Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CAASPP Update, Issue 196

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 9, 2017.

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

Upcoming Downtime!

CAASPP downtime is scheduled later this month, from Thursday, March 16, through Sunday, March 19. Several systems will be impacted, including:

  • Test Operations Management System
  • Online Reporting System
  • Test Administrator Interface
  • Appeals/Completion Status/Roster Management System
  • Interim Assessment Viewing System
  • Interim Assessment Hand Scoring System

Note that systems may go off-line the day before the scheduled downtime, but no earlier than 5 p.m.

Please notify all CAASPP test site coordinators within your local educational agency (LEA) of the upcoming downtime. For more information, please contact the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at

Science Assessments: Are You Ready?

March 20—the opening of the CAASPP science administration—is just around the corner! Are you ready? Here are a few resources and reminders for you as you prepare to administer the pilot California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science and the pilot California Science Test (CAST). The high school grade-level assignment for the pilot CAST and the pilot CAA for Science can be confirmed by checking the assignment link on the CAASPP Portal CAST web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Resources for the CAST administration:

  • A new posting of the “Quick Reference Guide—How to Start a Training Test,” for science and a new letter template for informing parents and guardians about the CAST training test is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Web site. From the CDE CAASPP web page, go to the Coordinators & Administrators tab, and you will find a link to these new resources!

  • The CAST training test is available through the CAASPP Student Interface Practice and Training Tests Portal External link opens in new window or tab.; a scoring guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) also is provided.

  • An embedded four-function calculator External link opens in new window or tab. is now available for the CAST training test (because of multiple grades being addressed on the training test, only a four-function calculator is provided). The calculator is available for all items. 

CAA for Science administration:

  • The new CAA for Science pilot test is a performance task (PT) assessment designed to be administered closer to the student’s instructional activity. This innovative assessment allows test examiners (TEs) some flexibility in the administration of the PT. TEs can select familiar materials for students and allow students to demonstrate what they know. A sample training test is available on the CAASPP Portal CAAs web page External link opens in new window or tab..

    The training test is aligned with the grade five California Next Generation Science Standards but can be used by students in any of the tested grades to familiarize educators, students, parents, and stakeholders with the testing format of the pilot. This training test is the same type of embedded PT that will be administered during this year’s pilot CAA for Science. Designed to be administered one on one, the training test PT is nonsecure and for use in preparing for the pilot CAA for Science.

 CAA Administration

Now is a good time to confirm that all staff administering the CAAs have been appropriately trained and that they have a current, signed Test Security Affidavit on file. If not, or you have staff who still need training or want a refresher, the 2016–17 CAA Test Examiner Tutorial External link opens in new window or tab., which includes a training for the new alternate science test, is available on the CAASPP Portal.

New CAASPP Resources!

Two new resources for administering the CAASPP assessments have been posted on the CAASPP web portal External link opens in new window or tab.:

HumRRO to Conduct CAASPP Hand Scoring Study

The CDE has authorized the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) as the CAASPP independent evaluator to collect information about educators’ experiences with the CDE-sponsored Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshops. The workshops were conducted by Educational Testing Service in the fall of 2016. The study, which begins this month, will collect feedback on the interim assessment hand scoring training, exploring the effectiveness of the workshop materials for actual hand scoring. The study also will collect information on the utility of the information and materials for training potential scorers.

On March 23, HumRRO will begin surveying Interim Assessment Hand Scoring Workshop participants. Participants are encouraged to respond, even if they have not yet personally hand scored any interim assessments or trained any scorers during this school year. Participation in the survey is greatly appreciated!

CAASPP Utility of Reporting—Another Upcoming HumRRO Study

HumRRO also has been authorized by the CDE to conduct a study of local experiences with the use of results from the Smarter Balanced Summative and Interim Assessments. This study will explore how educators at the school and LEA levels access, interpret, and use score reports and test results. The study will provide important insight into the benefits and challenges of the reporting systems and score information for these assessments, allowing for continuous improvement of the reporting systems.

On March 24, HumRRO will begin surveying a random sample of CAASPP LEA and site coordinators, principals, and teachers. The responses of those selected for this survey will represent their school and LEA and will be essential to the study’s ability to provide an understanding of the use of assessment results statewide. We extend our thanks in advance for all responses to the survey.

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: Friday, April 5, 2019
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CA Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix (added 03-Jul-2020)
    Matrix displays the embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations (UDAs) allowed as part of the California assessments.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 96 (added 01-Jul-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 19, 2020.
  • Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers (updated 26-Jun-2020)
    Tools for Teachers is an online collection of resources aligned with the Common Core State Standards that supports K–12 teachers in their use of the formative assessment process to adjust teaching to improve student learning.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 95 (added 19-Jun-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 19, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 94 (added 12-Jun-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, June 12, 2020.