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CAASPP Update, Issue 147

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 30, 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.

Condition Codes and Participation Rates

Schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) must meet the 95 percent participation rate for both English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. For students to be considered as participating, they must, at a minimum, log on to both the computer adaptive test and the performance task in the same content area.

All students enrolled on the first day of testing, or any student transferring into a school after the first day of testing but before the end of the testing window, will be included in the participation rate denominator.

CAASPP LEA coordinators or CAASPP test site coordinators have the option of setting one of two condition codes in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS):

  • NTE (Not Tested Medical Emergency)—The student’s nonparticipation will not impact the participation rate. For accountability purposes, the student will be removed from the participation rate denominator.

  • PGE (Parent Guardian Exemption)—The student’s nonparticipation will impact the participation rate. For accountability purposes, the student will not be removed from the participation rate denominator.

Banned Electronic Devices

Students are prohibited from accessing cell phones, smart phones, digital watches, smart watches, activity-monitoring devices, or any other electronic recording, listening, scanning, or photographic devices—even if such devices are in airplane mode and not connected to Wi-Fi. These bans are in effect during testing and during test breaks.

In cases in which an assistive device has been indicated on a student’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, the device must be restricted from accessing the Internet during the test.

Test administrators may use an electronic device only if it is used for testing-related purposes, such as running the Test Administrator Interface. Some software (e.g., teacher-monitoring software, Apple Airplay) may need to be disabled or monitored locally.

Do you have questions about banned electronic devices or any other topic relating to the 2015–16 CAASPP administration? Call or e-mail the California Technical Assistance Center, 800-955-2954;

Early Assessment Program: Students’ Option at End of Tests

Please remind students in grade eleven that there is an additional question, relating to the Early Assessment Program (EAP), at the end of both computer adaptive testing sessions—ELA and mathematics. The question gives students the option of sharing their scores with the California State University system and participating California Community Colleges, which use the scores to determine the students’ readiness for college and whether they can be exempted from English and mathematics placement tests in their freshmen year. In order to participate in the EAP, students must select “Release” at the end of each test, and then select the “Submit” button.

California Alternate Assessments: Testing Window Opens April 11

With the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) testing window rapidly approaching, please remember to review your students’ IEPs to confirm all necessary supports for their testing experience; there is still time to amend IEPs for any necessary adjustments. Remember, too, that the CAA Transcripts of 2015–16 Surveys of Student Characteristics (SSCs) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) are available, and staff can complete students’ SSCs in advance of the test. Although the SSC information cannot be submitted until the testing window opens on April 11, having the surveys completed in advance will help expedite the overall CAA administration process.

Accessibility Notes: Familiarizing Students with Designated Supports

Designated supports for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are available to all students regardless of whether they have an IEP or Section 504 plan. An educator or team of educators, with parent/guardian and student input, can assign designated supports. Identifying which designated supports are most beneficial for students can be done through the use of the practice and training tests, which also provide students multiple opportunities for practice using the supports. Practice is important, as students who have had no experience using designated supports might not benefit from them and might even be hampered by them.

A list of designated supports is provided in Matrix One.

Unlisted Resources: Frequently Asked Questions

This week, we have two FAQs about unlisted resources:

  1. Does the use of an unlisted resource always result in an invalid score?

    No. When you submit a request for an unlisted resource that is “other” than those that have been pre-identified and determined to change the tested construct, the CDE will determine whether its use results in a change of the construct. If it is determined that the resource does change the construct, the request will be “approved-invalidate,” which means that the student may use the resource and will receive a score. However, the student’s score will not be used for any accountability calculations, including participation.

  2. Must I submit a request for an unlisted resource for the CAAs, considering that students who take the CAAs are allowed to use any instructional support that they regularly use in the classroom?

    Yes, you must request any resource that is not a listed universal tool, designated support, or accommodation. Because students are allowed instructional supports they regularly use in the classroom for the CAAs, the use of such supports will not invalidate the test.

Interim Assessments: “Manner of Administration” Setting Reminder

Interim assessment administrators are reminded to use the “Manner of Administration” setting in the Test Administrator Interface when preparing to administer the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. This setting is available when administering both interim comprehensive assessments and interim assessment blocks. Two options are available for the “Manner of Administration” setting:

  • Nonstandardized—This is the default selection.

  • Standardized/Benchmark—With this option, interim assessment administrators are identifying which interim assessment results will be retained in the Interim Assessment Reporting System for potential local longitudinal analyses. This option should be selected only if the interim assessment will be administered in a standardized manner.

The criteria for identifying an interim assessment as “Standardized/Benchmark” or “Nonstandardized” are determined locally.

At the beginning of the 2016–17 school year, results from the 2015–16 interim assessments marked “Nonstandardized” will be purged from the Interim Assessment Reporting System. At this same time, all 2014–15 interim assessment results will also be purged. Please note: LEAs can download all 2014–15 and 2015–16 interim assessment results from the Interim Assessment Reporting System at any time before these data are removed.

New CAASPP Communications Toolkit Web Page!

The California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP Communications Toolkit web page has been updated, featuring new resources, including CAASPP Key Points, frequently asked questions about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, and Smarter Balanced information for parents and students in both English and Spanish. Visit the updated page and learn about the latest CAASPP communications developments!

CAASPP Public Reporting Website Updated

The aggregate 2014–15 CAASPP summary reports and research files have been updated for ELA, mathematics, science, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish. The following changes have been made to the aggregate data:

  • The numerator and denominator for performance and achievement level calculations include only students with valid scores.

  • The denominator for claim achievement level includes only students with valid scores in that particular claim area.

This change affects only the aggregate data shown on the CDE’s CAASPP Public Reporting website, and only achievement and claim level aggregate calculations for entities that had students tested who did not have valid scores. Students who did not have valid scores will now be excluded from the achievement and claim level distribution calculations. Individual student scores will not change with this update.

In addition, the county-district-school (CDS) code for a very small number of direct-funded charter schools were updated to correctly match their CDS code in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.

Please note: None of these changes will impact any 2015 federal accountability calculations.

NEW! Interim Assessment Video Series

The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Video Series is now available to help educators use the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments effectively. It consists of five narrated modules with embedded system demonstrations:

  • Module 1: Introducing the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
  • Module 2: Interim Assessment Viewing System
  • Module 3: Interim Assessment Administration
  • Module 4: Interim Assessment Hand Scoring
  • Module 5: Accessing, Interpreting, and Reporting Interim Assessment Results

Each module is 10 to 25 minutes in length. This series supplements the detailed CAASPP Interim Assessment User Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) . Visit the series web page today, and get an idea of how these engaging modules can enhance the interim assessment experience for you.

April Downtime Reminder

Downtime for the Test Delivery System and the Online Reporting System will be April 7 at 4 p.m. through April 10 at 9 p.m.

For users, this means that the Test Administrator Interface and the student testing application will not be available during downtime, which in turn means that interim assessments cannot be administered. Once the test delivery system is brought back online, the CAAs will be available for administration by CAA test examiners.

The following systems will not be impacted by this downtime and will be available during this time:

  • TOMS
  • Practice and training tests
  • Assessment Viewing Application (Interim Assessment Viewing System)
  • Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Module
  • Appeals

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 CAASPP Update web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-4821
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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