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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 156

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

Use of Adjusted Test Blueprints for 2021–22 Approved by SBE

During its September meeting, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved the use of the adjusted blueprints for the Smarter Balanced summative assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics for the 2021–22 administration. The blueprints, which are identical to those used during the 2020–21 administration, will be posted soon on the Test Development web page External link opens in new window or tab. of the Smarter Content Explorer website External link opens in new window or tab..

Smarter Balanced score reporting for 2021–22 will be the same as the reporting for 2020–21. Student Score Reports and the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) will not feature claim results. However, aggregate claim results for groups of 30 or more students will be shown on the public reporting website External link opens in new window or tab.. Target reports will not be available in CERS for the 2021–22 administration.

Find more information in Agenda Item 02 (DOCX) of the September 2021 SBE meeting.

ELAS/CALPADS Deadline Approaching for LEAs

Reminder to local educational agencies (LEAs): New students must be tested with the Initial ELPAC at least two days before October 6, 2021, in order for their English language acquisition status (ELAS) of English Learner to be included in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Unduplicated Pupil Count. This information was provided to county and district superintendents, charter school administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area directors on September 10, 2021, in the 2020–21 Data Collections: Annual Back-to-School Letter.

Questions about CALPADS can be emailed to the CALPADS Operations Office at

Important Reminder to LEAs

Reminder that the 2021 Summative ELPAC was not cancelled or postponed. As you prepare your Annual Parent Notification Letters for all eligible English learner (EL) students in the first 30 days of your instructional year, remember that assessing a student on the 2021 Summative ELPAC supports compliance with both state education code and federal civil rights laws. Information and resources about the Parent Notification letters are located on the CDE website.

If receiving Title III funds, the assurances that were signed state the LEA will assess each EL student as required. For more information about Title III requirements, please contact the Multilingual Support Division at

ELPAC Question of the Week

Q: Can a parent or guardian opt their child out of English learner services?

A: Although schools have an obligation to serve all EL students, parents or guardians of English learner students have a right to decline or opt their children out of a school’s EL program or out of particular EL services within an EL program. If parents or guardians opt their children out of a school’s EL program or specific EL services, the children retain their status as EL students. The school remains obligated to take the affirmative steps required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the appropriate actions required by the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974 to provide EL students access to its educational programs (United States Code, Title 20, sections 1703[f], 6312[e][3][A][viii]). EL students will continue to take the Summative ELPAC annually until they are reclassified.

For specific information about opting out, please access Chapter 7, “Tools and Resources for Serving English Learners Who Opt Out of EL Programs,” in the document English Learner Tool Kit for State and Local Education Agencies External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), which is provided by the US Department of Education.

Further questions can be emailed to the Multilingual Support Division at

Tools for Teachers Webinar Series Starts Next Week

The 2021–22 Tools for Teachers Shared Practices Webinar Series begins September 21 at 3:30 p.m. with the one-hour webinar Supporting English Learners with the Tools for Teachers Website. Go to the CAASPP Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab. and register today!

This webinar kicks off an exciting series of professional learning opportunities focused on using formative assessment to support teaching and learning. The series will also include the following webinars:

  • Using Interim Assessment Data and Tools for Teachers to Support Instruction
  • Making Elementary Science Sizzle with Tools for Teachers
  • Tools for Teachers and Other Formative Assessment Resources at Your Fingertips
  • A Teacher’s Best Kept Secret: Interim Assessments and Tools for Teachers

If you have questions regarding this webinar series, contact the California Outreach Team by email at

2021 California Assessment Conference: Registration Closing Soon

Registration for the virtual 2021 California Assessment Conference will close on September 27, so register now! This conference, taking place October 12–14, will be an opportunity for classroom educators to explore the connection between assessments and classroom instruction. More than 45 sessions will be presented live, including many shared practice sessions presented by staff from schools and districts around the state.

Don’t miss out! Find details and registration on the California Assessment Conference web page External link opens in new window or tab.!

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: Monday, September 20, 2021
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