Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 120

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 8, 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 websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab. and the ELPAC website External link opens in new window or tab..

Your Questions Answered: Summative Assessment Administration

Administration of the statewide 2020–21 summative assessments is nearing! We share with you the following questions that have been asked by local educational agency (LEA) staff who are preparing for the administration:

Q: For remote summative testing, can each school in an LEA choose from among the three testing options of remote testing, in-person testing, or a combination of both? Or does the entire LEA have to use the same method?

A: Yes. Each school has the option to administer the test remotely, in person, or as a hybrid. The schools within an LEA are automatically opted in for remote testing, which allows for all three options. The LEA coordinator can update the testing option for each school via the Test Operations Management System. The goal is to provide maximum flexibility for LEAs.

Q: Does the hybrid testing option allow for students to test remotely for one part of the assessment, such as the Smarter Balanced performance task, but in person for another part of the test, such as the computer adaptive test?

A: Yes. Students may complete different parts of the test using different options (in person or remote/hybrid). The test administrator or test examiner will indicate the administration method when launching the test session for the students.

Teachers: Register for Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshops!

The California Department of Education (CDE) has increased the maximum enrollment number for each session of the 2020–21 Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshops for teachers, creating openings for the sessions that will resume in February.

Participants will engage in the process of hand scoring Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment items as a way to deepen their understanding of the content standards, strengthen their evaluation of student work, and promote the use of student results to inform teaching and learning. Details are available on the 2020–21 Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshop web page External link opens in new window or tab.. For further information, contact Nikki Antonovich, Coordinator, Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), by email at

New Video: Creating Student Groups in CERS

A new version of the demonstration video Creating Groups in the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 6:50) for LEA CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators and site administrators has been posted! This seven-minute video takes educators through the process of creating student groups for their LEA or school educators as well as the process of creating customized groups of the students who have been assigned to them.

CERS is the secure system that allows LEA staff to view their students’ individual and group summative and interim assessment results.

January’s Featured Resource in Tools for Teachers—“Determining Point of View/Using Evidence”

Starting the new year with a big win is always a plus, and with this month’s featured instructional resource, “Determining Point of View/Using Evidence” External link opens in new window or tab. (account required for full access), everyone in the classroom wins! Teachers will appreciate that this resource for grade eight English language arts/literacy includes readings targeted to multiple Lexile/reading levels. Students will be engaged in reading informational texts, blogs, and infographics about interesting topics, such as monarch butterflies, Burmese pythons, and honeybees.

This resource provides all the materials and step-by-step directions needed for students to practice determining the author’s point of view and find relevant evidence to support it. The resource uses the “I do, we do, you do” teaching strategy that incorporates instructional scaffolding in planned steps until the students can complete the task independently. The handouts are differentiated for students reading “at or above” or “at or below” the grade eight reading level.

“Determining Point of View/Using Evidence” is included in the grade eight Interim Assessment Connections Playlists “Research” and “Performance Task,” which consist of resources that help teachers provide instruction in the content and skills assessed on the “Research” and “Performance Task—Compare Ancient Societies” Interim Assessment Blocks. To access instructional resources and Connections Playlists, LEA staff must have a Tools for Teachers account, which they can obtain either through self-registration or through their LEA CAASPP coordinator.

New ELPAC Quick Reference Guides—Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that 12 new Quick Reference Guides for ELPAC are now available! In all, these guides assist the user with data entry for each domain of the computer- and paper-based Initial and Summative ELPAC. Located on the CDE Quick Reference Guides web page, the guides provide information on how to:

  • Log on to the Data Entry interface
  • Enter scores for the Writing domain for K–2 and the Speaking domain for the computer-based Initial ELPAC
  • Enter scores for the computer-based Summative ELPAC Speaking domain
  • Enter scores for the paper-based Initial ELPAC Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing domains
  • Enter scores for the paper-based Summative ELPAC Writing and Speaking domains
  • Enter responses for the paper-based Summative ELPAC Listening and Reading domains

Tools for Teachers: Science Formative Assessment Resources, K–5!

The CDE and the SCOE worked in collaboration with California elementary, middle, and high school science teachers and educational coaches from across the state to develop science formative assessment resources to include in Tools for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. (logon required for full access). A peer review process was used to create resources that include instructional differentiation by incorporating formative assessment and accessibility strategies. These resources are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards.

Currently, 19 science resources are available in Tools for Teachers for educators to access and use in their classrooms. The CDE and the SCOE plan to conduct a second workshop with California science educators in summer 2021 to develop additional formative assessment resources. Watch for updates on the progress of these resources as more information becomes available.

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: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Recently Posted in Testing