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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 87

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 17, 2020.

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

Assessment Spotlight Moves from Wednesdays to Fridays

Start looking for the weekly Assessment Spotlight to arrive in your in-box on Fridays! Going forward, we are making this change to coincide with other communications from the California Department of Education (CDE).

Interim Assessments Now Available to LEAs for Distance Learning

The CDE has opened the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments for local educational agency (LEA) staff to use as part of distance learning while schools are closed due to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). How does this work? After the teacher starts a test session for the students, the students can access the interim assessments on a nonsecure website with either the Chrome or Firefox browser. This means of accessing the interim assessments will be available through June 30, 2020.

The following documents are available on the CAASPP Interim Administration Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. for assistance in using the interim assessments for distance learning:

  • For teachers—
    • “Administering Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments Remotely—Quick Guide for Teachers”
  • For students and parents or guardians
    • “How Students Take CAASPP Interim Assessments at Home” (English version)
    • “How Students Take CAASPP Interim Assessments at Home” (Spanish version)

In addition, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has launched a new web page: the Supporting Remote Teaching and Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab., with tools and suggestions for supporting and advancing distance learning.

Note that the use of the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments by LEA staff continues to be optional and should be done in conjunction with LEA guidelines and goals. LEAs are prohibited from using the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments for any high-stakes decisions.

CAASPP and ELPAC Test Security Updates

As of April 8, the following secure materials have been removed from the Resources tab in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) External link opens in new window or tab. (secure logon required): Directions for Administration (DFAs) for the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts, mathematics, and science; California Spanish Assessment (CSA) constructed-response materials; and the Summative ELPAC DFAs. This is because of the suspension of the CAAs and CSA and the postponement of the Summative ELPAC in anticipation of an optional administration in fall 2020.

Please be sure to remind CAASPP LEA and site coordinators as well as test administrators and examiners to securely destroy all CAA DFAs and CSA constructed-response materials. In addition, the Summative ELPAC DFAs should be stored securely if printed until the testing window opens for administering the Summative ELPAC in fall 2020. Please help us get word out to the field regarding this important testing security update!

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

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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