Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CAASPP Update, Issue 215

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, July 19, 2017.

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


Last month, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium passed eight motions to update the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG). The changes, which apply only to specific CAASPP assessments, are as follows:

  • New universal tools
    • Embedded thesaurus
    • Embedded line reader

  • New designated supports
    • Non-embedded amplification
    • Embedded mouse pointer size and color

  • New accommodations
    • Embedded braille transcript for English language arts listening passages
    • Non-embedded word prediction
    • Non-embedded braille paper and pencil assessments

In addition, 10 existing policies have been updated for clarification or editorial changes. The updated UAAG, published on June 30, 2017, is available on the Smarter Balanced Accessibility and Accommodations web page External link opens in new window or tab. in the “What Are Accessibility Resources?” section.

On another accessibility note, Matrix One is in the process of being updated for the coming administration. The matrix updates will reflect the UAAG changes.

Meet an SNE Member! Ami Szerencse

Meet Ami Szerencse—a California educator for more than 20 years and a member of the Digital Library State Network of Educators (SNE) since 2015. Ami teaches high school English and Advancement via Individual Determination and serves as a teacher on special assignment in the Montebello Unified School District.

Ami is an active member of the SNE. In June 2017, she joined fellow SNE members from across the consortium, including 12 other members from California, at a workshop hosted by Smarter Balanced in Denver, Colorado. During the workshop, she and other participants reviewed nearly 1,000 resources submitted for posting in the Digital Library.

Ami believes in providing students with clear success criteria, an approach used in a resource titled “Peer Reviewing Academic Writing Using SourcesExternal link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), which Ami developed with a colleague for the Digital Library. This high school lesson instructs students to read about America from a variety of texts and, through the use of a rubric to guide their drafting, write a paragraph using sources from the texts. Students use the success criteria in the same rubric to evaluate a peer’s paragraph. After the review process has been completed, the students revise their paragraphs using the feedback and rubric to guide the development of their writing.

To learn more about Ami and other members of the SNE, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) Meet an SNE Member web page.

Student Score Reports in Spanish

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Spanish versions of the Student Score Reports for both Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Alternate Assessments are now available on the CDE CAASPP Student Score Report Information web page.

Available—Guide to Understanding Student Score Reports

The 2017 version of the Guide to Understanding the Student Score Report is now available for both Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and the California Alternate Assessments. These guides come in both English and Spanish, with other translations. These documents are organized by grade level and provide information about the assessments specific to each grade level.

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, July 19, 2019
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 111 (added 27-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 9, 2020.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 109 (added 22-Oct-2020)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, September 25, 2020.
  • Initial ELPAC (added 21-Oct-2020)
    Information about the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).