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Assessment Spotlight Issue #97 - July 7, 2020


Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

New Resource! Guidance on Diagnostic and Formative Assessments

Today, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the availability of a new resource, "Guidance on Diagnostic and Formative Assessments." This informative document describes how educators can use California's approved assessments to evaluate where students are academically at the start of and throughout the school year.

CALPADS and the ELPAC: Changes

Beginning July 1, 2020, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) will generate a nightly extract of students with an English language acquisition status (ELAS) of "To Be Determined" and the corresponding 2020–2021 enrollment record (this includes a pre-enrollment) that is loaded into the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). Based on the data loaded from CALPADS, TOMS will maintain an "Initial Eligible Student List," viewable by local educational agencies (LEAs), that lists all students who should be tested with the Initial ELPAC.

Also beginning on July 1, LEAs will no longer be able to submit the ELAS of English learner (EL) and initial fluent English proficient (IFEP) to CALPADS (unless the student's status is subsequently corrected to either EL or IFEP through a formal correction process). The student's initial ELAS will be updated directly in CALPADS by the testing contractor when students complete the online version or data entry interface submission of the Initial ELPAC, which is scheduled to open on August 20, 2020.

Summative ELPAC Question of the Week

Q: If a student earned an overall score of 4 on the Summative ELPAC in 2018–2019 and met the other three criteria for reclassification in 2019–2020, can they be reclassified without taking the optional fall Summative ELPAC?

A: Yes. As long as the student's scores are sequential and the spring 2019–2020 Summative ELPAC was not administered to or completed by the student, the student can be reclassified without taking the optional fall Summative ELPAC.

Interim Assessments: Availability of Remote Administration Extended

To provide ongoing flexibility to LEAs as a part of distance learning, the California Department of Education (CDE) will continue to make the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments available for remote administration through the 2020–2021 school year. The only time during which the interim assessments will not be available will be the scheduled downtimes, which can be found on the 2020–2021 CAASPP Planned System Downtime web page and the 2020–2021 ELPAC Planned System Downtime web page.

Educators who need assistance (or whose students need assistance) with remote administration can be referred to the instructions provided on the CAASPP Interim Assessment Administration Resources web page.

Please share this information with educators throughout the LEA. LEA coordinators who have questions about the use of interim assessments during distance learning can contact the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides for 2020–2021 Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that the new administration planning guides for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science—for grades five and eight and high school—are available! The 2020-21 Administration Planning Guides are located on the CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides web page on the CAASPP website. Each planning guide provides LEAs with the following:

  • Basic information on the CAA for Science administration and test security
  • Assessed standards (i.e., Science Connectors)
  • A schedule planner template to assist in planning for the administration of each embedded performance task
  • Points to consider when deciding the best time to administer a CAA for Science embedded performance task to a student

Note the importance of downloading the correct version. LEAs can locate their version assignments, organized by county, LEA, and school, on the CAA for Science Version Assignments for 2020–21 Test Administration web page. All grade levels within a school will have the same version assignment. Please note, however, that an LEA's version assignment this year may be different from last year's assignment.

We encourage LEAs to access this important resource as early as possible as these guides will help in planning how best to integrate each of the four embedded performance tasks into the instructional calendar year!

Registration Open for High School Equivalency Summer Convenings!

Coming in August: a series of professional development trainings, presented by the CDE, designed for high school equivalency (HSE) Chief Examiners and Test Site Administrators! These trainings will cover updates from GED® Testing Service, Educational Testing Service—High School Equivalency Test, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the CDE. More information and registration are available on the HSE Summer Convenings web page. Questions can be sent to Melissa Stockbridge at the Sacramento County Office of Education by email at tThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please share this email with any educators in your LEA who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

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