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CAASPP Update, Issue 249

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 29, 2018.

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

CAST Field Test Opens Next Week!

The California Science Test (CAST) field test will be available next Monday, April 2, to all local educational agencies (LEAs) whose selected testing window is open. Consisting of a series of stand-alone items and two to three performance tasks, the field test should take about two hours to administer. It will be administered to students in grades five and eight and once to students in high school.

For high school, keep in mind that:

  • All eligible grade twelve students must be administered the test.

  • LEAs can elect to administer the test to any or all students in grade ten or eleven. For grade ten or eleven students, it is recommended that LEAs select those who are enrolled in their last science course.

  • High school students will have only one opportunity to take the CAST. For example, if an LEA assigns the CAST field test to a grade ten student this year and the student attempts to take the test in future years, the student will not be able to take the test again.

These resources are available to help LEAs prepare for the field test administration:

CAASPP System Downtime Begins Today

System downtime, affecting components of the CAASPP online system, will begin today, March 29, and will last through Sunday, April 1. The following systems will be unavailable during that time:

  • Test Operations Management System (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 System Planned Downtime Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Spotlight on Accessibility

The calculator is an embedded universal tool for mathematics testing in grades six through eight and grade eleven and for science testing in all tested grades. An embedded, on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed mathematics items and for all science items.

The use of a non-embedded calculator for mathematics is an accommodation for students in grades six through eight and grade eleven who have this accommodation documented in an individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan. It will need to be set in the student test settings in TOMS prior to testing. Students should use a calculator they are familiar with and use during regular classroom instruction. Because this accommodation is available for calculator-allowed items only, students must be monitored on an item-by-item basis during their use of the non-embedded calculator.

An unlisted resource request can be made in TOMS for the use of a non-embedded calculator for mathematics for:

  • Grades three through five
  • Non-allowed items in grades six through eight and grade eleven

The use of this unlisted resource has been determined to change the construct of the test and will invalidate the student’s score.

For science, the use of a non-embedded calculator is a designated support for all items. Students who have this resource selected in the student test settings in TOMS may use a basic calculator for grade five and a scientific calculator for grade eight and high school.

More information on calculator use 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., and the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing, available on the CAASPP Portal External link opens in new window or tab.. In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP Portal. Find them on the Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

California Alternate Assessment for Science Reminders

The period for administering the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science differs from the testing window that an LEA selects for the other CAASPP assessments. Since last November, LEAs have had access to the CAA for Science for administration to eligible students, and that access will extend through the LEA’s last day of instruction.

The period for test examiners to input students’ CAA results from the answer recording document (ARD) into the Data Entry Interface (DEI) External link opens in new window or tab. is under way and will continue through the last day of school or July 16, 2018, whichever comes first. It is recommended that the test examiner input the student’s scores into the DEI as soon as the student completes the test; that way, the test examiner and LEA and site coordinators can track completion rates for all three embedded performance tasks.

Note that in order for the CDE to count a student as having participated in the CAA for Science, (1) the student must attempt all three embedded PTs; and (2) the student’s results must be entered into the DEI. Also note that LEAs must keep ARDs for one year. Questions about the DEI should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at caltac@ets.org.

CAA for Science: Test Examiner Survey

The survey for CAA for Science test examiners External link opens in new window or tab. is now available. The survey will gather feedback on the pilot assessment, providing crucial guidance on test administration procedures and the operational design of the CAA for Science for future administrations. The survey takes approximately eight to ten minutes to complete. Test examiners should complete this survey once they have completed science testing for this year. Note that survey responses are confidential.

Questions about the CAA for Science test examiner survey should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at caltac@ets.org.

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 subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. 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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
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