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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 128

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 5, 2021.

Focusing on the CAASPP System and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments. For questions related to test administration, coordination, and trainings, visit the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab. and the ELPAC website External link opens in new window or tab..

Feedback Needed on Assessment Flexibilities!

The California Department of Education (CDE) would like input from local educational agencies (LEAs) on additional assessment flexibilities that will provide data to parents/guardians, educators, and the public to monitor the progress of students in the areas of English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics.

Please watch for an email today from the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) sent directly to LEA Superintendents (including charter school and COE administrators), LEA CAASPP Coordinators, and LEA ELPAC Coordinators. The email includes the link to the survey. Information from the survey will be used to inform decisions about additional assessment flexibilities for spring 2021. Make sure your LEA’s feedback are considered by responding to the survey by 5 p.m. PT on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Educators Needed for Summative ELPAC Alignment Workshop

Are you interested in a professional learning opportunity related to the Summative ELPAC—and do you currently teach English learners and have expert knowledge of the English Language Development (ELD) Standards for one or more grade levels?

The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), the CDE’s independent evaluator, is recruiting California educators to serve as panelists for its virtual Summative ELPAC Alignment Workshop. We are currently in need of teachers from kindergarten and grade one to participate in this important workshop, during which panelists will evaluate the degree of alignment between Summative ELPAC items and the ELD Standards.

The workshop will be held March 22–25 from 1 to 5 p.m., and panelists must commit to participating in each four-hour session. An honorarium or substitute reimbursement will be provided. To apply for this opportunity, please complete the ELPAC Alignment Recruitment Survey External link opens in new window or tab. by Thursday, March 11, 2021. Questions about the workshop can be directed to HumRRO by email at

Apply Now for 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment Development Activities

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is again recruiting qualified educators for ELA and mathematics assessment development activities! Planned as virtual events, the activities for 2021 are as follows:

  • ELA passage review—July 2021
  • ELA item review for content, fairness, and accessibility—October 2021
  • Mathematics item review for content, fairness, and accessibility, first meeting—October 2021
  • Mathematics item review for content, fairness, and accessibility, second meeting—January 2022
  • Mathematics achievement level descriptor review (same educators who participate in the second mathematics item review meeting)—January 2022

Each event will involve three to five days of virtual synchronous work; the ELA passage review may include one day of asynchronous review. While the exact dates are yet to be determined, Smarter Balanced has estimated the month each event will take place.

With the goal that participating educators reflect the diversity of the students served, Smarter Balanced will select participants from across Smarter Balanced Consortium states to represent a balance of geographic regions, grade levels, and years of experience among other considerations.

  • Applicants meet the basic participant qualifications if they:
  • Are currently certified or licensed to teach ELA or mathematics in a kindergarten through grade twelve public school or certified to teach English learners or students with disabilities.
  • Are currently teaching in a public school or currently employed by a public school, district, or state education entity, including higher education.
  • Within the past three years:
    • Have taught ELA or mathematics in grades three through eight and/or high school or have worked in a classroom content support role (e.g., literacy specialist; content specialist at the district or state level.
    • Have taught students with disabilities and/or English learners in grades three through eight and/or high school or have worked in a support role such as a district/school coordinator or instructional specialist. Specializations in visual impairments or teaching for students who are deaf and hard of hearing are encouraged.
  • Have previously reviewed part or all of the Common Core State Standards for the content area in which they are interested in working.

In addition, educators who have documented expertise in science and/or social science may apply for ELA item review.

Selected participants and alternates can expect to receive notification of their status as early as May or as late as December, depending on the timeline for the associated activity. In cases in which educators participate during the week on their scheduled work days, substitute reimbursement will be available.

Qualified teachers and other educators interested in these opportunities are strongly encouraged to complete the 2021 Application for Educator Engagement External link opens in new window or tab.. The deadline is May 3, 2021.

CAA for ELA: Second Scoring Requirement Suspended for 2020–21

The second scoring requirement for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for ELA has been suspended for the 2021–22 administration, which means that local LEAs selected for second scoring are no longer required to perform any of the activities associated with second scoring for the current administration. Second scoring for the CAA for ELA is now expected to officially begin during the 2021–22 administration.

Questions can be directed to the CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at

New ELPAC Video Available!

The new tutorial video Starting a One-on-One Remote Test Session External link opens in new window or tab. is now available on the ELPAC website External link opens in new window or tab.! This video addresses the following ELPAC tests:

  • Listening, kindergarten through grade two
  • Reading, kindergarten through grade two
  • Speaking, kindergarten through grade twelve

Step by step, the video demonstrates how to log on to the web-based Student Testing Interface to remotely administer these tests. It is approximately seven minutes in length.

Useful 2020–21 General Guide for ELPAC

Reminder: The 2020–21 ELPAC Information Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) is available on the CDE website External link opens in new window or tab.. This resource has a wide range of information, including the purpose of the ELPAC, the initial identification of English learners, assessing students with disabilities, guidelines for reclassification, reporting results, and much more! This resource is provided to support county offices of education, LEAs, and parents/guardians.

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 California Department of Education Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 8, 2021
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