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CAASPP Update, Issue 149

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

Extending a Testing Window

For the current test administration, a local educational agency (LEA) can request a test window extension if the LEA’s selected testing window meets each of the following criteria:

  1. The LEA’s available testing window includes the period of the approved downtime (April 7 at 4 p.m. through April 10 at 9 p.m.).

  2. The end date of the selected testing window occurs before the end date of the available testing window.

  3. The request is made before the last date of the selected testing window.

LEA CAASPP coordinators can request an extension by contacting the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

New: Assessment Target Report

The California Department of Education (CDE) has released the new Assessment Target Report, which includes data from the 2014–15 administration of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Available through the CAASPP Online Reporting System External link opens in new window or tab., this report is a component of a suite of materials useful in determining patterns of performance to help inform teaching and learning. Two new resources to aid in the use of the new report are available on the CAASPP Reports and Reporting web page External link opens in new window or tab.:

In addition, Educational Testing Service will include training on the use of the Assessment Target Report in its 2015–16 CAASPP Post-Test Workshop, “Connecting Assessment to Instruction.” Sessions of this one-day workshop are scheduled for May and June. Watch for registration announcements.

If you have questions about assessment target reporting or other aspects of the CAASPP administration, please contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Available Next Month: Online Test Score Guide for Parents

In May, the CDE will launch the new Test Score Guide web page—an online, interactive resource to provide parents and guardians with more insight into the information provided on their child's CAASPP Student Score Report. The new Web page will serve as an aid parents can use to support their child's academic achievement and progress.

Accessibility Notes: Spanish Stacked Translation and Simplified Test Directions

Spanish stacked translation and translated test directions for mathematics stimuli and/or items—an embedded designated support—are available as a support to all students for whom the need has been identified by an educator or team of educators (with student and parent input, as appropriate). Use caution when assigning this support to students who are not fluent in Spanish:

  • Are the student’s skills in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish appropriate for this support?

  • Has the student had an opportunity to try the practice test with the Spanish stacked translation?

  • Has the student and/or parent provided input on the use of this support?

  • If the student does not have strong reading skills in Spanish but still needs translation, should read aloud in Spanish be assigned?

Simplified test directions can be requested by submitting the unlisted resources request form through the Test Operations Management System. Please note that the use of simplified test directions will yield valid results as long as only the test directions are simplified and not test items. If a student will require test items to be simplified, this should be explicitly stated in the request form. If test items are simplified, the test results will not be considered valid for accountability calculations.

California Alternate Assessments—New Item Type

This year, the administration of the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) includes a new item type that gives students two opportunities to answer the item correctly. On this item type, after a student enters his or her first or second response, a large white arrow on a green background will appear (see illustration), directing the student and/or test examiner to proceed to the next item.

It is important to understand that the student and test examiner will not be able to update items of this specific type at the end of a test section. All other item types on the CAAs, however, function in the same way as the items of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which allow the student to review and change his or her responses prior to submitting a test section.

California Alternate Assessment item with a large pop-up window in front of the test item text and the possible answer choices. The pop-up window contains a green box with a white right arrow and the text next item embedded within the green box. When this box is selected by the user, the user is taken to the next test item.

New Video in Formative Assessment in Action Series

Just added to the Formative Assessment in Action video series, “Using Ratios to Solve Real-World Problems” is a nine-minute video featuring State Network of Educators member Travis Burke, a teacher on special assignment in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District who focuses on mathematics and assessment in curriculum and instruction. In the video, Travis and his grade six students discuss ratio combinations for the “perfect” glass of chocolate milk. The students teach each other various strategies for solving this problem, and then attempt to convince their classmates that their own strategy is the best one. All four attributes of the formative assessment process are demonstrated in this engaging, student-friendly lesson, now available on the CDE Formative Assessment in Action web page.

Digital Library Spotlight Forum: Illustrative Mathematics Fluency Module

The Spotlight Forum for the Digital Library resource “Illustrative Mathematics Fluency Module” External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) is scheduled for April 25–29. This week-long forum will be facilitated by Valerie Henry, of the University of California, Irvine, and Jody Guarino, of the Orange County Department of Education, who were presenters of the November 9, 2015, webinar of the same title. This module is designed to help teachers develop a deeper understanding of what the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) mean by “mathematical fluency” and provide tools to support students in becoming fluent. A unit is dedicated to each of the ten fluencies in the mathematics CCSS; each unit features pencil-paper assessments, instructional tasks, an assessment tool for fluency interviews, and a video demonstrating student strategies during a fluency interview.

More information about this forum is available on the CDE Spotlight webinars and Forums Series web page. Spotlight webinars are recorded and archived along with the related resources in the Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required).

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
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