Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 34

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 27, 2019.

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

New Video—California Science Test and the Next Generation Science Standards!

The new video “California Science Test (CAST) and the Next Generation Science Standards” provides an overview of the CAST and describes how it aligns with the California Next Generation Science Standards. A useful resource for anyone interested in understanding the basics of the CAST, this video is especially helpful for teachers, parents/guardians, and students. It explains how the CAST is designed not only to measure student progress, but also to encourage and reinforce the innovative ways in which science is taught in classrooms throughout the state.

Please be sure to view this video, approximately six minutes in length, to learn about the CAST—its structure, the types of questions students can expect, and the new standards and how they are being built into the assessment!

More About the CAST: Planning Your Pause Points

Do you have questions about the basic structure of the CAST and when best to pause your students if administering the CAST over multiple test sessions? We have the resource for you!

“Suggested Pausing Points for the CAST”External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), a flyer designed for test administrators, offers suggestions on the most logical points at which to pause testing so students can resume testing at a later time. In addition, this resource uses graphics to illustrate the structure of the CAST and includes information about the six test segments, such as the range of questions per segment.

Additional information about the pause rules can be found in the in the 2018 –19 CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF),“Pause Rules” section, page 58.

All About Accessibility

Expandable items and expandable passages are onscreen, presentation universal tools that function as follows:

  • Expandable items. For this universal tool, each stimulus in the left pane and the question(s) in the right pane can be expanded to take up a larger portion of the screen when the student selects one of the two horizontal arrows between the passage and the question(s).

  • Expandable passages. For this universal tool, each passage or stimulus can be expanded to take up a larger portion of the screen when the student selects one of the two arrows in the passage pane.

More information on these universal tools can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced website External link opens in new window or tab. . In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP Portal Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials web page External link opens in new window or tab..

New At-a-Glance Resource for Smarter Balanced Practice Tests, Training Tests, and Interim Assessments!

Do you know the key differences between the Smarter Balanced Practice Tests, Training Tests, and Interim Assessments? Are you interested in using one of these resources, but not sure which is most appropriate for your intended use?

A new flyer—“Smarter Balanced Training Tests, Practice Tests, and Interim Assessments” (PDF)—from the CDE At-a-Glance series is available to assist educators in selecting the appropriate tool to gauge or promote student learning. It provides a side-by-side comparison of what these training tests, practice tests, and interim assessments offer. This document presents the differences in the three resources’ key features, such as purpose, grade-level availability, number of test items, and scoring options and addresses the flexibility local educational agencies have in determining which option is most suitable for their needs.

This new flyer is now available on the CDE Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments web page, under “Related Resources,” as well as on the CAASPP Portal Interim Assessment Administration Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab., under “Additional Resources.”

Summative ELPAC

Reminder: Per the ELPAC regulations External link opens in new window or tab., the Summative ELPAC must be administered to all students who are identified as English learners before or during the Summative ELPAC administration window, which is open each year from February 1 through May 31.

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 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: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 37 (added 28-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 21, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 38 (added 28-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 28, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 36 (added 14-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 13, 2019.
  • CAST Item Specifications (added 12-Mar-2019)
    Item specifications describe how items for the CAST are developed to assess the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 35 (added 07-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 6, 2019.