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CAASPP Update, Issue 237

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, January 3, 2018.

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

Smarter Balanced Seeking Educators for Assessment Development Activities

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is recruiting qualified educators for several assessment development activities in 2018:

  • Item authoring—Write sets of items for English language arts/literacy (ELA) or mathematics (mid-July).

  • Item review—Review test items, considering content, fairness, and accessibility criteria (October).

  • Range finding—Review student responses to field test items and confirm scores related to the scoring rubric (early August).

  • Data review—After the range finding process, complete the review of the items (December).

Participant qualifications are as follows:

  • Currently certified or licensed to teach ELA or mathematics in a K–12 public school or certified to teach English learners and/or students with disabilities

  • Currently teaching in a public school or currently employed by a public school, district, or state education entity, including higher education

  • Within the past three years and in grades three through eight and/or high school—Have taught ELA or mathematics or have worked in a classroom content support role (e.g., literacy or district or state content specialist); and/or have taught students with disabilities and/or English learners or have worked in a support role (e.g., district/school coordinator or instructional specialist)

  • Have previously reviewed part or all of the Common Core State Standards for the content area in which they are interested in working

Please note that:

  • For item writing, educators must submit a statement of interest that describes (1) the reasons for their interest in developing items for Smarter Balanced assessments; and (2) their qualifications for doing so.

  • Educators who have documented expertise in the areas of science and/or social science may apply for ELA item review.

  • Some activities will have additional preferred experience criteria.

Smarter Balanced and its contractors will make the final selection of educators to serve from each Consortium member state. The goal is to achieve a balance of geographic regions, grade levels, years of experience, and other demographic data. Selected participants and alternates will be notified by Smarter Balanced beginning in March and extending through October, depending on the associated activity.

For activities that require participant travel, airfare, hotel, and meal expenses will be covered by Smarter Balanced, as will the cost of substitute pay.

Qualified teachers and other educators interested in these opportunities are strongly encouraged to apply! The online application External link opens in new window or tab. must be completed and submitted by Friday, February 9.

2017–18 Notice of CAASPP Administration Letters

Sample letters to parents and guardians providing notice of the upcoming statewide assessments are now available on the California Department of Education 2017–18 Notice of CAASPP Administration Letter Web page. LEAs can use the letters as templates, adding the LEA name and contact information and inserting the appropriate text for each tested grade level.

Please note that these letters do not satisfy a district’s obligation to notify parents of their right to exempt their child from statewide assessments pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615.

This Month’s Featured Digital Library Resource: “The Doghouse Performance Task: Multiplying and Dividing Rational Numbers”

January’s featured Digital Library resource is “The Doghouse Performance TaskExternal link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). Intended for students in grade seven, this instructional resource presents the task of building a doghouse and asks the students to determine the size and the amount of building supplies needed to complete it. Similar in design and format to performance task items used in Smarter Balanced Interim and Summative Assessments, this resource is meant for educators to use in a formative manner. Three potential versions of the task are outlined, providing examples of flexible approaches to the use of this resource. In one example, the teacher can choose to differentiate the task for individual or groups of students.

Varied approaches provide opportunities for the teacher to elicit evidence about the students’ proficiency in calculating rational numbers. In addition, the task embeds opportunities for students to illustrate their understanding of problems and show the steps taken to solve them. The teacher can then assess the students’ ability to justify their conclusions and communicate those conclusions effectively.

Related opportunity: A breakout session dedicated to empowering teachers to create performance tasks similar to the “Doghouse Performance Task” will be offered at the upcoming 2017–18 CAASPP Institute. For information about this breakout session and others, visit the Sacramento County Office of Education 2017–18 CAASPP Institute Web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Registration is filling fast!

Now Available—Data Entry Interface Video

The timely video “How to Input California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science Results into the Data Entry Interface (DEI)External link opens in new window or tab. is now available. Just over three minutes in length, this video provides instructions on entering test results from the embedded performance tasks into the DEI. Note that for the 2017–18 administration of the CAA for Science, test examiners must enter a student's scores for each performance task into the DEI.

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, January 10, 2018
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