Technology for Learners
Preparation for the 2016-17 CAASPP Administration
Author: Rick Phelan
The 2017 testing window will be opening soon for California State summative assessments. Tests for 2017 include:
- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test for English and mathematics involving students in grades 3-8 and 11
- California Science Test pilot for all students in grades 5 and 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level
- California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for intellectually challenged students administered among students in grades 3-8 and 11
This blog post offers resources and information to help support schools in preparing for the 2017 assessments.
As schools work to prepare, materials are offered below for (1) district and site assessment coordinators, (2) tech support staff, (3) test administrators and (4) students:
1- District and Site Assessment Coordinators
It is recommended that district and site assessment coordinators review the 2016-17 CAASPP manual. It contains details on preparation, planning, training resources, roles & responsibilities, test security, definitions, and more. Here is a link to to the complete manual:
It is also recommended that district and site assessment coordinators be familiar with accessibility options and procedures. The guide below offers details on Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Documented Accommodations:
Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing (PDF)
Students in grades 5, 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level will take the California Science Test (CAST). Grade level assignments for high schools are provided here:
High School Grade Assignments for 2016-17 CAST
In addition to these materials checklists are offered to help guide work at the district and site levels:
2- District and School Technology Specialists
Technology plays a major role in 2016-17 CAASPP testing. Different types of internet connected devices can be used including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks. The ‘Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for CAASPP Online Testing’ is an important resource for people in this role. The guide provides information on permissible devices, internet connectivity, and secure browser installation. Here is a link to this guide:
A checklist is also offered to help support technology staff here:
Technology Coordinator Checklist (PDF)
3- Test Administrators
2016-17 CAASPP tests are administered by individuals certified as test proctors. Eligible individuals include state-certified educators, paraprofessionals closely supervised by a state-certified educator, and substitute teachers. Prior to administering tests, Educational Testing Services recommends that site test coordinators meet with all test administrators to review processes and procedures related to the 2016-17 SBAC and CAST.
The resource titled, ‘Day of Test Administration: Directions for Administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessments and CAST,’ is helpful for all test administrators to review and understand. This resource is available here:
Day of Test Administration: Directions for Administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessments and CAST
A checklist for test administrators is offered here:
Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will be the taking the 2016-17 SBAC in English language arts and mathematics. Students in grades 5, 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level will be taking the CAST pilot test. To help students prepare for these tests, it is recommended that students be familiar with the technology device being used for test delivery (desktop computer, laptop, tablet or Chromebook) as well as specific features in the American Institutes for Research (AIR) secure browser.
An Overview of the Student Testing Application can be helpful to review with students. This document is provided here:
It is also recommended that students have opportunities to preview the kinds of questions and methods of responding to CAASPP tests. This can occur through training tests and practices available here:
Online Practice Test and Training Test Portal
Support Resources for the California Alternative Assessment
The summative California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science are administered to eligible students. The CAAs are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments. Specific resources and materials for test examiners are offered here:
California Alternative Assessment CAASPP Page
The new CAA for Science pilot test is a performance task (PT) assessment designed to be administered closer to the student’s instructional activity. This innovative assessment allows test examiners some flexibility in the administration of the performance task. Test examiners can select familiar materials for students and allow students to demonstrate what they know. A sample training test is available on the CAASPP Portal CAAs Web page.