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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 77

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 23, 2020.

Focusing on the CAASPP System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments.

Now Available: CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide

The CAASPP and ELPAC Test Operations Management System (TOMS) User Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) provides detailed instructions for local educational agency (LEA) staff using TOMS. It is now available on the following web pages:

The guide explains this year’s new features in TOMS, such as single sign-on, MyTOMS at a Glance, CAASPP and ELPAC user roles, Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System and appeals process improvements, and menu-based reporting.

Embedded help continues to be available in TOMS, in the form of two types of icons—one for page instructions and one for help. When selected, the page instructions icon, located at the top of each screen in TOMS, opens a separate pop-up box that provides information about the content of the screen. For even more specific help with certain actions, users can select the help icon, which appears on many of the screens. Each help icon opens a separate pop-up box that provides guidance directly related to the content located next to the icon, providing the user with quick access to the needed information.

Check out the user guide and embedded help today!

Are Your Grade Eight and High School Students Ready to Take the CAST?

The statewide testing window for the California Science Test (CAST) opened on January 14, 2020. During online CAST testing, students in grade eight and high school may access two embedded universal tools—a periodic table and a reference sheet of formulas and constants. The reference sheet provides students with all the formulas needed to respond to CAST questions; however, this does not imply that students will receive specific types of questions on the CAST.

Teachers are encouraged to provide students with printable versions of these science reference tools for use in the classroom to (1) signal to students that they do not need to memorize formulas or elements from the periodic table; and (2) help students become familiar with these resources prior to testing. Note, however, that these resources are not meant to guide instruction.

Find these printable science reference tools on the CAST web page External link opens in new window or tab. of the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab., under “Science Reference Tools.” Printable braille versions also are available.

Reminders for Those Administering Science Assessments to High School Students!

This week, we offer the following quick reminders regarding administering the science assessments to high school students:

  • All grade twelve students who did not take a science test in 2017–18 or 2018–19 will be automatically registered to take the CAST.

    • For students eligible to take the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science, local educational agencies (LEAs) must log on to TOMS and register those students for the alternate assessment.

    • Students who are repeating grade twelve are not eligible to test.

  • To assist in determining the current science testing registration status for high school students, two participation reports are available—one for the LEA level and the other for the school level.

    • These participation reports include information about (1) the grade in which students currently are enrolled in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System; (2) the grade in which students took the science assessment (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve); and (3) the science assessment the students took (i.e., CAST or CAA for Science).

    • To access the reports, log on to TOMS External link opens in new window or tab. (secure logon required), on the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab.; select a role; select the Reports tab; select either the LEA Reports or the Site Reports tab; under available reports, choose either the LEA-Level or School-Level High School Participation Report for the CAST and CAA for Science; and select the organization.

For further information on testing high school students in science, please refer to the flyer “Science Test Administration for High School Students” (PDF).

All About Accessibility

The calculator is an embedded universal tool for mathematics testing in grades six through eight and grade eleven and for 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 allowed items only for students in grades six through eight and grade eleven who have this accommodation documented in their individualized education program or 504 plan. Allowed items are items that have an embedded calculator. The non-embedded calculator will need to be set in the student test settings in TOMS prior to 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 the following:

  • 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 website External link opens in new window or tab.. In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP website; 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 subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. 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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, January 27, 2020
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