In addition, the table provides examples of specific questions on the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests and Training Tests that are associated with each question type. Teachers can refer to this table to focus on specific question types and technology skills as they use the Practice and Training Tests External link opens in new window or tab. to prepare students for the Field Test.
  • A table that describes how students will access embedded resources for the Smarter Balanced assessments is now available on the CDE Accessing Context Menu for Embedded Resources Web page. Embedded resources include such functions as strikethrough, highlighter, American Sign Language videos, and text-to-speech. Students will use various types of devices (e.g., desktops, laptops, and tablets) to take the Field Test, and this table describes how students will use a mouse, keyboard, touch screen, or trackpad to open the context menu on each type of device to access the embedded resources.
  • A video of the Accessibility and Accommodations, Adding Student Test Settings to TIDE, and Administering Practice and Training Tests Webcast is now available on the CalTAC Smarter Balanced Field Tests Training Videos and Resources Web page External link opens in new window or tab.. The Webcast, presented by the CDE and Educational Testing Service, provides key information related to the 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test, including:
    • An explanation of accessibility and accommodations available for the Field Test
    • A demonstration of how local educational agencies can designate student test settings (i.e., designated supports and accommodations) in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE)
    • A demonstration of how to create a test session to administer the Practice and/or Training Tests through the Test Administrator Practice and Training Web site
  • We have just been informed that Smarter Balanced will support the iPad Air as an acceptable device to use for the administration of the Field Test. It was determined, based on functional tests performed by and assurances from Apple, that the Single App Mode in iOS 6 and Autonomous Single App Mode in iOS 7 work in the same way on all models of iPad®.

For questions related to the spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test, please contact the CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at Information can also be accessed through the CalTAC Web site External link opens in new window or tab.. For questions about this Field Test Flash, please contact the CDE CAASPP Office by phone at 916-445-8765 or by e-mail at


If you find these updates and resources helpful, please consider forwarding this message to others who might benefit from receiving more information about CCSS implementation in California. Anyone can join by simply sending a blank e-mail message to

CCSS Update from CDE
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

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To view past CCSS Updates, please visit the CCSS Resources Listserv Archive.

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Questions:   Common Core Team | | 916-319-0490
Last Reviewed: Thursday, November 3, 2016