Appendix D: Frequently Used Terms

Table 1 defines terms that are specific to the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Table 1. Frequently Used Terms

Term Definition
Accommodation

An accommodation is a change in procedures or materials that increases equitable access during the Smarter Balanced and CAST assessments. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what the students know and can do. Accommodations are available for students with documented IEPs or Section 504 plans. Approved accommodations do not compromise the construct, grade-level standard, or intended outcome of the assessments.

Refer to the following resources for additional information:

Appeal Authorized users—LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators—may submit and view requests for resetting or reopening the DEI to correct or reenter student responses. To request an appeal, an incident must be submitted using the STAIRS/‌Appeals process. Appeals are also submitted through the TOMS.
Breach

A breach is a security event that poses a threat to the validity of the summative assessments. Examples may include such situations as a release of secure materials or a security or system risk. These circumstances have external implications for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the CDE, or both, and may result in a decision to remove the test item(s) from the available secure bank. The LEA CAASPP coordinator must immediately report the breach, including social media exposure on the part of a student or adult or media coverage of an administration, by calling CalTAC at 800-955-2954. In addition, the coordinator must report the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process available in TOMS for all other breaches.

For more information on how to proceed using the STAIRS/Appeals process when an incident has occurred, please refer to the subsection Using STAIRS of this manual and the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide.

Break

A student may be provided breaks within a test session as needed. There is no limit on the number of breaks or the length of a break that a student may be given according to the student’s unique needs.

The number of items per session can be flexibly defined based on the student’s need.

Students may move about the classroom or take a short break outside to refocus. Students can take breaks during PT test sessions. Please refer to the Testing Times and Recommended Order of Test Administration subsections for more information about estimated testing times and the recommended order of testing.

Upon returning from a break, students should not be permitted to review responses from any section of the test other than the one currently being taken.

CAASPP Test Site Coordinator The CAASPP test site coordinator is a school staff member responsible for monitoring the test schedule, process, and test administrators. CAASPP test site coordinators are also responsible for ensuring that test administrators have been appropriately trained and that testing is conducted in accordance with the test security and other policies and procedures established by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the CDE. CAASPP test site coordinators must have submitted an electronically signed CAASPP Test Security Agreement and Test Security Affidavit in TOMS.
California Science Test (CAST) The CAST is the science assessment administered to students in grades five, eight, and a high school grade (ten, eleven, or twelve).
Designated Support

A designated support is a type of accessibility resource of the assessments available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators working with the parent/guardian and student).

Refer to the following resources for additional information:

Full-write The full-write is a component of the ELA PT that requires the student to develop an informative or explanatory, narrative, or opinion or argumentative multiple paragraph piece of writing for which the student engages the full writing process.
IA Administrator Only The IA Administrator Only role is a staff member at an LEA or school responsible for administering only the interim assessments to students. This user also can access the IAHSS and view an assigned roster in CERS.
Impropriety

An impropriety is an unusual circumstance that has a low impact on the individual or group of students who are taking summative assessments and has a low risk of potentially affecting student performance on the test, test security, or test validity. These circumstances can be corrected and contained at the local level.

For specific details on how to proceed using the STAIRS/‌Appeals process when an incident has occurred, please refer to the subsection Using STAIRS of this manual and the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide.

Invalidate

Invalidate is a specific Appeal for summative assessments, including paper–pencil tests, in the Appeals system. Tests invalidated after filing an Appeal will be scored and scores will be provided on the Student Score Report (with a note that an irregularity occurred). The student(s) will be counted as not participated in the calculation of the school’s participation rate for federal accountability purposes.

Permission for an Invalidate Appeal is initiated by first reporting an incident and then submitting an Appeal using the STAIRS/‌Appeals process in TOMS. While the request was made to invalidate a student’s summative assessment, the student may be permitted to finish it. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security and Test Administration Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Irregularity

An irregularity is an unusual circumstance that impacts an individual or group of students who are taking summative assessments and may potentially affect student performance on the tests, test security, or test validity. These circumstances can be corrected and contained at the local level but reported using the STAIRS/Appeals process for resolution of the Appeal.

For specific details on how to proceed using the STAIRS/‌Appeals process when an incident has occurred, please refer to the subsection Using STAIRS of this manual and the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide.

