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CAASPP Update, Issue 234

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, December 7, 2017.

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

Give the Gift of Learning: Register for the 2017–18 CAASPP Institute!

Give a team of educators the opportunity to continue learning about and implementing all components of the CAASPP System to support teaching and learning. With three locations for the 2017–18 CAASPP Institute at capacity, time is running out to register up to three participants for one of the remaining CAASPP Institute events. The six remaining locations are in proximity to local educational agencies (LEAs) throughout California. For more information and to register, visit the Sacramento County Office of Education event registration page External link opens in new window or tab..

This Month’s Digital Library Featured Resource: Using Smarter Balanced Performance Task Annotated Anchors as Models

December’s Digital Library featured resource is “Using Smarter Balanced Performance Task Annotated Anchors as Models.” Available in the Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), this resource provides strategies for using Smarter Balanced released performance tasks to support writing instruction. Ami Szerencse, a California member of the State Network of Educators (SNE), created the resource for educators to use when planning instruction for on-demand writing. Teachers select an appropriate genre or grade-level English language arts/literacy item from the annotated anchors for performance tasks, which are available on the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web site External link opens in new window or tab., and then use the resource to plan instruction.

Teachers can use this Digital Library resource to engage students in components of the performance tasks without requiring a formal administration. Performance task prompts can help teachers elicit written responses from students, and then use annotated anchors to help the students evaluate, revise, and strengthen their responses. Two collaborative approaches this resource advocates—group scoring and sample essay matching—involve the students in discussions about the strengths and weaknesses found in the writing samples. Formative assessment strategies are promoted throughout this resource through the use of close reading, self-assessment, and revision skills to strengthen student performance in on-demand writing.

Assigning Educator Roles and Establishing Student Groups to Access Interim Assessment Results

To assign roles that provide LEA staff with access to student results on the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments and to create and manage student groups for staff, LEA CAASPP coordinators must interact with two distinct online systems—the Administration and Registration Tools (ART) interface and the Interim Assessment Reporting System:

  • ART—for assigning user roles. User roles must be assigned in ART. To assign user roles, either use a blank template downloaded from ART or modify a user export file downloaded from ART. A Quick Start Guide for using a blank template, ART User File Upload External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), is available on the CAASPP Portal Web site. Further information about how to upload the ART user role permissions file is available in the new Quick Start Guide Update Existing CSV User Upload File from ART External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), also available on the CAASPP Portal Web site.

    The “PII” user role provides access to the results of all students within a school or district, and the “PII_GROUP” user role provides access only to the results of students to whom the staff member is assigned. The “GROUP_ADMIN” role should be assigned only to LEA staff who will create and manage student groups.

  • Interim Assessment Reporting System—for creating and managing student groups. Student groups must be created and managed in the Interim Assessment Reporting System. Detailed instructions for establishing student groups are available in the Quick Start Guide Group Administrator: Manage Student Groups External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), available on the CAASPP Portal Web site. Important note: Student groups cannot be created or managed in ART. While ART contains a [Create/Modify Student Groups] button and an [Upload Student Groups] button, those do not pertain to the Interim Assessment Reporting System.

Questions about assigning user roles and managing student groups should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Reminder: CAST Testing Date

The California Science Test (CAST) field test will be available on April 2, 2018. The approximate testing time for the entire test is two hours. All eligible students in grades five, eight, and twelve should be administered the CAST field test. LEAs may elect to assign students in grades ten and eleven who are enrolled in their last science course to take the CAST. This is done through the test assignments function in the Test Operations Management Systems (TOMS). The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science may also be assigned at the same time. The CAST training test for grades five and eight and high school will be made available on March 5, 2018, on the CAASPP Online Practice and Training Tests Portal External link opens in new window or tab.. The training test will consist of both discrete items and performance tasks and include all accessibility resources that will be available on the field test.  

CAA for Science Reminders

The CAA for Science embedded performance tasks are located under the “Help” tab in TOMS and are secure materials. This test is administered one-on-one and can be administered only by a certified test examiner. To qualify as a certified test examiner, one must view the CAA Test Examiner Tutorial External link opens in new window or tab., on the Educational Testing Service Web site, and answer all questions throughout the tutorial correctly.

Before administering the embedded performance tasks, test examiners for the CAA for Science are strongly encouraged to view the 12-minute video “How to Administer the CAA for ScienceExternal link opens in new window or tab., which provides an overview of the test administration for the year-two pilot of the CAA for Science. The video is available on the CAASPP Portal Web site.

Please share this e-mail with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the e-mail list, send a blank e-mail 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: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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