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CAASPP Update, Issue 256

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, May 16, 2018.

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

2018–19 ELPAC Academy Registration Now Open!

Registration is open for the 2018–19 English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) Academy! The ELPAC Academy is being offered by the California Department of Education (CDE), in partnership with the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), to provide local educational agency (LEA) teams with information on how to use the ELPAC to focus on English learners in the classroom. The one-day training will be offered in fall 2018 as follows:

  • August 27—Sacramento
  • August 29—Sacramento
  • August 30—San Diego
  • August 31—San Diego
  • September 6—Riverside
  • September 7—Riverside
  • September 12—Clovis
  • September 13—Clovis
  • September 24—Los Angeles

Visit the ELPAC Academy registration Web page External link opens in new window or tab. for agendas and online registration.

Save the Date: 2018 CAST Academy!

To support the implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the CDE has partnered with SCOE to present the 2018 CAST Academy, a training that will be held at five locations in October 2018. The one-day training will be offered in fall 2018 as follows:

  • October 2—Sacramento
  • October 9—Riverside
  • October 16—San Diego
  • October 23—Clovis
  • October 30—Los Angeles
The CAST Academy is intended for school and LEA science instructional leaders, including teachers, teacher leaders, teachers on special assignment, trainers, and instructional coaches. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from attending this training.

Visit the CAST Academy registration Web page External link opens in new window or tab. for agendas and online registration.

New Playlist in the Digital Library Professional Learning Series—Performance Tasks!

A new playlist, “Performance Tasks” (PDF), has been added to the CDE Professional Learning Series! This resource brings together a range of materials for using performance tasks to measure student progress and improve instruction. To provide users with the essential characteristics of performance tasks, the playlist organizes links to, and summaries of, materials and Digital Library resources that include the following:

  • A performance assessment educational report
  • Interactive video modules
  • Presentation slides and facilitation guides
  • A comprehensive instructional guide for educators
  • Smarter Balanced performance task technical specifications
  • A Web-based application for identifying relevant playlists

Educators are encouraged to consult the “Performance Tasks” playlist for professional learning aimed at improving instruction, informing teaching, and meeting individualized instructional and assessment needs for all students. The Professional Learning Series provides a wide selection of professional learning resources on relevant and timely topics. Explore them all on the CDE Digital Library Playlists Web page.

Smarter Balanced Is Top-Rated Interim Assessment*

Smarter Balanced interim assessments, based on an evaluation conducted for the Michigan Department of Education, finished as the top-rated benchmark assessment out of 14 proposals submitted to the state. Just three interim assessments, including Smarter Balanced, met the proposal criteria for use by Michigan school districts as a new state-funded option.

Michigan can now complete their assessment system with Smarter Balanced interim assessments. The interim assessment package includes access to the teacher-created, teacher-approved Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab..

Michigan fourth grade teacher Ingeborg Taylor-Hill participated in a Smarter Balanced item mapping workshop in late 2017 and also helped create the new Connections Playlists, which link interim assessments results to the Digital Library. Said Taylor-Hill, “What is so exciting is that you can click on a state standard, go to the playlist, and they will have exact examples of activities you can use right away to teach that objective.”

Hear Ingeborg Taylor-Hill further discuss the Smarter Balanced Connections Playlists by viewing her feature video at the Smarter Web site External link opens in new window or tab.. There you can also download a helpful fact sheet to learn more about the benefits of using the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments and Digital Library.

*This article appeared in the May 9, 2018, issue of the Smarter Balanced Update: A Newsletter for Chiefs and Deputies.

Wanted: Educators with Experience in Science, Special Education, and Spanish

Experienced educators in science, special education, and Spanish are needed! Throughout the summer, the CDE will be conducting workshops for the CAST, the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science, and the California Spanish Assessment (CSA) assessments. Participants will have the opportunity to help the CDE with item and data review. The feedback from these workshops will assist us in identifying any improvements that might be needed. The workshop meetings will take place in Sacramento. For further information and to apply, please refer to the online application External link opens in new window or tab..

Reminder: Enter Students Responses into the Data Entry Interface for the California Alternate Assessment for Science

Please remember that LEAs must enter student scores for all three-performance tasks for the CAA for Science into the Data Entry Interface (DEI) External link opens in new window or tab. prior to the LEA’s last day of instruction or July 16—whichever date comes first. The student must attempt all three-performance tasks, and the student’s responses must be entered into the DEI, for the CDE to count a student as having participated in the assessment.

To track students’ completion statuses, coordinators can view the Plan and Manage Testing report for each performance task in the CAASPP Completion Status and Roster Management portal External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions about the DEI should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-055-2954 or by e-mail at

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, May 24, 2018
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