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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 135

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 23, 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..

Smarter Balanced Events: Applications Due by May 3!

Get involved in assessment development! Smarter Balanced is recruiting educators for its 2021 English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics assessment development events. Smarter Balanced has estimated the month each event will take place 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

Does one of these events catch your interest? You can indicate your preference on the application. Each event will involve three to five days of virtual group work; the ELA passage review may include an additional day for individual review.

You meet the basic qualifications to participate if you:

  • 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 district/school coordinator or instructional specialist. Specializations in visual impairments or teaching 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 you are interested in working.
  • In addition, if you have documented expertise in science and/or social science, you may apply for ELA item review.

The deadline for submitting the 2021 Application for Educator Engagement External link opens in new window or tab. is nearing—May 3, 2021.

Smarter Balanced will make its selections to achieve a balance of geographic regions, grade levels, and years of experience among other considerations. If you are selected to participate, you can expect to receive notice from Smarter Balanced as early as May or as late as December, depending on the timeline of the event. If the event requires participation during the week on scheduled work days, substitute reimbursement will be available.

California educators who have previously participated in Smarter Balanced assessment development have reported that these events have been enlightening and rewarding. Do not miss out on this opportunity! Please share this information with teachers and other educators in your local educational agency (LEA).

Assessment and Accountability Information Meeting Dates for 2021

Save the dates! This year’s Assessment and Accountability Information Meeting, which will be held virtually again this year, will be organized by topic and held across several afternoons, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The dates and topics are as follows:

  • July 29—Director's Message, Accessibility, and the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)
  • August 5—ELPAC and the California Spanish Assessment
  • August 12—ELA and mathematics
  • August 19—Science
  • August 26—Interim assessments and Tools for Teachers
  • September 2—Accountability

Watch for information on registration, coming soon!

ELPAC Questions of the Week

This week’s ELPAC questions involve issues related to students’ English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) and reclassification.

Q: If a student enrolls in a California school for the first time and is administered the Initial ELPAC during the spring administration window, must the LEA administer the Summative ELPAC?

A: Yes. If a student is administered the Initial ELPAC during the spring administration window and the ELAS is that of an English learner, the LEA should administer the Summative ELPAC by the end of the administration window, which has been extended through July 30, 2021. Refer to the Summative ELPAC eligibility report in TOMS for a list of students in the LEA or school who are eligible to take the Summative ELPAC.

Q: Must students be reclassified before the beginning of the test administration window on February 1?

A: No. Students may be reclassified at any point during the year. If a student is an English learner at the beginning of the test administration window but becomes eligible for reclassification during the window, the reclassification process must be completed prior to the end of the administration. If the student has begun testing, stop the testing before all domains have been completed. When completing the reclassification process, be sure to update the ELAS in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System so the student will no longer be reflected in TOMS as eligible to be tested.

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 Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 6, 2021
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