Item An item is a test question or stimulus presented to a student to elicit a response.
LEA CAASPP Coordinator The LEA CAASPP coordinator is an LEA-level staff member who is responsible for the overall administration of the summative assessments in an LEA. LEA CAASPP coordinators should ensure that the CAASPP test site coordinators and test administrators in their LEA are appropriately trained and aware of policies and procedures. LEA CAASPP coordinators are designated by their district superintendents or the administrator of their independently testing charter school and must have submitted an electronically signed CAASPP Test Security Agreement in TOMS.
PT A PT is an item type designed to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge and higher-order thinking skills to explore and analyze a complex, real-world scenario. It is a required portion of the test.
Reading passage/Passage A reading passage is a type of stimulus (refer to the definition of stimulus). When “reading passage” or “passage” is referenced on the Smarter Balanced assessment, it is to differentiate this type of stimulus from others on the assessment. “Reading passage” or “passage” is used when speaking about the reading passages that are part of the ELA assessment.
Re-open

A Re-open is specific Appeal type for summative assessments in the Appeals System. For the Smarter Balanced and CAST paper–pencil tests, reopening a student’s test is done when an error was made entering one or more—but not all—of a student’s responses in the DEI and selected responses must subsequently be reentered.

Permission for a Re-open Appeal is initiated by first reporting an incident and then submitting an Appeal using the online STAIRS/‌Appeals process in TOMS. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Reset

Reset is a specific Appeal type for summative assessments in the Appeals System. For the Smarter Balanced and CAST paper–pencil tests, resetting a student’s test is done when an error was made entering a student’s responses in the DEI and all responses must subsequently be reentered.

Permission for a Reset Appeal is initiated by first reporting an incident and then submitting an Appeal using the online STAIRS/‌Appeals process in TOMS. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Session

A session is a time frame in which students actively test in a single sitting. The length of a test session is determined by building or LEA administrators who are knowledgeable about the periods in the building and the timing needs associated with the assessment. Smarter Balanced recommends that session durations range between 15 and 120 minutes for the paper–pencil Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Individual students will have unique needs regarding the length of a test session.

For the Smarter Balanced assessments, Smarter Balanced recommends that Sessions 1 and 2 of the ELA and mathematics assessments be administered in at least two sessions and the performance task (Session 3) be administered on another day.

Note: A test session does not need to end when a segment ends.

STAIRS/Appeals Process The STAIRS/Appeals process is the means by which LEAs and schools report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the summative assessments and then, if required, submit an Appeal request. The first step is reporting the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process in TOMS; an Appeal cannot be requested without the submission of this data-entry screen. The system returns an email with a summary of the information submitted that the recipient should retain for at least a year. The STAIRS/Appeals process is used to report incidents that occur with summative assessments only.
SSID An SSID is a unique, nonpersonally identifiable number linked to a given individual student within the California public kindergarten through grade twelve educational system. SSIDs are used to maintain data on individual students, such as linking students to statewide assessment scores and tracking students in and out of schools and LEAs to determine more accurate dropout and graduation rates.
Stimulus or Stimuli A stimulus (plural, stimuli) is material or materials used in the test context that form the basis for assessing the knowledge and skills of students. Many items or tasks for the assessments include a stimulus along with a set of questions to which the student responds. Stimulus materials are used in ELA and mathematics assessments and in the CAST to provide context for assessing the knowledge and skills of students, and are diverse. They can be traditional reading passages/texts for students to use for research or scenarios to react to.
Test administrator A CAASPP test administrator is an employee or contractor of an LEA or of a nonpublic, nonsectarian school employee responsible for administering summative assessments in a secure manner in compliance with the policies and procedures outlined in the CAASPP Online Test Administration Manual. Test administrators are required to have submitted an electronically signed CAASPP Test Security Affidavit in TOMS.
TOMS

TOMS is the management system used for the CAASPP assessments. This is the system through which users interact with and inform the test delivery system. This management system provides administrators with the tools to add and manage users and students participating in the Smarter Balanced assessments and the CAST, including assigning tests, student test settings, and user roles. This system uses a role-specific design to restrict access to certain tools and applications based on the user’s designated role.

The CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide is available on the CAASPP TOMS Resources web page on the CAASPP website.

Universal tool

A universal tool is a resource that is available to all students based on student preference and selection.

Refer to the following resources for additional information:

Unlisted resource

An unlisted resource is an instructional resource that a student regularly uses in daily instruction, assessment, or both that has not been previously identified as a universal tool, designated support, or accommodation. The California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix includes a list of unlisted resources that have already been identified and are preapproved. Approval of an unlisted resource that has not been preidentified will be granted by the CDE as designated by the IEP team, Section 504 plan, or both, and if the unlisted resource does not compromise the test’s security.

Unlisted resources shall be made available if specified in the eligible student’s IEP or Section 504 plan and only on approval by the California Department of Education. An LEA CAASPP coordinator or CAASPP test site coordinator can request an unlisted resource for a student in TOMS.