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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 110

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 2, 2020.

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (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..

Video Now Available for Entering Student Responses and Scores into the Data Entry Interface

The Data Entry Interface (DEI) is used to enter student responses and scores for the CAASPP and ELPAC. The Entering Student Responses and Scores into the Data Entry Interface video External link opens in new window or tab. will demonstrate how to enter student responses and scores for the Initial and Summative ELPAC, California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for English language arts, and the Alternate ELPAC.

Tools for Teachers Grand Opening!

New for teachers! Smarter Balanced has now fully launched Tools for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. (account required for full access). This new website is available free of cost to all California local educational agency (LEA) staff members. It offers standards-based resources with lessons designed to enhance instruction, save teachers time in lesson planning, and help boost student learning. The lessons available in Tools for Teachers include recommended instructional strategies for meeting diverse student needs and were created by educators with a focus on using the formative assessment process during instruction.

A key part of Tools for Teachers is the Interim Assessment Connections Playlists, which provide instructional resources aligned with the content covered by Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs). When these playlist resources are used in conjunction with student results on the IABs, teachers have the information they need to decide where to focus next steps for instruction. In addition, each playlist includes a list of academic vocabulary students should know to ensure they understand assessment items.

The resources in Tools for Teachers, including the playlists, are great options to use during distance learning. To learn more, check out this four-minute How Tools for Teachers Supports Educators video External link opens in new window or tab. and the eight-minute Tools for Teachers: Website Demonstration video External link opens in new window or tab.. Additional resources for promoting understanding and use of Tools for Teachers—including promotional videos and flyers—are available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers Information web page.

Now Available: Updated Interim Assessment Video Series and User Guide

The Interim Assessment Video Series is a great way to start learning about how the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments can be used to support teaching and learning. This recently updated series consists of five narrated video modules and five accompanying system demonstration videos. The modules cover the following topics:

  1. Introducing the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
  2. Interim Assessment Viewing System
  3. Administering the Interim Assessments
  4. Interim Assessment Hand Scoring System
  5. California Educator Reporting System

Each video is approximately three to ten minutes long. The video series complements the 2020‒21 Interim Assessment User Guide External link opens in new window or tab., which is now fully web-based to provide better access, and it contains more detail for educators using the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. A “What’s New” section has been added to the beginning of the guide as well as relevant sections throughout that highlight key changes from last year’s version. Check out these updated resources today!

Updated Assessment FAQs

The CDE has posted updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to assessment policies, regulations, and requirements for the 2020‒21 school year. Visit the COVID-19 Assessment FAQs web page to see all of the updates!

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..

Just Posted: The California Alternate Assessment for Science Item Content Specifications!

The CDE is pleased to announce that the 83 CAA for Science for Science item content specifications (1 for each of the assessed Science Connectors—23 for grade five, 28 for grade eight, and 32 for high school) have been posted on the CDE CAA for Science Item Content Specifications web page. This web page provides background information and an introduction to the item content specifications. The CAA for Science item content specifications are organized by grade and domain and can be downloaded individually or by grade and domain.

We encourage educators to use these documents in the classroom, along with the2016 Science Framework, as resources for developing items for interim, benchmark, and summative assessments. The item content specifications help educators gain a better understanding of this assessment. Please note, however, that the specifications are not intended to guide instruction.

Please help us share this information with special education teachers in your LEA!

Just Posted: 2020‒21 California Student Assessment Accessibility Graphic for Science Flyer!

We have posted the 2020‒21 California Student Assessment Accessibility Graphic for Science flyer (PDF) on the CDE Student Accessibility Resources web page. This flyer provides a list of science assessment accessibility resources available to all students and those offered only for students as a part of their individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plans during the 2020‒21 administration year. The flyer classifies these resources by:

  • Universal tools—accessed by student preference and selection
  • Designated supports—available to all students when determined for use by an educator or team of educators or specified in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan
  • Accommodations—permitted to all eligible students if specified in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.

In addition, the resources on the flyer are sorted by those that are embedded (i.e., digitally delivered as part of the technology platform for the computer-based tests) and non-embedded (i.e., provided by the LEAs).

We encourage educators to review these resources early and provide opportunities for students to experience these resources throughout the year during classroom instruction and assessments!

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 subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. 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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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