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CAASPP Update, Issue 95

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update sent out on April 1, 2015.

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Update, from the California Department of Education (CDE), is a regular e-mail for K–12 educators, including testing coordinators, that focuses primarily on the Smarter Balanced assessments, which are a major component of the CAASPP system. CAASPP also includes the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments. Please forward this e-mail to any educators in your local educational agency (LEA) who would be interested in or benefit from this information.

In this issue:

  • Summative Assessments
  • Interim Assessments
  • Digital Library

Summative Assessments

We are now in the fourth week of implementing the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. LEAs are either under way with their online testing or making final preparations for the opening of their summative assessment windows. CAASPP Update readers preparing for and carrying out the administration of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are strongly encouraged to regularly visit the CDE CAASPP System web page and CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab. for new and updated resources and information, including the following:

  • The CDE recently e-mailed information to LEA superintendents and administrators, public information officers, and LEA CAASPP coordinators regarding a set of three Webinars hosted by Smarter Balanced. The third and final live Webinar of the set will be on April 15. It will highlight new resources that Smarter Balanced has developed for LEAs to use in communicating with families and community representatives. Although the Webinar will be recorded and archived for later viewing on the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab., participants must register to attend the live Webinar presentation. Look for the registration link in the CDE e-mail notification.
  • As of Monday, March 30, more than 200,000 students have been administered at least one Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment, with 323 LEAs having administered at least one test.
  • The Test Operations Management System will be undergoing planned downtime for system maintenance from 6 p.m. Pacific time (PT) on Friday, April 3, through 8 a.m. PT on Saturday, April 4. All other CAASPP systems will be available during this downtime.
  • As a reminder of the available resources for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment administration, please review the following links for assistance with making the final preparations:
  • Fact Sheet on Testing provides timely information about technology and administration readiness as LEAs complete the final preparations to begin online testing for the summative assessments.
  • On the Students and Parents tab of the CDE CAASPP System web page, videos, fact sheets, and parent notification templates are available to assist LEAs in informing parents and guardians about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment administration. These resources are available in English and, in most cases, in Spanish.
  • The CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab. contains a collection of up-to-date resources available to support LEAs in the training and administration of the summative assessments. The Test Administration and Training tabs are two key spots to regularly check for manuals, instructions, videos, archived Webcasts, checklists, and updates.

Interim Assessments

When establishing an interim assessment test session, TAs should carefully select the assessments from the pull-down menu, since the same menu contains options for summative assessments. Test results for students who are mistakenly given a summative assessment are subject to invalidation, so it is critical that the correct assessment type is selected. To help ensure the correct assessment type is selected by TAs, a pop-up verification window has been added to the TA Interface at the beginning of every interim and summative assessment session.

Administration of the interim assessments should be reserved for gauging the extent to which students are learning so instruction can be adjusted accordingly. To help students become familiar with the technology they will use and the general experience they will have taking the summative assessments, LEAs are encouraged to use the Practice Tests and Training Tests as opposed to the interim assessments. The Practice Tests and Training Tests are available through the “Practice & Training Tests” button on the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab..

Digital Library

The Smarter Balanced Digital Library is a resource for all K–12 public school educators in California. LEA CAASPP coordinators are encouraged to provide Digital Library login access to all educators within their LEAs. Any LEA CAASPP coordinators who need assistance with registering new users should contact the Digital Library Help Desk by phone at 855-631-1510.

Digital Library user tips:

  • The Digital Library provides two ways to view available resources: Grid View and List View. Users are encouraged to try out both views. The Grid View, which is the default view, allows users to see more detail up front about each resource. The List View displays less information about each resource but allows users to see and scroll through many more resources on the same page.
  • The “Favorites” button allows users to bookmark resources. Adding resources to the Favorites list allows users to easily access them at a later time. 
  • The “Help” button in the upper right corner of the screen can be used to access help at any time via tutorials, frequently asked questions, and a glossary.

Additional Information

To join the CDE CAASPP e-mail list, send a blank e-mail to subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. Additional information about the CAASPP system and Smarter Balanced activities is available on the CDE CAASPP System web page. Questions about the CAASPP system assessments should be directed by phone to 800-955-2954, or by e-mail to CalTAC@ets.org. Questions about the Digital Library should be directed to the Digital Library Help Desk by phone at 855-631-1510 or by e-mail to CalTAC@ets.org.
Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 9, 2018
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