Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 183

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 22, 2022.

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..

Educators Needed for Alternate ELPAC Alignment Workshop!

Are you interested in a professional learning opportunity related to the Alternate ELPAC—and do you currently teach English learner students with the most significant cognitive disabilities or work with these students in a classroom content support role? Are you employed by a California public school, and do you have familiarity with the English Language Development (ELD) Connectors? If so, we need you!

The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), an independent evaluator, is recruiting California educators to serve as panelists for its virtual Alternate ELPAC Alignment Workshop. We are currently in  need of teachers in all grade levels (kindergarten through grade twelve) to participate in this important workshop, during which panelists will receive training and evaluate the degree of alignment between Alternate ELPAC items and the ELD Connectors for the Alternate ELPAC. Please visit ELD Connectors for the Alternate ELPAC (DOCX) for more information!

The workshop will be held during one week in either August or September 2022 and will be scheduled either as two 8-hour sessions or four 4-hour sessions. Panelists must be able to commit to participating in the entirety of every session. Reimbursement for local educational agency (LEA) substitute teacher expenses or an honorarium to the participant will be provided.

To apply for this workshop, please complete the Alternate ELPAC Alignment Workshop Recruitment Survey External link opens in new window or tab. by May 6, 2022. Questions about the virtual workshop can be directed to HumRRO by email at

Alternate ELPAC English Only Study Extended

The English Only (EO) Study component of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, which includes a sample of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose primary language is English, has been extended to May 31, 2022. This is crucial in order to verify that the operational field test items are measuring students’ English language proficiency.

There is still time to participate in this study or to continue testing eligible students, and a $150 stipend will be provided per eligible EO student tested as part of the study! LEAs with English learner (EL) students already participating in Alternate ELPAC operational field test are encouraged to reach out to their current test examiners and ask them if they can administer the test to at least one of their EO students with significant cognitive disabilities.

To qualify for the EO Study, students must meet each of the following requirements:

  • Have an English Language Acquisition Status of EO
  • Qualify for alternate assessments
  • Be enrolled in kindergarten through grade twelve, up to age twenty-two

All EO students taking the California Alternate Assessments are great candidates for this study!

For more information about the EO Study, contact Nicole J’Beily at the Sacramento County Office of Education by email at or by phone at 916-228-2395.

Focus on Test Security—Pause Rules and Grace Period Extensions

This week, our focus on test security turns to pause rules and grace period extensions. Pause rules apply to the computer adaptive portion of the Smarter Balanced summative assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics as well as to the California Science Assessment (CAST) discrete questions, the Initial ELPAC, and the Summative ELPAC (Listening and Reading domains only). If a test with a pause rule is paused for more than 20 minutes, the following will apply:

  • The student will be required to log back on to the student interface, using the student’s logon information (name, Statewide Student Identifier, and test session).
  • The student will be presented with the page containing the question(s) the student was working on when the assessment was paused if the page contains at least one question to which there is not a complete response. If, however, all questions on the page were answered, the student will be presented with the next page.
  • The student will not be permitted to review or change any previously answered questions, even if they are marked for review (with the exception of questions on a page that contains at least one question to which there is not a complete response).
  • Any highlighted text will be saved regardless of how long the test is paused; notes entered on the digital notepad, however, will not be saved. Global Notes, which are available only for ELA performance tasks (PTs), are retained from segment to segment and after pauses of more than 20 minutes.

For PTs, no pause restrictions apply. If a PT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student can return to the section and continue entering responses. A grace period extension (GPE) allows the student to review previously answered questions upon logging back on to the assessment after the expiration of the pause rule. A GPE is only for situations in which a test is paused for longer than 20 minutes due to circumstances beyond the control of the test administrator or student, such as a Wi-Fi or power outage, fire, or emergency drills. A GPE will not be granted for student breaks, such as recess or lunch lasting for more than 20 minutes or for students who misunderstood the pause rules.

If a testing site experiences a technical issue and wishes to submit a GPE request, the site should stop the student(s) from continuing the test, notify the site coordinator, and not have the student(s) move beyond the current question until the GPE request is approved.

Find more information in the Online Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab..

Now Available—Text-to-Speech Accessibility Resource Video!

We are excited to announce the release of a new video for the text-to-speech accessibility resource! You can find this video on the Accessibility Resource Demonstration Videos web page on both the CAASPP web page External link opens in new window or tab. and ELPAC web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Text-to-speech allows text, including student responses, to be read aloud to the student via technology embedded in the Test Delivery System. The student is able to control the speed as well as the volume of the voice.

Text-to-speech is an embedded designated support for the Smarter Balanced assessment for mathematics, the CAST, and for questions only on the Smarter Balanced assessment for ELA as well as the California Spanish Assessment (CSA). Text-to-speech is an embedded accommodation for the computer-based ELPAC as well as for reading passages on the Smarter Balanced assessment for ELA and the CSA.

Find more information on the accessibility resources available for the CAASPP and ELPAC in the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix.

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 California Department of Education Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Recently Posted in Testing