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CAASPP Update, Issue 188

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 12, 2017.

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

Emergency Regulations Approved by State Board of Education

At the January State Board of Education (SBE) meeting, held Wednesday, January 11, the SBE approved the emergency regulations in order to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with adequate and timely guidance to effectively administer the 2016–17 CAASPP tests. For details on the emergency regulations, please see Item 08 of the SBE Agenda for January 2017.

Back Online!

The CAASPP systems are back online and better than ever! Several new features have been added to the test delivery system and the Test Operations Management System (TOMS):

  • Logon web page for CAASPP online system access updated to include English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) users. Note that users with CAASPP system access cannot access the ELPAC version of TOMS unless they have been assigned that access, and vice versa; user credentials—username and password—will be the same for users who have been granted access on behalf of both testing programs; and CAASPP users still access the appropriate systems via the buttons and links on the home page of the CAASPP Portal website External link opens in new window or tab..

    System emails with information for users about usernames and passwords will now include a sender address of To ensure that users receive these emails, please ask your technical staff to white-list this new email address.

  • CAASPP assessment color coding. The Test Administrator Interface now includes additional color coding intended to help LEAs visually confirm that the appropriate assessment is selected for student testing. Additional information about color coding is available in the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

  • Audio and video check before student testing. A short sample video has been added to the audio check in the student testing interface. If a student does not hear the audio chime and/or see the video animation, he or she will be presented with an opportunity to test whether those features work before the assessment is administered. The updated check is available for the summative, interim, practice, and training tests.

  • New online calculator. The Desmos calculator has replaced the previous online calculator in the test delivery system. To learn more about the benefits of the Desmos calculator and how it differs from the previous online calculator, view the "New Online Calculator for the CAASPP System" PowerPoint presentation, available on the Test Administrator Resources for Summative Assessments page External link opens in new window or tab. of the CAASPP Portal website.

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments Now Available

The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are now available for LEAs to administer during their selected testing window. The testing window and administration of the summative assessments do not impact the ability to access and administer the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, which remain available year-round.

They’re Here—California Alternate Assessment Practice and Training Tests!

The CDE is pleased to announce that the practice and training tests for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA)—English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics—have arrived, in good time for preparing for the 2016–17 administration:

  • New practice tests for the CAA are available for each grade level and content area (14 tests). Scoring rubrics for the CAA practice tests will be provided in March, before the March 20 opening of the CAA testing period.

  • The CAA training tests have been updated with new item types.

  • Links to Directions for Administration manuals for all practice and training tests are available on the CAASPP Test Administrator and Test Examiner Resources for the Online Practice and Training Tests web page External link opens in new window or tab..

More CAA Developments

Two additional resources for the CAA are now available:

  • Educational Testing Service, in collaboration with edCount (the developers of the National Center and State Collaborative Connectors for ELA and mathematics), has developed the preliminary California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) alternate summative assessment Content Core Connectors (Connectors). The Connectors provide learning goals aligned appropriately with the needs of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and serve as the basis for the state’s CA NGSS alternate summative assessments for eligible students. A preliminary copy of the CA NGSS Core Content Connectors for Alternate Assessments (DOCX) is posted on the CDE California Alternate Assessments web page.

  • In July 2015, the SBE approved the updated CAA test design, which includes a revised CAA test blueprint for mathematics (DOC) that will be used for the 2017 administration of the CAA for Mathematics.

Revisiting the Interim Assessment User Guide

With Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment testing on the horizon, now is a great time to preview and use a Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Block or Interim Comprehensive Assessment. In preparing to use the interim assessments, LEA staff are encouraged to peruse the Interim Assessment User Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), which contains specific instructions for using each of the following systems:

  • Interim Assessment Viewing System
  • Interim Assessment Test Delivery System
  • Interim Assessment Hand Scoring System
  • Interim Assessment Reporting System

The directions and accompanying screen shots throughout the guide make it a valuable companion when planning to administer the interim assessments in a standardized manner or use them as an instructional tool. Check it out!

A Hand in Hand Scoring

Videos from the fall 2016 in-person Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshops are now posted on the TOMS web site. Select the “Training” tab External link opens in new window or tab. (TOMS credential required) to access these materials, which include a training video along with the corresponding training materials for each of the three workshops: ELA—brief write and reading, ELA—full write and research, and mathematics. The time for each of the segments is provided, allowing viewers easy navigation to sections of interest. Take advantage of these resources to learn important information about the roles and responsibilities involved in hand scoring interim assessment items.

Resolve to Register

Remember, LEA staff can now take advantage of the Digital Library’s self-registration feature to access the wealth of professional and instructional resources available in the Digital Library. Using the self-registration interface to create a Digital Library account is as easy as having an LEA email domain name. Visit the Smarter Balanced Digital Library login page External link opens in new window or tab. to secure your account. For more information, including step-by-step instructions for the process, check out the self-registration tip sheet External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) and get started today. Any staff who have a non-LEA-specific e-mail domain (e.g.,, will need to work with their LEA CAASPP coordinator to establish an account.

Available! Translated Versions of the Guide to CAA Student Score Reports

Translated versions of the Guide to Understanding the CAA Student Score Reports can be accessed on the CDE Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Reports web page. Versions in English, Spanish, Hmong, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Eastern Armenian, and both Simplified and Traditional Chinese are now available!

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, February 26, 2019
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