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CAASPP Update, Issue 136

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 13, 2016.

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

CAASPP System Downtime Starts Tonight

Just a reminder: System downtime starts tonight at 9 p.m. and continues through January 18, 9 p.m., as part of final preparations for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. During that time, the Test Administrator Interface and Interim Assessment Viewing System will be unavailable. Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments will not be available to administer or preview.

New Reporting Process for Irregularities and Appeals Effective Next Week

A new reporting process for test irregularities and appeals—the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS)—will go into effect on January 19, which is the same date the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments will become available to local educational agencies (LEAs) whose testing window opens before or on January 19. STAIRS will be accessed in Test Operations Management System (TOMs). Detailed information on how to report an incident or an appeal will be available on the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab. later this month.                                                                                      

Assessment Accessibility Notes

New accessibility web pages have been posted on the California Department of Education (CDE) and CAASPP websites! These new pages include important changes in selecting, assigning, and uploading universal tools, designated supports, accommodations and unlisted resources. Please visit the Student Accessibility Supports web page and CAASPP’s Student Accessibility Resources and Test Setting web page External link opens in new window or tab. for links to such resources as:

Unlisted resources (previously called “individualized aids”) must be requested in TOMS student settings. The new online request form is now available in TOMS and provides for a more streamlined process that includes pre-population of student and school information.

Summative Assessments Nearing for Some LEAs

As mentioned earlier, the summative assessment administration begins on January 19 for LEAs that have selected a testing window starting before or on January 19. As your LEA’s window approaches, please note:

  • Smarter Balanced translated test directions External link opens in new window or tab. have been posted on the CAASPP web page under the TA-Resources tab and Summative Assessments. English language arts/literacy test directions have been translated into 18 languages and are now available. The test directions for mathematics have also been updated.

  • Classroom activity informational letter regarding the required use of the classroom activity is now available. Last year, some districts, schools, and test administrators found the classroom activity to be a useful tool for their students in preparation for taking the performance task, while others found the classroom activity to be less valuable. The letter lays out that LEAs may make their own determination as to whether it would be useful to administer the classroom activity and will not be penalized if they do not administer it.

  • Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 852(b), LEAs are required to inform parents of their right to exempt their child from taking the CAASPP tests.

New Guidance on Calculator Use with the California Alternate Assessments

New guidance has been provided to clarify the allowed use of a calculator during the administration of the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs). While taking these tests, students will be allowed to use the non-embedded calculator they are most familiar with in their day-to-day schoolwork—as opposed to the embedded “digital” version on the computer screen.

For the CAAs in grade three, any test item that would be compromised by the use of a calculator will be embellished with a “no calculator” icon as a prompt to not allow the use of a calculator for that item.

The CDE is committed to promoting, to the extent possible, students’ comfort, sense of security, and ability to perform at their best during the activities of the assessments.

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 message to subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE CAASPP Update web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 28, 2019
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