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CALPADS Integration with the Smarter Balanced Test

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
February 5, 2014

Dear CALPADS LEA Administrators and LEA CAASPP Coordinators:

California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System Integration with the Smarter Balanced Field Test
As we prepare for the Smarter Balanced Field Test this spring, we want to emphasize the important role the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) will have in providing student enrollment, demographic, and program data to the Smarter Balanced test registration system, known as the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) system. Beginning on March 18, 2014, and continuing through June 6, 2014, students in grades three through eight, and eleven, and a small sample of students in grades nine and ten, will participate in a field test of new computer-based assessments known as the Smarter Balanced assessments.

The integration of the CALPADS and TIDE systems will require local educational agencies (LEAs) to update specific student-level data elements in CALPADS on a frequent and consistent basis, especially before and during the testing windows. Students who are not in CALPADS will not be able to access the field test. LEAs are strongly encouraged to keep student enrollment, demographics, and program information in CALPADS up-to-date and accurate. The specific CALPADS data elements used in TIDE are included at the end of this letter.

Initial Student Registration Deadline

The California Department of Education (CDE) must submit an initial student-level registration data file with all students participating in the field test to the TIDE system. To meet CDE’s initial requirement, the CALPADS LEA Administrator is responsible for ensuring all currently enrolled students in grades three through eleven are up-to-date and accurate in CALPADS by February 18. Test takers entered into CALPADS after February 18 will be assigned a different performance task than those students entered into CALPADS prior to the initial student registration deadline.

Future data extracts from the CALPADS ODS will be uploaded to the TIDE system on a nightly basis, through the end of the Field Test window in June 2014. This will provide LEAs with ample opportunity to ensure student-level data are up-to-date and accurate prior to an individual student’s test administration. The data file will be processed and all updates, additions, and deletions to student information will be available within 48 hours of TIDE receiving the file.

TIDE Test Registration System

The TIDE Test Registration system will be available to LEAs early next week. The LEA California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Coordinator will receive an e-mail with instructions to reset his/her password once the system is available. The LEA CAASPP Coordinator should immediately log in to TIDE and review the student data in order to meet the February 18 deadline. LEAs will NOT be able to update, add, or delete students in the Test Registration system. However, the LEA CAASPP Coordinator will be able to export the entire student roster from TIDE into a Excel spreadsheet (or review the student data individually in TIDE) and review the data for any anomalies or errors. Should an error(s) be found, the LEA CAASPP Coordinator is responsible for communicating any necessary data updates to the CALPADS LEA Administrator. The CALPADS LEA Administrator is responsible for correcting any errors in CALPADS.

It is important to emphasize that while the February 18 initial deadline is important, the process for updating student enrollment, demographic, and program data is expected to continue through the end of the field test window in June 2014.

Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines

LEAs will be responsible for using the TIDE Test Registration system to designate supports and accommodations for students. In the coming weeks, you can expect to receive notifications of detailed information regarding the release of support and administration documents for the field test. On February 7, 2014, the California version of the Smarter Balanced Field Test Manual will be available online at the link provided below. In the meantime, the most comprehensive and recently updated information about the Smarter Balanced Field Test is available on the CDE Spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test Web page at [Note: The preceding link is no longer valid. For current information that may be relevant or useful in this regard, please visit the CDE Smarter Balanced Resources Web page at]

CALPADS Data Elements

The following CALPADS data elements will be extracted from the ODS and uploaded into TIDE:

  • Reporting LEA
  • School of attendance
  • Student legal last name
  • Student legal first name
  • Student legal middle name
  • Statewide student identifier (SSID)
  • Grade level
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged
  • Special education program
  • Section 504
  • Primary language
  • Migrant status
  • Student initial U.S. school enrollment date K-12
  • English learner
  • English language acquisition status start date
  • Primary disability

If you have any questions regarding CALPADS, please contact the CALPADS Service Desk. The preferred method for reaching the service desk is through the Web form or through e-mail:

  1. In CALPADS> Help > Service Request or
  3. Phone 916-325-9210

If you have any questions regarding the Smarter Balanced Field Test, please contact the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 1-800-955-2954 or by e-mail at


Cindy Kazanis, Director
Educational Data Management Division     

Diane Hernandez, Director
Assessment Development and Administration Division


cc: Technology Coordinators

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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