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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 167

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, December 17, 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..

Public Release of 2020–21 Student Data

The California Department of Education (CDE) is working on a combined data release of assessment results and other key data to the public. We anticipate that the public release of 2020–21 CAASPP and ELPAC results, along with the release of other student data, will occur in January 2022.

Data Training to Replace Assessment Update Webinar in January

A new training opportunity—“Data-Driven Decision-Making for Educational Leaders”—will be presented on January 26, 2022, replacing the CDE Assessment Update webinar previously scheduled for that date. This new training, a two-hour event starting at 2 p.m., is for school and district leaders who are interested in using assessment data from last year’s assessments, given the flexibility local educational agencies (LEAs) had regarding the administration of local assessments in spring 2021. The training will cover the following topics:

  • Data consistency between LEAs
  • Requirements for reporting data
  • Data collection and using data moving forward

More modules for further training on this topic will be offered in 2022–23. To register for the January 26 webinar, visit the Webinar Registration web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Alternate Assessments and In-Person Testing

The provision of assessment content to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities requires individual knowledge of the student and the related provision of each student’s preferred communication mode, including sign language interpreters, home language translation, braille, and supports for alternate response options, including the programming of augmentative and alternate communication devices. These supports often are provided by more than one professional and often require ongoing collaboration among all parties involved to help ensure success.

Test examiners must have experience in providing instructional content and be knowledgeable in the provision of related accessibility resources. In addition, the test examiner is crucial in helping the individualized education program—or IEP— team determine the most useful strategies and resources, as aligned with instruction. Students also vary in the amount of time they are able to interact with the assessment and require a schedule that can support breaks over multiple days. By design, alternate assessments are one-on-one test administrations, administered by test examiners who are familiar with the students they are assessing. The training to provide a standardized test administration relies on pedagogical knowledge beyond the scope of the Directions for Administration.

The alternate assessments also allow for individualized testing experiences through the use of manipulatives and provide a wide range of specialized accessibility resources that are available on the basis of individual student need. In addition, two of the alternate assessments, the California Alternate Assessment for English Language Arts/Literacy and the Alternate ELPAC, have overall requirements for second scorers for reliability purposes. The additional assistive technology supports are not conducive to a remote testing environment and require support from a test examiner. In addition, parents or guardians should not be asked to administer the assessment as testing regulations do not allow for their participation. Therefore, the CDE requires that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities be tested in person. Doing so creates conditions to ensure the validity and reliability of test results for these student groups.

Upcoming Downtime for CAASPP and ELPAC Systems

To prepare for the opening of the 2021–22 summative assessment window, various CAASPP and ELPAC systems are scheduled for downtime in January 2022.

From Wednesday, January 5, at 5 p.m. through Tuesday, January 11, at 8 a.m., the following will not be available:

  • Test Administrator Interface
  • Completion Status System
  • Data Entry Interface

From Friday, January 7, at 5 p.m. through Tuesday, January 11, at 8 a.m., the following will not be available:

  • Test Operations Management System (TOMS)

More information about the impacted systems and other scheduled downtimes is available on the CAASPP Planned System Downtime External link opens in new window or tab. and ELPAC Planned System Downtime External link opens in new window or tab. web pages.

November PFT Webinar Now Posted

The CDE recording of the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Update webinar External link opens in new window or tab. is now available! This webinar, which took place on November 12, provided updates on the administration of the PFT and included a Q&A session.

Next Issue of Assessment Spotlight: January 7

Winter break is around the corner, and the Assessment Spotlight will be on hiatus as well. Watch for its return on January 7, 2022, when issue 168 arrives in your email in-box.

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: Monday, December 27, 2021
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