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CAASPP Update, Issue 248

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 21, 2018.

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

Braille Hybrid Adaptive Test

A braille hybrid adaptive test (HAT) option for mathematics is available for the 2017–18 CAASPP administration. The new braille HAT provides students who use braille access to an efficient online adaptive test that simplifies logistical burdens for educators and students. It serves as an alternative to the online adaptive and paper fixed-form options. The braille HAT includes the following:

  • Adaptive segment, which includes only items that have no graphics
  • Fixed form segment, which includes items with graphics
  • Pre-embossed graphic supplement

To assign the braille HAT to a student, the LEA CAASPP coordinator must contact the California Technical Assistance Center at 800-955-2954 to order the pre-embossed graphic supplement at least 14 days prior to administering the test.The braille accommodation test setting must be selected for the student within the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). At the time of testing, the test administrator interface includes an option for selecting “Mathematics Braille Hybrid Adaptive Test.”

More information on the braille HAT can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Braille Hybrid Adaptive Test web page, which includes a link to an informational flyer.

Calendar Reminder: CAASPP System Downtime Fast Approaching

An upcoming planned system downtime will affect components of the CAASPP online system. The downtime will begin on Thursday, March 29, and will last through Sunday, April 1. The following systems will be unavailable during that time:

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

Note that systems may go offline the day before the scheduled downtime—no earlier than 5 p.m.—and will be back online by 8 a.m. the day following the scheduled downtime. More details about this and future downtimes can be found on the Educational Testing Service CAASPP Planned System Downtime web page External link opens in new window or tab..

March’s Featured Digital Library Resource—“Research: Integrating Multiple Sources Using Mexican-American Historical Documents”

March’s featured Digital Library resource is “Research: Integrating Multiple Sources Using Mexican-American Historical Documents,” External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) a multi-text resource that combines social science resources with English language arts/literacy (ELA) reading and writing standards. Intended for use with grade eight students over the course of two or three class periods, this resource includes primary source documents, both visual and print, that provide various representations of cultural attitudes about Mexican Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries.

For the lesson, students survey each text, gather evidence, and draw conclusions to use in making and supporting claims in writing, working through the formative assessment process as they read the informational texts and gather evidence to show their understanding. The students also can be given opportunities to work in small groups to discuss their findings. The teacher, in turn, can use these responses to guide learning.

In addition to the instructional materials, this resource includes a graphic organizer for students to record evidence and make inferences. For the teacher, completed samples that aid planning and a brief write rubric—modeled on the rubric used to evaluate short answer items on Smarter Balanced assessments—to provide feedback on student writing are included.

“Research: Integrating Multiple Sources Using Mexican-American Historical Documents” was submitted to the Digital Library by California State Network of Educators member Christina Lambie, who designed the lesson to incorporate historical documents with ELA standards to address Smarter Balanced assessment claims and targets. It illustrates one way educators are using rich, relevant content along with specific Smarter Balanced learning-outcomes assessment criteria to enhance instruction and improve teaching and learning.

Spotlight on Accessibility

“If a student receives a universal tool, designated support, or accommodation, will the student’s scale score be negatively impacted?” This is a frequently asked question, and the answer is no, the student’s score will not be impacted. Any student who receives an allowed universal tool, designated support, or accommodation for any of the CAASPP assessments, as specified in “Matrix One: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress,” will receive a valid score. The mere use of any of the allowed accessibility resources will not lower the student’s score, or have any other automatic effect on the student’s score.

Non-embedded, unlisted resources, on the other hand, follow different rules. If a student is given any preapproved unlisted resource, as specified on the last page of Matrix One, the student will receive an invalidated score. The student with an invalidated score will be counted as not having participated and will not be included in the calculation of “distance from met” for accountability purposes. Any other unlisted resources not already identified in the preapproved unlisted resources chart must be submitted to CDE for review through TOMS External link opens in new window or tab. to determine whether the unlisted resource will change the construct being measured.

More information on the use of accessibility resources can be found on the CAASPP Portal in the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

This Spring’s CAST Field Test—Calculator Access for Students

For the California Science Test (CAST) field test, students will have access to the fully accessible, embedded Desmos calculator for all items—a basic calculator for grade five, and a scientific calculator for grade eight and high school. Note that allowable calculator use for the CAST is different from that of the Smarter Balanced mathematics assessments, all items versus selected items, respectively. For example, the basic calculator is allowed for students in grade five taking the CAST, but only for students in grades six through eight taking the Smarter Balanced mathematics assessments.

CAST Field Test—Pause Rules

The CAST field test is an untimed test that will take approximately two hours to administer and can be administered over multiple days. Similar to the Smarter Balance Summative Assessments, the CAST field test may be paused by students and test administrators at any time.

Students who pause the test will be required to log in through the secure browser to return to the test. Then, students may continue with the test as follows, depending on the duration of the pause:

  • If the test has been paused for 20 minutes or less, students may return to a previous question and modify their response.

  • If the test is paused for more than 20 minutes, students will return to the last page (i.e., screen) that has unanswered items to resume testing. If a page has both completed items and items to which there is not a complete response, students may change any answers on that page. Students may not return to previous pages (and may not change answers to items on previous pages).

For more information about the pause rule, please review pages 51, 165, and 186 of the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

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
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