Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CAASPP Update, Issue 148

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, April 6, 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.

Parent Notification Templates: Chinese and Vietnamese Translations Now Available!

The 2015–16 Smarter Balanced Assessments Sample Parent and Guardian Notification Letter has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese. Links to the templates are now available on the California Department of Education’s (CDE’s) CAASPP System web page, under the “Coordinators & Admins” tab. Watch for Eastern Armenian, Hmong, Korean, and Tagalog translations, coming soon!

Reminder: The sample letter serves as a notice to parents of the year’s statewide assessments and does not satisfy a district’s obligation to notify parents of their right to exempt their child from statewide assessments pursuant to Education Code Section 60615.

Google Chrome Version 49 and iOS 9.3 Now Supported

The secure browser used for CAASPP online testing now supports version 49 of the Google Chrome browser, extending the range of supported Google Chrome browsers from version 41 through version 49. In addition, CAASPP online testing now supports Apple iOS 9.3. Support for the Apple iOS now includes 7.0–7.1, 8.0–8.2, 9.2, and 9.3.

The text-to-speech accommodation is still available for the Smarter Balanced practice test when using Google Chrome version 47 and above. Previously, this accommodation was available only through the secure browser.

If you have questions about the Google Chrome Browser, iOS versions, or any other topic related to the CAASPP administration, please contact the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at

Updated Secure Browser for iPads Now Available

The secure browser used for iPads during CAASPP online testing has been updated in the Apple Store. Local educational agencies (LEAs) whose students who have experienced problems with the text-to-speech accommodation when using iOS 8 or 9 on an iPad are encouraged to upgrade their secure browser application for an optimal testing experience. This updated secure browser for iPads—AIRSecureTest—can be downloaded from the Apple Store.

If you have questions about the secure browser application or any other topic related to the CAASPP administration, please contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Using the Test Administrator Interface to Administer Assessments: Caution Needed

If an LEA’s testing window is open, its test administrators will have access to both the interim and summative assessments, as these assessments share the same Test Administrator Interface. This means that when selecting the Test Administrator Interface from the Interim Assessment Administration Resources web page, test administrators will have access to select both interim and summative assessments.

If the purpose is to administer a Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment, ensure that test administrators are selecting the interim assessments (as illustrated here).

The figure is from a Web page with pop-up window from the secure Test Administrator Interface that is access through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Test Operations and Management System. The user will see this pop-up window after logging into the Test Administrator Interface. If the LEAs testing window is open, the pop-up window displays the two assessments, specifically the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, which can be accessed through this interface. If the Interim Assessments are to be administered please select the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments outlined (i.e., arrow pointing and rectangular box) in the pop-up window.

Accessibility Notes: Print-on-Demand

For students whose individualized education program or Section 504 plan designates a paper copy of passages or items:

  1. Permission for the non-embedded, print-on-demand accommodation must first be set in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) by the LEA CAASPP or test site coordinator one to two weeks before testing. (There is no need to make this request through the technology survey.)

  2. The LEA CAASPP coordinator must request the printing of the individual test items 24 to 48 hours before students access the test by calling CalTAC at 800-955-2954.

  3. During testing, students send a print request to the test administrator by selecting the print icon on the screen. A print request must be made for each individual passage or item.

The printed materials must be kept in a securely locked room or locked cabinet that can be opened only with a key or keycard by staff responsible for test administration who have signed a CAASPP Test Security Affidavit and must remain secure at all times. At the end of each test session, the materials must be collected and inventoried, and then securely destroyed.

Note that a very small percentage of students should need this accommodation, and the use of this accommodation may result in students needing additional time to complete the assessment. More information about the print-on-demand accommodation is available in the Online Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Digital Library Featured Resource—Assessment for Learning: Checking for Understanding Strategies

The Digital Library featured resource for April is Assessment for Learning: Checking for Understanding Strategies External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). California State Network of Educators member Sally Bennett-Schmidt submitted this resource, which can be used by educators across all grade levels and curriculum areas to elicit evidence of learning. The document describes eight simple strategies (e.g., quick draws, silent conversations) and gives an example of how each can be applied to English language arts/literacy and mathematics. These strategies provide educators with instant feedback—allowing for immediate interpretation of evidence—and an opportunity to the act on the evidence.

Interim Assessment Reporting System: Changes to Downloadable Data File

Recent changes were made to the column location of interim assessment block (IAB) results in the downloadable data file that is available through the Interim Assessment Reporting System. These changes will require that LEAs uploading IAB results to their student information system modify their data import procedures accordingly. Please note that the values for the minimum and maximum of the error band remain in the same columns in which they previously appeared. Detailed information on the changes is available in the April 4, 2016 e-mail from CalTAC [Note: the preceding Web address is no longer valid.] to LEA CAASPP coordinators.

California Alternate Assessment Window Opens Monday

In preparation for the Monday, April 11, opening of the testing window for the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs), Educational Testing Service has posted the assessment version assignments, by county, on the CAASPP CAAs Version Assignments for the 2015–16 Test Administration web page. These are the assignments to use in identifying which version of the Directions for Administration to download from TOMS.

In addition, beginning on Monday, your students’ Surveys of Student Characteristics External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) can be submitted within the Student Test Interface.

April Downtime Begins Tomorrow

Downtime for the Test Delivery System and the Online Reporting System begins tomorrow at 4 p.m. and will last through Sunday, April 10, at 9 p.m.

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 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 | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Related Content
  • CAASPP Update
    Email updates sent out to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress System electronic mailing list.
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 111 (added 27-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 9, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 109 (added 22-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, September 25, 2020.
  • Initial ELPAC (added 21-Oct-2020)
    Information about the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).