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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 40

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 10, 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.

Do I Really Need an Appeal? (And What Not to Report in STAIRS)

Once a testing issue is reported in the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS), an appeal is automatically generated. Therefore, to avoid having unnecessary or undesired appeals granted, STAIRS users need to ensure that an incident is a reportable issue before reporting it in STAIRS.

If a user is unsure whether an issue should be reported in STAIRS, the first step is to consult the STAIRS Applicable Testing Issues Chart External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF). If the specific issue is not shown on the chart, the site coordinator should contact the LEA coordinator for assistance in determining whether the issue should be reported in STAIRS. If the LEA CAASPP coordinator is unsure whether to report the issue, he or she should contact the California Technical Assistance Center.

The following circumstances do not require reporting through the CAASPP STAIRS/appeals process:

  • Electronic device use after testing. If a student used an electronic device after testing was completed during a session, do not report. (If, however, the student was actively engaged in a testing session or the student completed testing but the LEA can verify that the device was being used to help other students who were engaged in a test session, do report.)

  • 12 month English learner. If an English learner who was enrolled in a US school for less than 12 months as of April 15, 2018, accidentally took the ELA assessment, do not report, as this student’s score will not be used for accountability purposes.

  • Parent/guardian exempt (PGE) student. If a student who is PGE is accidentally administered the assessment, no appeal is needed. The Test Operation Management System (TOMS) will allow the student's record to be marked as PGE on the student score status tab as long as the student has not submitted both the computer adaptive test and the performance task for that subject area.

  • Lost or misplaced student logon information. If student logon information is lost or misplaced, do not report; this is a breach of a student’s personally identifiable information that should be addressed at the local level.

  • Perceived question skipping. Because the system does not allow students to skip questions or submit a segment in which any questions have not been answered, there is no reason to file a report if it is perceived that a question was not answered. This is a scenario that has been tested repeatedly, and no evidence has been found that confirms a reported case of question skipping.

Updated Available Resources Flyers for Science Are Here!

Two science resource flyers, one for the CAST and one for the CAA for Science, have been updated! “Available Resources for the CAST” (PDF) and “Available Resources for the CAA for Science” (PDF) are two-page flyers that provide links to many of the helpful resources—fact sheets, quick reference guides, web pages, and videos—available for testing coordinators, teachers, and parents/guardians.

Initial and Summative ELPAC: Important Dates

Reminder regarding key ELPAC dates: If a student is administered the Initial ELPAC after the opening of the administration window on February 1 and determined to be an English learner, the LEA must administer the Summative ELPAC to the student by May 31.

All About Accessibility

The calculator is an embedded universal tool for the following:

  • Mathematics testing in grades six through eight and grade eleven
  • Science testing in all tested grades

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed mathematics items and for all science items.

The use of a non-embedded calculator for mathematics is an accommodation for students in grades six through eight and grade eleven who have this accommodation documented in an individualized education program or 504 plan. It will need to be set in the student test settings in TOMS before testing. Students should use a calculator they are familiar with and use during regular classroom instruction. Because this accommodation is available for calculator-allowed items only, students must be monitored on an item-by-item basis during their use of the non-embedded calculator.

An unlisted resource request can be made in TOMS for the use of a non-embedded calculator for mathematics for:

  • Grades three through five
  • Non-allowed items in grades six through eight and grade eleven

The use of this unlisted resource has been determined to change the construct of the test and will invalidate the student’s score.

For science, the use of a non-embedded calculator is a designated support for all items. Students who have this resource selected in the student test settings in TOMS may use a basic calculator for grade five and a scientific calculator for grade eight and high school.

More information on calculator use 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. , and the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing, available on the CAASPP Portal External link opens in new window or tab. . In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP Portal. Find them on the Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials web page 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, April 11, 2019
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