Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Assessment Spotlight, Issue 53

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

New Coordinator Webinar on July 16

Calling all new CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators! Join us next Tuesday, July 16, for the first webinar in a training series for new coordinators that will take place throughout the coming school year. The July 16 webinar will introduce new coordinators to their role, present the 2019–20 LEA Coordinator Checklist, and provide available resources for the CAASPP and ELPAC assessments. Time also will be dedicated to an interactive question-and-answer session.

LEA CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators who have been in their role for less than 12 months are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this timely opportunity and register External link opens in new window or tab. today!

New Coordinator Training Continuing at Assessment Information Meeting

The year-long support training for new coordinators continues in August, right before the annual Assessment Information Meeting (affectionately called North-South). CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators who have not yet registered for this in-person training opportunity are encouraged to do so right away. This training will provide the most current information about California’s assessment systems and review the events and activities required each month to successfully perform all roles and responsibilities of a CAASPP or ELPAC coordinator.

Visit the registration site External link opens in new window or tab. today to find all the details and to hold your spot!

August Standard Setting for the CSA: Sign Up by July 19

Become involved in the continual development of the California Spanish Assessment (CSA)! Educational Testing Service (ETS) will conduct a CSA Standard Setting Meeting in Sacramento, which will take place August 6–9, 2019.The CSA, an assessment of students’ Spanish reading/language arts (RLA) competency, is aligned with the Common Core State Standards en Español.

For the meeting, ETS is seeking education professionals who are familiar with students in grades three and eight and high school and with the instruction of Spanish RLA occurring at these grade levels. Standard setting is not a review of test questions; rather, it is an opportunity for educators to inform ETS as to how students interact with test questions at the time of testing using their competency in reading, listening, and comprehending Spanish, as well as their competency in using appropriate Spanish writing mechanics.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed, and an honorarium of $150.00 per day will be offered to those not working a contract day for their local educational agency (LEA). For those who attend on work days, the LEA can be reimbursed for a substitute.

Educators applying for the CSA Standard Setting Meeting or other educator involvement opportunities will need to create an account External link opens in new window or tab. in the Educator Opportunities database. Those who already have created an account can go directly to the Educator Opportunities Portal External link opens in new window or tab.. For the CSA Standard Setting Meeting, please apply by July 19, 2019. Selected participants will receive additional information about the meeting, including travel arrangements.

Questions about how to get involved in educator opportunities can be directed to the CAASPP project team by phone at 916-228-2682 or by email at

Updated Digital Library Connections Playlists: Time-Saving Tools for Teachers

Smarter Balanced provides educators with Digital Library instructional resources that are linked directly to the interim assessments, including more than 100 Digital Library Connections Playlists, one for each Interim Assessment Block (IAB). New additions—73 of them—have been made to 28 Connections Playlists for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. These playlists help teachers save time by quickly pointing to Digital Library resources on the basis of students’ performance on the IABs. These quality resources are available on the Smarter Balanced Digital Library website External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). Now is the time to check out these new resources created for educators by educators!

This fall, even more Digital Library Playlists will be available when the focused IABs are released! These IABs measure smaller bundles of content to give teachers a better understanding of students’ knowledge and academic performance and provide teachers with next steps for instruction. Each focused IAB will have its own playlist of newly created instructional resources. For more information about this new type of IAB, refer to the illustrated Focused IABs flyer (PDF), available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments web page. Watch for more information in the coming months about these new IAB choices for educators.

Just Posted: California Science Test Item Specifications!

The CDE is pleased to announce that 175 California Science Test (CAST) item specifications (i.e., 45 for grade five, 59 for grade eight, and 71 for high school) have been posted on the CAST Item Specifications web page! This web page provides background information, an introduction (PDF) to the specifications, and a complete list of Science and Engineering Practices and Subpractices (DOCX). In addition, the item specifications are organized by grade and science domain and can be downloaded individually or by domain.

We encourage educators to use these documents, along with the 2016 Science Framework, as resources for developing items for classroom assessments. The item specifications help educators gain a better understanding of the three-dimensional nature of the CAST; however, the specifications are not intended to guide instruction.

Please be sure to share this information with science educators in your LEA. A useful flyer, “Introducing the CAST Item Specification” (PDF), is located on the CDE CAST web page.

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, July 11, 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.