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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 41

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, April 17, 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.

Focus on Test Security—What Happens After I Submit My STAIRS Appeal?

When you submit an appeal through the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS), and it is approved, the following takes place:

  • If the case required a Reopen Appeal, the student(s) may resume testing. Expired tests will resume at the last unanswered item on the test. This could, in some cases, be different than where the student left off (if the student went back to review prior items, for example).

  • If the case required a Reset Appeal, the test has been removed from the system and the student(s) will start a new test from the beginning. Please ensure that the test assignment and test settings are accurate before allowing the student(s) to start a new test.

  • If the case required a Grace Period Extension Appeal, the student(s) may return to prior pages (i.e., screens) within the existing segment. A student may not return to a previous segment once it has been completed and submitted.

  • If the case required an Invalidate Appeal, the score(s) will be invalidated; invalidated scores will be reported with a text notation on the Student Score Report. The student(s) will be counted as having participated in the calculation of the school’s participation rate.

If you submit an appeal that is denied for an administrative reason—for example, because you filed the wrong type of appeal, such as a request to reset instead of reopen—you should refile with the correct appeal.

Communicating with the California Department of Education (CDE) about a pending STAIRS case can be accomplished by using the Notes feature. Take the following steps to submit a note, or comment, or to read the notes and responses associated with a STAIRS case:

  • Search and open the STAIRS case.
  • Select the Notes tab.
You will be notified via email when there is a reply to your comment.

Registration Now Open for the 2019 Summer Institute!

Registration is now available for the 2019 Summer Institute, “Analyzing Student Work and Using the Interim and Digital Library Systems to Inform Teaching and Learning,” which will be offered at eight locations throughout California in July and early August. This is a two-day, in-person professional development opportunity for classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and teachers on special assignment. Administrators also may find this training useful to inform their support of classroom teachers. The goals of this training are for participants to understand the following:

  • The purpose of different types of assessment and how they work together to support learning

  • The design of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment items aligned with college- and career-ready standards and the use of hand scoring to analyze student responses

  • How to use interim assessment and Digital Library systems, including accessibility features

To maximize this learning opportunity, schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) may want to consider sending educator teams that divide their participation between the English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics content areas.

Visit the CAASPP 2018–19 In-Person Workshops and Professional Development Opportunities web page External link opens in new window or tab. for details, a workshop flyer, and online registration. Questions about this training should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Get Involved! CAA for ELA “Second Score” Research Study

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is looking for schools to participate in a research study on the 2018–19 California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for ELA. In the study, the test site coordinator will assign a second test examiner, from the school, to be present during one-on-one testing between the student and the primary test examiner. When the test items are scored by the test examiner using a rubric, the second test examiner will provide a second independent score. The study will occur during regularly scheduled testing for your school.

By participating in this study, your school will contribute to the improvement of the CAA for ELA for the students who take this assessment. Further, for every participating student, the school will be compensated with a $30 Amazon gift card allocated for classroom supplies. If you are interested in having your school participate, please submit the online interest form External link opens in new window or tab..

California Spanish Assessment

We send a big shout out to the 42 LEAs that have administered the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) to 5,309 students in California! For information about the benefits of administering the CSA, refer to the new CSA flyer (PDF), available on the CDE website.

All About Accessibility

Streamline is an embedded designated support that provides a streamlined interface of the test in an alternate, simplified format in which the items are displayed below the stimuli. This designated support may benefit a small number of students who have specific learning or reading disabilities requiring that text be presented in a more sequential format.

More information on this designated support use can be found in the 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: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
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