Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 111

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 9, 2020.

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..  

October 22: New Coordinator Training—A Deep Dive into Resources for Student Practice

Local educational agency (LEA) CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators who are new to their role or want a refresher have another learning opportunity coming up! The third New Coordinator WebEx of the 2020–21 series will be presented later this month, on October 22 at 3 p.m. This webinar will offer a deep dive into resources for student practice in the testing interface and in grade-level content. 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.

Just Posted: 2020 Assessment and Accountability Information Meeting!

The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce that the 2020 Assessment and Accountability Information Meeting has been archived on the CAASPP 2020–21 Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab. and the ELPAC 2020–21 Training Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Using Interim Assessments During Distance Learning

As LEAs use various approaches to support students via distance learning, staff have the option to use the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments to support instruction and assess student progress. That option was presented last month in “Using Interim Assessments During Distance Learning” External link opens in new window or tab., a 90-minute webinar hosted by Educational Testing Service on behalf of the CDE. In the webinar, CAASPP coordinators from four California LEAs shared their experiences, plans, and ideas for the following:

  • Using interim assessments in their local context
  • Administering interim assessments remotely
  • Analyzing data from interim assessments to guide instruction

The webinar contained a wealth of information, was well received, and was attended by nearly 800 LEA staff. A recording is now available on the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab..

For more information and resources for using the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments as part of distance learning, visit the Interim Assessment Administration Resources page External link opens in new window or tab. on the CAASPP website.

October’s Featured Resource Available in Tools for Teachers— “Smarter Balanced Ecosystem”

The CDE is kicking off a new series in the Assessment Spotlight that will feature a resource each month from the new Tools for Teachers website. October’s featured resource, “Smarter Balanced Ecosystem” External link opens in new window or tab. (account required for full access), is a professional learning resource that helps teachers learn how Smarter Balanced websites support teaching and learning. The resource includes handouts, a PowerPoint presentation, and step-by-step directions for a facilitator to lead a group of teachers through the activities. The Smarter Balanced “ecosystem” used in this resource consists of the following websites:

  • Tools for Teachers
  • Sample items website
  • Smarter Content Explorer

The activities in the resource include a “webquest,” which is an inquiry-oriented lesson that involves teachers exploring information available across multiple websites. The webquest activities include taking direction from prompts, accessing the websites through embedded links, responding to discussion questions, and taking screenshots as teachers visit each of the websites. As part of the webquest, teachers create an infographic, or visual map, explaining each part of the Smarter Balanced ecosystem to show their understanding and to use as a reference while planning instruction.

This engaging professional learning resource can be adapted for any professional development activity, online or in person. It can be used with teachers of all grade levels and subject areas. In addition, there are suggestions for adding to the resource (including the reporting system) or shortening the resource if needed. To help the facilitator, there are formative assessment strategies embedded to check for understanding and make adjustments as participants complete the activities.

Check out this resource and other professional learning and instructional resources available to educators by visiting Tools for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. (account required for full access). Tools for Teachers accounts are available to all California LEA educators.

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
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 111 (added 27-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 9, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 109 (added 22-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, September 25, 2020.
  • Initial ELPAC (added 21-Oct-2020)
    Information about the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).