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Assessment Spotlight, issue 227

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 14, 2023.

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. .

Reminder—Register for CERS Spring Training Sessions

Registration remains open for the Accessing Summative Assessment Results in the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) spring training. CERS is a free tool available to all California local educational agencies (LEAs) for accessing—through a secure logon—student assessment results for both summative and interim assessments. Participants can select one or more of the following 75-minute facilitated modules, which are intended for all current or potential CERS users:

  • Module One will focus on the Summative ELPAC, the Summative Alternate ELPAC, and the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) on Thursday, May 4, 2023, from 9 to 10:15 a.m.

  • Module Two will focus on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, and the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics on Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 9 to 10:15 a.m.

  • Module Three will focus on the California Science Test and the CAA for science on Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 9 to 10:15 a.m.

Register now External link opens in new window or tab. for the modules. Any questions about this training opportunity can be emailed to the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) at

April’s Featured Resource in Tools for Teachers—Shades of Meaning

Teachers—Do you want an engaging lesson to use with middle school students about using word choice to enhance and clarify writing? Take a look at this month’s featured Tools for Teachers instructional resource—Shades of Meaning External link opens in new window or tab. (account required). This lesson features an engaging, manipulative-based activity for students to learn about word nuances and how word choice affects writing. Written for grade eight students, this interactive and collaborative lesson can be equally effective at the high school level.

During a Think-Pair-Share activity, students are given Shades of Meaning Word Cards and asked to sort the sets of words with similar meanings. Throughout the lesson, student discussion facilitates a deeper understanding of how the words they use influence and shape meaning. The lesson concludes with an Exit Ticket that asks students to individually order a set of words along a continuum and explain their thinking in writing. This resource includes step-by-step directions for introducing the lesson, guiding instruction, and structuring partner discussion. All supplementary materials and handouts are provided as well as embedded formative assessment strategies, accessibility strategies, and an extension activity.

This lesson is included in two Interim Assessment Connections Playlists for grade eight: Performance Tasks, and Language and Vocabulary use. Each playlist consists of instructional resources that can be used to teach the content assessed on the corresponding Interim Assessment Block. To view this and other instructional resources, LEA staff need a Tools for Teachers account, which can be obtained either through self-registration, described in the flyer How to Self-Register for Tools for Teachers (PDF), or through their LEA CAASPP coordinator.

2023 High School Equivalency and Proficiency Summer Convenings

The California Department of Education (CDE) invites chief examiners, test site administrators, school counselors, and others with a connection to high school equivalency (HSE) exams to the in-person 2023 HSE Summer Convenings. These convenings are designed to provide timely updates and to collect valuable feedback regarding the HSE: GED® and HiSET® exams.

Convenings will be held in August at various locations throughout the state:

  • Monday, August 7, Sacramento
    • Sacramento County Office of Education, 10474 Mather Boulevard, Mather Room, Mather, CA 95655

  • Tuesday, August 8, Red Bluff
    • Tehama County Department of Education, 1135 Lincoln Street, Assembly Room, Red Bluff, CA 96080

  • Wednesday, August 9, Contra Costa
    • Contra Costa County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Road, Steward Building—Board Room, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

  • Thursday, August 10, Fresno
    • Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, 1111 Van Ness Avenue, Room 101T, Fresno, CA 9372

  • Tuesday, August 15, Ventura
    • Ventura COE Conference and Education Services Center, 5100 Adolfo Road, Salon C, Camarillo, CA 93012

  • Wednesday, August 16, Pomona
    • Village Conference Center at Pomona Unified School District, 1444 E. Holt Avenue, Entrance 1, Pomona, CA 91767

  • Thursday, August 17, Riverside
    • Alvord USD Professional Development Center, 7737 Jurupa Avenue, Riverside, CA 92504

  • Friday, August 18, San Diego
    • San Diego County Office of Education, 6401 Linda Vista Road, Room 401/402, San Diego, CA 92111

Registration External link opens in new window or tab. is now available. Any questions about the 2023 High School Equivalency Summer Convenings can be emailed to Melissa Stockbridge at SCOE at

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 | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 18, 2023
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