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CAASPP Update, Issue 172

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, September 22, 2016.

Focusing on the CAASPP System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

ELA Educators Needed for Stimulus Review!

As part of the fall 2016 item development cycle, Smarter Balanced is recruiting qualified educators for English language arts/literacy (ELA) stimulus review. The review will take place November 7 and 8 and will involve both group and independent work on the part of the selected reviewers. Smarter Balanced is seeking Claim 1 (Reading) educators who meet the following requirements:

  1. Currently are certified or licensed to teach ELA in a K–12 public school or certified to teach English learners and/or students with disabilities

  2. Currently are teaching in a public school or currently employed by a public school, district, or state education entity, including higher education

  3. Have taught ELA in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a classroom content support role, such as a literacy or district or state content specialist within the past three years and/or have taught students with disabilities and/or English learners in grades three through eight and/or high school or worked in a support role, such as a district/school coordinator or instructional specialist within the past three years

If this describes you, we'd like to hear from you! Please complete the application return it by September 27. If you have further questions after referring to the related FAQs, contact Dixie Abbott, California Educator Involvement Coordinator, by phone at 916-445-4821 or by email at

For educators with other areas of expertise: Watch for more assessment development opportunities, coming soon!

Streamlined Test Administration Process

We are excited to announce new, streamlining changes to the CAASPP System for the 2016–17 test administration:

  • It is no longer necessary to enter the prefix “CA-” before entering the California Student Statewide Identifier Number. This change applies to the appeals process and the creation of rosters as well as to searches in the Online Reporting System and Test Administrator Interface. In addition, students are no longer required to enter the prefix when logging on to take the assessments.

  • The test administration setup in the Test Operations Management System now includes a built-in validation function to ensure that testing windows are set up correctly. Local educational agencies (LEAs) that have a selected testing window starting before March 20, 2017, will need to ensure that their selected testing window extends at least 25 instructional days after March 20 for the administration of the California Alternate Assessments and California Science Test.

  • LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators can now download and edit their user lists from the previous year.

We hope you will find these improvements helpful in carrying out this year’s CAASPP administration.

What’s New for Accessibility in 2016–17?

Two new accessibility resources are available for the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2016–17:

  • Simplified test directions, a non-embedded designated support. Guidelines will be posted soon!

  • 100s number table, a non-embedded accommodation available to students in grade four and above when designated in their individualized education program or Section 504 plan. A paper-based table listing numbers 1 through 100 has been posted on the CAASPP Student Accessibility Resources and Test Settings web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Preparing Your Technology for 2016–17 CAASPP Testing

Educational Testing Service presented a Webcast on the technological resources that LEAs will need to administer the online CAASPP assessments. Topics included:

  • Online testing preparation
  • Internet and network requirements
  • Hardware requirements
  • Software requirements
  • Secure browser installation
  • Mobile secure browsers

Did you miss the Webcast? Not to worry! You still can get a head start on preparing for spring testing. Watch for the posting of an archive of the Webcast, which will be available in the “Webcast Archives” section of the CAASPP Current Administration of the CAASPP System Tests Training Videos and Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab..

More Tech Talk: Update Secure Browsers to 9.x!

Secure Browser 8.x will be decommissioned on November 14. After that date, secure browsers must be updated to Secure Browser 9.x in order to administer the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments. Secure Browser 9.x also will be required to administer the summative assessments of the 2016–17 CAASPP administration. Download the new secure browser External link opens in new window or tab. now to ensure that your LEA’s interim assessments can continue seamlessly this fall!

Meet an SNE Member!

Photo of Patrice Harris September’s featured State Network of Educators (SNE) member is Patrice Harris, a California educator for more than 14 years and a member of the SNE since 2015. Patrice has been an elementary, middle, and high school English teacher. Currently, she serves as an assistant principal at Rancho Verde High School in the Val Verde Unified School District. Patrice’s interest in providing resources that support the formative assessment process for educators across the state led to her joining the SNE, and she appreciates how the CAASPP System informs instruction through resources in the Digital Library.

One of Patrice’s favorite Digital Library resources is the Spontaneous Argumentation (SPAR) Lesson (Digital Library account required), an ELA lesson, designed for high school students. SPAR encourages students to debate a topic and practice impromptu speaking and listening, which Patrice sees as particularly worthwhile because it gives students an opportunity to discuss topics in an organized fashion.

To learn more about Patrice and other members of the Digital Library State Network of Educators, please visit the CDE Meet an SNE Member web page!

Full Speed Ahead on Development of California Spanish Assessment

The State Board of Education approved the high-level test design for the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) on September 9, signaling a green light on the development of the CSA! The CSA will replace the Standards-based Tests in Spanish as CAASPP’s primary language test. The design plan was developed with input from nationally recognized linguistics and language development experts, including Drs. Kenji Hakuta and Guadalupe Valdés, professors at Stanford University.

With the approval of the design plan for the CSA, no time is being lost! Test development is moving right ahead:

  • Nineteen educators from across California were convened this week in Sacramento for item writing training.

  • Educational Testing Service is now recruiting qualified educators to participate in CSA development activities. Educators who are biliterate and bilingual in Spanish and have experience in educating K–12 students in reading/language arts are needed! To apply, please complete an online application External link opens in new window or tab..

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 | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
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