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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 248

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, September 29, 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—Complete the Initial ELPAC and Initial Alternate ELPAC Before Census Day

To ensure that newly enrolled students are included in the Unduplicated Pupil Count, which is used to determine funding for the supplemental and concentration grants under the Local Control Funding Formula for 2023–24, students must complete the entire Initial ELPAC (all 4 domains) or Initial Alternate ELPAC by Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

Quick Reference Guide Web Page Updates

The Quick Reference Guides (QRG) provide step-by-step instructions for how to accomplish a task or activity within California’s assessment programs. The QRGs contain information on a variety of subjects, including, but not limited to:

  • Starting a Test Session, Practice Test, or Training Test
  • Accessing Test Results
  • Performing tasks in the Test Operations Management System
  • Navigating the California Educator Reporting System

These documents have been consolidated for all assessments, including:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics
  • California Science Test
  • California Alternate Assessments for ELA, mathematics, and science
  • California Spanish Assessment
  • ELPAC:
    • Initial
    • Summative
    • Initial Alternate
    • Summative Alternate

The QRGs can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Quick Reference Guides web page.

Complete Your 1.0 Percent Threshold Survey Now

CAASPP local educational agency (LEA) coordinators are reminded that the annual survey for the 1.0 percent threshold on CAASPP alternate assessments in ELA, mathematics, and science will be open until the close of business on October 12, 2023. The 1.0 Threshold Survey can be found on the CDE 1.0 Percent Threshold on Alternate Assessments web page.

The CDE requires that all LEAs complete the survey and report the percentage of students taking the CAASPP alternate assessments, regardless of whether the LEA:

  • Anticipates exceeding the 1.0 percent cap
  • Anticipates not exceeding the 1.0 percent cap
  • Has no students expected to take the alternate assessments

The survey is conducted in response to the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The overall intent of the ESSA regulations is to help address concerns about disproportionality related to potentially overidentifying students for alternate assessments. The state undergoes increased monitoring and oversight by the U.S. Department of Education as a consequence for exceeding the threshold.

Students who are eligible to take the ELPAC are not part of the 1.0 percent calculation. Only students eligible to take the CAASPP alternate assessments for ELA, mathematics, and science should be included.

Redesigned Student Score Reports Approved by the State Board of Education

The State Board of Education (SBE) approved enhancements to the CAASPP and ELPAC Student Score Reports (SSRs) during the September board meeting. The SSR revisions and reporting enhancements are the result of feedback gathered from students, parents, LEAs, and educational partners throughout the state. SSRs were redesigned with the intent to improve the reporting of test results and include actionable information to families while minimizing distribution efforts for LEAs.

The SSRs are scheduled to take effect starting in the 2023–24 school year. The Initial ELPAC and the Initial Alternate ELPAC testing window started in early July and uses the previously SBE-approved 2022–23 designs for 2023–24 with the implementation of redesigned SSRs beginning in the 2024–25 school year.

Examples of the redesigned SSRs are included in attachment 2 of item 3 (PDF) from the September 2023 SBE meeting.

Opportunity This Fall: Smarter Balanced Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy Item Review

Get involved in assessment development this fall! Smarter Balanced is recruiting educators for its mathematics and ELA item review sessions. Educators complete a virtual synchronous review of test questions (items) for ELA or mathematics considering content, fairness, and accessibility criteria. Smarter Balanced item quality criteria will be provided to item reviewers at the beginning of the meetings. The dates for the next item review activities scheduled for November have changed to the following:

  • Mathematics Item Review: November 13–17, 2023 - Virtual
  • ELA Item Review: November 15–17, 2023 - Virtual

Substitute reimbursement will be offered if a substitute teacher is required. Find information about this review, and additional details including qualification criteria on the Smarter Balanced Educator Recruitment FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. web page. Please complete the Smarter Balanced Educator Recruitment application External link opens in new window or tab. and share this information with teachers and other educators in your school or district. If you are not selected for an upcoming activity, you will be added to the list for participation in future item activities.

To receive future CAASPP updates and notifications, subscribe to the CAASPP mailing list by sending a blank email message to For previous Assessment Spotlight issues, visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 2, 2023
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