What’s New in the CAASPP System in 2021⁠–⁠22

CAASPP System of Assessments

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

  • PTs in interim and summative assessments expire in 15 calendar days instead of 10 calendar days. Smarter Balanced recommends that students complete the PT within three days of starting in each content area.
  • The CAT portion of the CAASPP Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for ELA and mathematics will use adjusted test forms based on the revised blueprint used in the 2020–21 administration.

Alternate Assessment

  • The CAA for Science testing window opened on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
  • The CAA for Science is now an operational assessment.
  • Second scoring of rubric-scored items on the CAA for ELA is now required. LEAs and schools assigned to Form 5 will be required to participate in second scoring.
  • DFAs for ELA and mathematics and for science have been updated with improved flow and reduced redundancy.


  • The CAST will use the revised blueprint approved by the California State Board of Education in January 2020.
  • The number of items in Segment A for grades five and eight has been reduced.
  • Segment B for all grades now includes three PTs, one per science content domain.

Test Administration Applications

Test Administrator Interface

  • The pretest approval settings check now includes an indicator for Universal Tool Status. Users should refer to their test site coordinators to determine which universal tools need to be turned off for a student with this designated support assigned.

Student Testing Interface

  • Remote testing remains available for the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments and for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, CAST, and CSA.
  • In-test widgets, such as help guides, glossaries, and calculators, are now resizable and movable on-screen. This allows students to move or resize widgets to increase focus on desired content.
  • If a student tries to move off a multiquestion page but did not respond to all questions on the page, an alert pops up and the page scrolls to the unanswered question and a pop-up reminder will prompt students to answer all questions before moving forward.

Practice and Training Tests

  • The CAST practice tests were updated to align with the revised blueprint used for the operational form.
  • The CAA for Science practice tests were updated to include two Science Connectors for each domain in each tested grade level.

TOMS and Processes

User Roles

  • The feature to add and update user contact information in the [Users] tab in TOMS has been extended to both the Superintendent and LEA CAASPP coordinator user roles.
  • LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators can access contact details for all LEA CAASPP coordinators from the LEA Dashboard in MyTOMS at a Glance.
  • Access to DFA forms is now associated with user roles: LEA CAASPP coordinators can access all forms of all CAA DFAs; CAASPP test site coordinators and test examiners can access only the CAA DFAs for the form assigned to their test site.

Requests for Unlisted Resources

  • LEAs can upload supporting documents as part of the request for an unlisted resource.
  • To minimize the use of email communications for unlisted resources, the LEA can communicate with the CDE with the help of built-in Notes feature (similar to the Notes feature in STAIRS).


  • STAIRS can now be used to report testing incidents that occurred during a remote testing session.
  • LEA CAASPP coordinators will receive a one-time notification on the MyTOMS at a Glance page in TOMS when the Student Score Data File and the SSR PDFs are available in TOMS for the first time during the current test administration year.

Accessibility Resources

  • Speech-to-text is now embedded within the student testing interface for CR items. A microphone icon resides on the text editor toolbar for items where speech-to-text can be used by students with this resource assigned. Third-party applications are no longer required.
  • Text-to-speech for CR items has been added. This resource allows a student’s response to be read back using text-to-speech.


  • Video SSRs for the CAASPP Smarter Balanced for ELA and mathematics are available as a fee-based ancillary service.
  • The CAA for Science will provide SSRs.
  • Aggregate claim results will be shown on the public reporting website only for student groups of 30 or more students.
  • Target reports and claim results will not be available in CERS for the 2021–22 administration.

Technical Specifications

Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing for information about the updated secure browser and operating system versions required for testing in the 2021–22 CAASPP administration.