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CAASPP Update, Issue 251

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, April 11, 2018.

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

All (CAASPP) Systems—Go!

As many schools prepare to begin their 2017–18 CAASPP testing, peak concurrent testing volumes are just around the corner. The addition of new tests to the online assessment system—the California Science Test field test, California Alternate Assessment for Science Data Entry Interface, and the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) Training Test—means the number of concurrent test takers for the 2017–18 school year likely will exceed the nearly 500,000 concurrent test takers from last year. The California Department of Education (CDE) has taken the following measures to account for the anticipated increase in concurrent test takers:

  • Increased load capacity of the CAASPP online assessment system

  • Conducted extensive testing to ensure peak performance

  • Ensured the continuous, daily monitoring of systems to identify and respond early to potential issues

Local educational agencies (LEAs) are encouraged to conduct an analysis of their local bandwidth capabilities to account for any testing demands that may exist on a site-by-site basis. A bandwidth checker External link opens in new window or tab. is available on the CAASPP Portal Web site. For further information about the about the CAASPP online assessment system or planning for CAASPP testing, LEA CAASPP coordinators can contact the California Technical Assistance Center at or (800) 955-2954.

Coming Soon: CSA Field Test

For the upcoming CSA field test, the CDE is looking for LEAs with students who are (1) receiving instruction in Spanish; or (2) seeking a measure that recognizes their Spanish-specific reading, writing, and listening skills. The field test will be used to evaluate CSA reading, writing, and listening items and create a pool of high-quality items for the operational administration of the test. To participate in the CSA field test, scheduled for September and October 2018, please contact Marques Barron, CAASPP Administrator, by phone at 916-403-2432 or by e-mail at

Standards-based Tests in Spanish—Online

Reminder: The Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) are available for online administration through July 16, 2018. All testing must be completed within each LEA’s testing window. The STS Test Administration Manual and other resources for the STS administration are available on the CAASPP Portal Primary Language Test—STS Web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Primary Language Test This will be the final administration of the STS, which will be replaced by the CSA in spring 2019.

Spotlight on Accessibility

Spanish stacked translation is an embedded designated support that provides the student with the full translation of each test item, which appears above the original item. This designated support is available for students whose primary language is not English and who use dual language supports in the classroom. Caution is advised when considering this support for students who are not fluent in Spanish. The following questions can help guide the decision:

  • Are the student’s skills in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish appropriate for this support?

  • Has the student had an opportunity to try the practice test with the Spanish stacked translation?

  • Has the student and/or parent provided input on the use of this support?

  • If the student does not have strong reading skills in Spanish but still needs translation, should read aloud in Spanish be assigned?

More information on the use of Spanish stacked translation 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..

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: Friday, May 11, 2018
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