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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 39

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 4, 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.

Register Now for 2019 California Assessment Conference Early Bird Special!

Don’t wait! Early bird pricing is still available, through April 14, for the 2019 California Assessment Conference (CAC), which will offer classroom educators a variety of opportunities to learn from one another and explore ways of using assessment resources for improved teaching and learning. For more information about the CAC, which will be held October 16–18, and to register for the event, visit the CAC web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Focus on Test Security—STAIRS Delayed Appeals

This week, we include a reminder that security incidents must be reported in the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS) within 24 hours. (In the case of a high-risk incident, such as test content being posted on social media, the local educational agency [LEA] coordinator should alert California Technical Assistance Center staff immediately.) There are, however, two exceptions to the 24-hour reporting rule that are related to the need for a delayed appeal request:

  • A student is cheating. If the LEA chooses to allow the student to complete the test, the LEA should wait until the student has completed testing to report the case in STAIRS and request the invalidation appeal.

  • A student inadvertently accesses a test before the scheduled testing date. The LEA may need to continue testing the student, but not plan to do it until after the test has expired. In this case, the LEA should report the issue in STAIRS and request the reopen appeal a few days before continuing testing for the student.

Please note that the STAIRS/appeals process creates appeal requests as cases are reported and submitted. Users also can save the data on the STAIRS/Appeals form as a draft before submitting an appeal request by taking the following steps:

  1. Select the “Next” button on the last page of the web form to be saved.
  2. Select the “Yes” button when asked whether the data on that page is to be saved.
  3. Exit the STAIRS/Appeals module to save the draft form.

Drafts can be searched using the STAIRS search function.

Refer to the CAASPP Secuity Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) on the CAASPP Portal External link opens in new window or tab., for more information on reporting security incidents.

April’s Featured Digital Library Resource: “Problem Solving—Dill’er Up 3-Acts Math Lesson”

Educators looking for ways to challenge elementary school students in their use of problem solving skills will enjoy putting into action this month’s featured Digital Library resource, “Dill’er Up 3-Acts Math Lesson” External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). Contributed by Cassandra Gartung, a member of the California State Network of Educators, this lesson for grade four helps students understand how to apply mathematical skills to solve complex problems found in everyday life. It consists of a whole-group mathematics task that is separated into three distinct parts:

  • Act One—students watch a half-minute video of a pickle jar that is filling with water from a running hose. They use this information in seeking the solution during Act Two.

  • Act Two—students participate in a problem solving discussion as they are challenged to estimate how long it takes to fill four jars of various sizes.

  • Act Three—the solution is revealed as students watch a one-minute video to see whether their final estimations were within an accurate range.
Materials include a full lesson plan, links to the videos and presentation slides, a student recording sheet, and a scoring rubric. This lesson is a fun way to get students actively involved in problem solving using mathematical operations and algebraic thinking!

To access this resource and for more information about the 3,000+ other instructional and professional learning Digital Library resources available for educators, visit the Smarter Balanced Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required).

All About Accessibility

“If a student receives a universal tool, designated support, or accommodation, will the student’s scale score be negatively impacted?” This is a frequently asked question, and the answer is no, the student’s score will not be impacted. Any student who receives an allowed universal tool, designated support, or accommodation for any of the CAASPP assessments, as specified in “Matrix One: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Accessibility Resources,” will receive a valid score. The mere use of any of the allowed accessibility resources will not lower the student’s score or have any other automatic effect on the student’s score.

Non-embedded, unlisted resources, on the other hand, follow different rules. If a student is given any preapproved unlisted resource, as specified on the last page of Matrix One, the student will receive an invalidated score. The student with an invalidated score will be counted as not having participated and will not be included in the calculation of “distance from met” for accountability purposes. Any other unlisted resources not already identified in the preapproved unlisted resources chart must be submitted to the California Department of Education for review through the Test Operations Management System External link opens in new window or tab. to determine whether the unlisted resource will change the construct being measured.

More information on the use of accessibility resources can be found on the CAASPP Portal in the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

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: Monday, April 8, 2019
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