Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 48

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 5, 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.

June’s Featured Digital Library Resource: “Breaking Spaghetti”

High school math and pasta? There is a connection! In this month’s Digital Library featured resource, Breaking Spaghetti External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), students use pasta to learn about algebra and functions.

This engaging mathematics resource for students in grades nine and ten includes a sixty-minute activity that begins with students using a string to hang a plastic or paper cup across a spaghetti noodle that is suspended between two chairs. Then, they work in small groups to investigate the number of marbles the cup can hold before it breaks the strand of spaghetti. As the students add strands of spaghetti, they graph their results, find the line of best fit, and express their findings in a linear equation. The students use this equation to predict the number of marbles needed to break 100 or 500 strands of spaghetti.

As the students work collaboratively in groups, the teacher monitors them to ensure that they are placing data correctly on the x- and y- axes and completing the process for sketching and writing a line of best fit. This makes for a fun way in which educators can get students thinking mathematically and implement the formative assessment process in the classroom.

“Breaking Spaghetti” is one of several Digital Library resources on the CDE High School—Algebra and Functions web page, which features the Instructional Learning Series Playlist. This series organizes instructional resources for teachers, addressing Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced assessment targets associated with the content of various Interim Assessment Blocks.

To access “Breaking Spaghetti” 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).

Closing Out This Year’s Summative ELPAC

The Summative ELPAC testing window came to a close on May 31, and we take this opportunity to thank all of the LEAs that did an outstanding job of administering the assessment to approximately 1.2 million English learner students! The next step for LEAs is to complete the ELPAC post-test survey, sent to coordinators on June 3, which provides us with essential information for improving the process for administering the ELPAC.

In addition, we remind LEAs to:

  • Return completed Answer Books to Educational Testing Service by the deadline of June 14, 2019.

  • Notify parents/guardians within 30 days of receipt of electronic Student Score Reports (SSRs) from the testing contractor. LEAs cannot wait until all electronic SSRs are received before notifying parents/guardians of their availability in the parent portal. In addition, per ELPAC regulations, LEAs that receive some or all of SSRs after the last day of instruction for the school year have 15 working days at the start of the next school year to notify parents/guardians of the results.

Field-Testing the New Computer-Based ELPAC

A statewide field test for the new computer-based ELPAC will occur October 1–25, 2019. Is your LEA participating? More than 1,200 LEAs that have more than 20 English learners enrolled in a grade have been invited to participate, and we need the involvement of as many LEAs as possible. If you have questions regarding participation, please contact the ELPAC field test coordinator at the Sacramento County Office of Education, Salina Donek, by phone at 916-228-3301 or by email at

California Spanish Assessment

The new California Spanish Assessment (CSA) has already been administered to more than 37,000 students! LEAs can administer the CSA through the end of their administration window or July 15, whichever comes first. For more information, visit the CAASPP Portal CSA 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, June 6, 2019
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CA Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix (added 03-Jul-2020)
    Matrix displays the embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations (UDAs) allowed as part of the California assessments.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 96 (added 01-Jul-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 19, 2020.
  • Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers (updated 26-Jun-2020)
    Tools for Teachers is an online collection of resources aligned with the Common Core State Standards that supports K–12 teachers in their use of the formative assessment process to adjust teaching to improve student learning.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 95 (added 19-Jun-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 19, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 94 (added 12-Jun-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 12, 2020.