Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 121

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 15, 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..

January Assessment Update Webinar

Later this month, local educational agency (LEA) CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators will have another opportunity to hear directly from the California Department of Education (CDE) Assessment Division. The second Assessment System Update webinar of the 2020–21 series will be presented on January 27 at 2 p.m. A question and answer session will be included. To register, go to the CAASPP 2020–21 Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab. or the ELPAC 2020–21 Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab., select this event from the listings, and complete the registration.

2020–21 Online ELPAC Test Administration Manual – Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that the online 2020–21 ELPAC Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab. for in-person administration is now available on the ELPAC website. This manual provides information including what’s new in 2020–21, test administration resources, test security, preparation and planning, and administering the ELPAC to students.

Interim and Formative Assessment Materials for LEA Trainers Now Available in TOMS

Materials for LEA trainers, covering the content of the 2020 Interim and Formative Assessment Training Series: Implementing a Comprehensive Assessment System to Improve Learning, are now posted in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) External link opens in new window or tab. (secure logon required). A train-the-trainers model was used in developing this series to assist LEA trainers with presenting materials to educators at their site or district.

Among the materials posted are an overview video that orients trainers to the materials and a recording of each of the three facilitator-led webinars. The training modules address the following topics:

  • Module 1: Assessment literacy
  • Module 2: Performance task design
  • Module 3: Scoring performance tasks
  • Module 4: Claims and targets
  • Module 5: Hand scoring practice
  • Module 6: Formative assessment process and Tools for Teachers
  • Module 7: Interim assessment resources and systems

Each module includes a stand-alone PowerPoint presentation and associated resources.

To download these materials, log on to TOMS External link opens in new window or tab. (secure logon required), select the Resources tab, and then select “Interim Assessment Secure Materials—Training” from the Available Materials list. Please note that materials for modules two, three, and five contain secure test items and may not be shared beyond LEA staff members.

Take a look at the materials for the topic of your choice and use them to develop your own customized training for educators at your site or district!

New! Professional Learning Video for Smarter Content Explorer

The new seven-minute Smarter Content Explorer video External link opens in new window or tab. from Smarter Balanced provides an introduction to the Smarter Content Explorer web tool and demonstrates how quickly teachers can access information on grade-level content for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The video walks educators through how they can access customized content that includes—by subject, grade, and target or standard—the following:

  • Sample test items
  • Standard and target alignment
  • Evidence statements
  • Depth of knowledge levels
  • Guidance for selecting appropriate stimuli
  • Task models

The video also walks users through how to access resources including construct relevant vocabulary, rubrics, test blueprints, and accessibility guidelines.

The Smarter Content Explorer External link opens in new window or tab. web tool, which was released last September, is an easy-to-use tool that highlights the connection between content standards and assessment targets. It provides transparency for Smarter Balanced test development and design, bridging the gap between test developers and educators.

Check out the new video and the web tool today to learn more about what the Smarter Content Explorer offers!

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: Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Recently Posted in Testing