Issue 243

February 15, 2018


Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Save the Date! CAST Academy This Spring

The one-day California Science Test (CAST) Academy for local educational agency (LEA) school and district science instructional leaders—including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches—will be presented in April at three locations. The CAST Academy offers participants an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. It also provides activities to assist in implementing the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help participants gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, in Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, in Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, in Irvine

As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate via WebEx on one of the dates listed above. For registration and more information, visit the CAASPP 2017­–18 CAST Academy Web page.

More CAST Training: Training of Trainers in June

The content of this spring’s CAST Academy will be presented in a “training of trainers” format to county office of education (COE) teams on June 6 at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE). COE teams will learn what they need to know to present local and/or regional training on the CAST to interested educators. For registration and more information, visit the SCOE CAST Academy Training of Trainers 2018 Web page.

Spotlight on Accessibility

Line reader is an onscreen, universal tool a student uses for reading assistance by raising and lowering the tool for each line of text. To move the line reader, which applies to items and passages, the student selects anywhere on the next line to be shaded. More information on this universal tool can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced Web site. In addition, a short video tutorial is available on the CAASPP Portal Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials Web page.

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.