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CAASPP Update, Issue 174

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, October 5, 2016.

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

Mark Your Calendars—Pretest Workshop!

The CAASPP Pretest Workshop for 2016–17 is coming to your area soon! Workshop sessions will be held throughout the state, many at county offices of education (COEs), during January and February. Registration will be available soon—watch for the announcement!

Participants will learn how to administer the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs), the California Science Test (CAST) pilot, and the CAA for Science pilot. Other topics will include roles and responsibilities, technology infrastructure, test preparation for students and staff, use of the Test Operations Management System, and test security.

This workshop will consist of two parts:

  • Part I, covering the administration of the online Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and CAST pilot, from 8:30 a.m. to noon

  • Part II, covering the administration of the CAAs, including the CAA for Science pilot, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Workshop sessions are scheduled as follows:

Date Location
January 4 Sheraton Grand Sacramento
January 5 Los Angeles COE
January 6 Santa Clara COE
January 9 San Diego COE
January 10 Humboldt COE
January 13 San Joaquin COE
January 17 Riverside COE
January 18 Sonoma COE
January 23 Pickwick Gardens Burbank
January 24 Ventura COE
January 25 Alameda COE
January 31 Monterey COE
February 2 Shasta COE
February 6 Fresno COE
February 7 University of California, Irvine
February 8 Kern COE

If the schedule above does not work for you, consider the option of viewing the workshop as a webcast, which will be presented on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Part I will begin at 9 a.m., and Part II will begin at 1 p.m. The webcast will be archived later on the CAASPP Training web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Webcast registration will not be required.

Questions about registering for the 2016–17 CAASPP Pretest Workshop and all other topics regarding CAASPP administration should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at caltac@ets.org.

Update Your Operating Systems and Secure Browsers!

Operating systems and secure browsers must be updated in preparation for the 2016–17 CAASPP administration. Effective November 14, 2016, Secure Browser version 8.x for desktop and laptop machines will no longer be supported. Please be sure to:

  1. Install on all devices an operating system that is supported.

  2. Download the latest version of the CAASPP secure browser—Version 9.0.

  3. Verify that operating systems used by devices within your LEA are compatible with the secure browser.

A list of supported operating systems and secure browsers can be found on the CAASPP Secure Browsers web Page External link opens in new window or tab..

Remember, Windows XP will not be supported for the 2016–17 administration; therefore, it is important that devices running on Windows XP be updated to a supported system as soon as possible. Make sure that an “Access Denied” message does not show up at your LEA when testing time arrives!

About Secure Browser 9.0

Here are important items to note about Secure Browser 9.0 and the 2016–17 CAASPP administration at your LEA:

  • All devices must run Secure Browser 9.0 for Windows, OS X, and Linux desktop and laptop machines.

  • Secure Browser 9.0 will be used to take the CAAs in addition to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and Interim Assessments. Ensure that all devices used for CAA testing have the secure browser installed.

  • The secure browser auto update feature will not be available for the 2016–17 administration. Therefore, all desktop and laptop devices must be manually updated to Secure Browser 9.0 before November 14.
Automatic Update Feature

If the operating systems of the devices used in your LEA are configured to update automatically, take note of the following:

  • The auto update feature should be turned off, either on the device itself or on a third-party device-management system. Operating systems should never update during your selected testing window.

  • Be sure to disable any automatic software updates or background processes as part of preparing for testing. This includes antivirus updates, Adobe updates, or disk scan applications. Failing to disable these features can result in an abnormal test logoff.
The Details

More information about CAASPP system requirements, network configuration, system configuration, and secure browser installation and configuration is included in the Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for CAASPP Online Testing, available on the CAASPP Manuals and Instructions web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Tip Sheet for Manner of Administration Setting

The interim assessment Manner of Administration Setting Tip Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. is now available on the CAASPP Interim Assessment Administration Resource web page External link opens in new window or tab.. This tip sheet explains the purpose of this important setting and describes considerations in setting it. Further information about the Manner of Administration setting and other topics related to the interim assessments is available in the newly updated Interim Assessment User Guide External link opens in new window or tab..

Science and the Formative Assessment Process

The development of the new California Science Test (CAST)—aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS)—and California Alternate Assessment for Science—linked to the CA NGSS performance expectations—is moving ahead!

Also moving ahead is work by the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) collaborative on how science educators can effectively support the integrated three-dimensional learning called for by the NGSS. The NGSA website External link opens in new window or tab. describes how the collaborative is creating formative assessment tools to gain insight into students’ progress on achieving the NGSS. This informative web site includes a task portal that can be browsed without a login as well as links to publications, including Constructing Assessment Tasks that Blend Disciplinary Core Ideas, crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices for Classroom Formative Applications External link opens in new window or tab..

October’s Featured Digital Library Resource: Universal Design for English Language Development

This month’s Digital Library featured resource, Universal Design for English Language Development External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), helps educators use the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to engage the broadest range of learners, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and gifted students, in the formative assessment process. This resource for administrators, teachers, coaches, and professional learning communities can be used for working with all students in any grade level.

Contributed by California educator Adam Ebrahim, a member of the State Network of Educators, this professional learning module features presentation slides with an embedded link to a 13-minute video explaining the “myth of average” and the reasons educators should design instruction to extend to the “edges” instead of to the “average” learner. Also included is a link to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning web page, which provides examples of UDL.

Reminder: After using this or any other resource from the Smarter Balanced Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), you have an opportunity to benefit your fellow educators by writing a review of that resource in the Digital Library.

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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 18, 2019
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