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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 31

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 7, 2019.

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments.

State Assessment Apportionment System

The California Department of Education (CDE) is happy to announce the success of the new State Assessment Apportionment System (SAAS). Thanks to your efforts, a total of 1,654 local educational agencies (LEAs) certified for the California English Language Development Test by the February 1 deadline. That is almost 85 percent of all LEAs—more than a 30 percent increase over last year. Thank you for your collaboration and your patience in working though the hiccups that are inherent in the implementation of a new system.

We take this opportunity for a reminder that the deadline for certifying the CAASPP and ELPAC data for the 2017–18 test administration is March 1, 2019. For more information and to certify, please visit the CDE SAAS website.

If you have questions, please contact the Fiscal Support Office by email at or by phone at 916-319-0353.

Translations of Parent Notification Letter Template Available!

The translated versions of this year’s parent notification letter template are now available for LEA use! Translations in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino (Tagalog), Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), and Arabic can be found on the CDE CAASPP web page.

This Month’s Featured Digital Library Resource—“5th Graders Analyzing Text: Text Talk Time”

Are you looking for confident writers in the classroom? Using formative assessment resources, educators can engage and support English language proficiency by implementing this month’s featured Digital Library resource, “5th Graders Analyzing Text: Text Talk Time”External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). This resource is highlighted on the CDE’s Professional Learning Series Playlist for Supporting English Learners, which can be found on the CDE Digital Library Playlists web page.

“Text Talk Time” features a seven-minute video of students in a grade five history class who are sitting together in a circle and discussing their thoughts about the story of Sacagawea. As they analyze visuals within the text and share specific quotes to support their ideas, the teacher uses formative assessment practices by clearly articulating the goals and expectations of collaborative discussions. She also elicits evidence from her students.

The teacher provides sentence frames for the students to help them identify the author’s viewpoint as well as to analyze word choice within the text. She also uses hand signals to promote active listening while helping to facilitate the discussion.

Included in the resource are the following:

  • Discussion guide and “teacher reflection” document to supplement the video

  • List of related Common Core State Standards that are incorporated throughout the lesson

  • Questions that challenge educators to reflect on their own strategies for formative assessment and what they may take away from this lesson to add to their own instruction

The standards addressed—Speaking and Listening and Reading Informational Text—and the strategies implemented are not limited to history. They can be used in any content area and for any grade level.

Students feel empowered when they have the support they need and are ready to become independent writers. Access “Text Talk Time,” view other lessons like it, and explore the 3,000+ instructional and professional learning resources in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required).

All About Accessibility

Amplification is a non-embedded designated accessibility resource. With this accessibility resource, the student adjusts the volume control beyond the computer’s built-in settings, using headphones or another non-embedded device. Students may use amplification assistive technology (e.g., headphones, FM system, noise buffers, white noise machines) to increase the volume provided in the assessment platform. More information can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).


It’s full speed ahead—the Summative ELPAC administration window opened on February 1! In preparation for administration, please update each student’s English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) from “to be determined” (TBD)  to either “English learner” (EL) or “initial fluent English proficient” (IFEP). In addition, all correction of classification errors that were conducted after the administration of the Initial ELPAC (beginning on July 1, 2018) must be completed before the Summative ELPAC is administered.

If your LEA is planning to reclassify a student, be sure to change the student’s ELAS in CALPADS to “reclassified fluent English proficient” (RFEP); otherwise, your LEA will be required to test the student by May 31, 2019.

If a student was not administered the Initial ELPAC on the basis of the home language survey but the student’s teacher suspects there is a language other than English preventing the student from accessing the full breadth and depth of the curriculum, please consult with the parents/guardians. Let them know that their child may be tested with the Initial ELPAC in order to ensure that their child is receiving the necessary support to access the curriculum. For more information regarding the correction of classification errors, see California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 115180.20 External link opens in new window or tab..

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency 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 Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 14, 2019
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