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CAASPP Update, Issue 242

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, February 7, 2018.

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

Assignment of Designated Supports and Accommodations—Data Posted

The California Department of Education (CDE) has posted the 2016–17 accessibility reports for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science for summative testing. The reports include charts for the counts of students who were assigned designated supports or accommodations, aggregated statewide by grade, by local educational agency (LEA), and by school. Within each table, the accessibility resources counts are aggregated further by combinations of English learner designation and special education or Section 504 plan status.

A comparison of accessibility resources assignment from the 2015–16 administration to that of 2016–17 shows a 23 percent increase in designated support assignment and a 40 percent increase in accommodation assignment for ELA. Similarly, there was a 22 percent increase in designated support assignment and 38 percent increase in accommodation assignment for mathematics.

This report is available on the CDE California Assignment of Designated Supports and Accommodations Web page.

Blueprint for CAA for Science Approved!

Last month, the State Board of Education approved the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science blueprint, general achievement level descriptors, and score reporting structure. The CAA for Science blueprint is available on the CDE CAA Web page, in the “CAA Blueprints” section. The CAA for Science is aligned with the Core Content Connectors, which are linked with the CA NGSS. It is administered to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose individualized education program (IEP) indicates the use of an alternate assessment. See CAA Guidance for IEP Teams for guidance in determining a student’s eligibility to take the CAA for Science.

Now Available—DEI Quick Reference Guide

The quick-reference guide “ How to Access the Data Entry Interface (DEI)” provides step-by-step instructions on how to input CAA for Science results into the DEI. Test examiners can now input students’ results into the DEI External link opens in new window or tab. through the last day of school or July 16, 2018, whichever comes first. It is recommended that test examiners input a student’s scores as soon as the student completes each performance task. Questions about the DEI should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at

Needed: California Educators in Science and Special Education

The CDE is seeking the assistance of California educators with experience in science and special education for the continuing development of assessment items for the CAA for Science. The activity will be the Item Review Workshop, which will take place May 15–17, 2018, in Sacramento. Participants will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on performance tasks for the 2019 field test of the CAA for Science. For further information about this and other future item writing/review opportunities, please complete the online application External link opens in new window or tab..

Reminder: CAASPP Video Contest for Students

The CAASPP Video Contest—For Kids, By Kids, part of a statewide effort to raise awareness about the importance of the statewide assessments, puts our talented students in charge of creating a positive message for other students! Open to all public schools in California, the contest seeks imaginative ways to emphasize the importance of CAASPP in improving teaching and learning, show how students can prepare for testing, and explain why it is important for all students to try their best to show what they know and can do. Videos are due April 20.

The top entries will be voted on statewide, with the winner announced this fall. More information is available on the CDE 2018 CAASPP Video Web page.

Spotlight on Accessibility

Audio transcript, which includes braille transcript, is an embedded accommodation for which content is accessed through listening during the course of the assessment. Audio transcript includes the option of closed captioning made available in braille or on-screen as a single text presentation. This embedded accommodation improves upon the one-line-at-a-time access provided through closed captioning. More information on braille transcript can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

25 NEW Digital Library Connections Playlists

Smarter Balanced continues to roll out its Connections playlists, which provide Digital Library resource suggestions based on student performance on Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs). Last week, Smarter Balanced released Connections playlists for 25 more IABs—10 for mathematics and 15 for ELA. Educators are encouraged to consider the formative assessment resources on these playlists and use them as they see appropriate during classroom instruction.

To date, Smarter Balanced has released Connections playlists for 70 of its 107 IABs. The remaining playlists are scheduled to be added by the end of this month. Explore all playlists by selecting the “Playlist” tab in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). For more information, including links to sample playlists, visit the CDE Digital Library Playlists Web page.

This Month’s Featured Digital Library Resource: How Many Groups? How Many? How Do You Know?

February’s featured Digital Library resource—How Many Groups? How Many? How Do You Know?—is a three-part series of connected mathematics lessons that create a progression of understanding multiplication and division. Written for use with grade three students, this resource is divided into the following phases:

  • Phase 1 External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) builds an understanding of multiplication and division concepts through manipulation of materials.

  • Phase 2 External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) moves students from concrete manipulation to pictorial representation of multiplication and division concepts.

  • Phase 3 External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) uses abstract mathematical symbols to demonstrate understanding of multiplication and division concepts.

This resource can be used throughout the year to support learning as an adaptable template. Formative assessment practices for all attributes are suggested throughout each phase. Phase 3 includes links to relevant Smarter Balanced sample assessment items that can be used as formative check points to measure learning.

Technology Update for the Administration of the Standards-based Tests in Spanish

The Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) will be administered using an online test delivery system for the 2017–18 school year. This will be the final administration of the STS, which will be replaced next year by the California Spanish Assessment. The testing window for the STS will be open February 28 through July 16. LEAs that will be administering the STS will need to whitelist the following URLs and e-mail addresses to ensure that they have access to the STS test delivery system:

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: Thursday, February 15, 2018
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