Appeals Definitions

Appeals Procedure Overview

After a STAIRS case is filed, TOMS will prompt the user with the steps to file an Appeal, if one is required.

The online Appeal types described in this subsection are as follows:

Additional Information About Filing an Appeal

  1. The Reset Appeal for some testing incidents for the CAASPP is applicable subject to the following test completion limits:
    • The student has not completed at least 10 non-PT questions or at least 1 PT question for all CAASPP computer-based assessments except the CAST.
    • For the CAST, the student has not completed at least 10 questions.
  2. The Reset Appeal for some testing incidents for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC is applicable subject to the test completion limits at respective domain levels. The test completion limits are as follows:
    • A Reset Appeal for the domain is applicable for the Summative ELPAC if the student has completed no more than six questions for the Listening domain, three questions for the Speaking domain, six questions for the Reading domain, and two questions for the Writing domain.
    • A Reset Appeal for the domain is applicable for the Initial ELPAC if the student has completed no more than three questions for the Listening domain, six questions for the Speaking domain, two questions for the Reading domain, and one question for the Writing domain.
  3. For kindergarten through grade two—The LEA must use the STAIRS testing incident type of Data Entry Issue to reset the Initial ELPAC computer-based Writing domain-level assessment that is entered through the DEI.
  4. If the student’s ELAS is updated as IFEP on the basis of the student’s Initial ELPAC results, and if the student was registered for the Summative ELPAC or Alternate ELPAC paper–pencil test, the LEA should not return the Answer Book to ETS, since the student is not eligible for the Summative ELPAC or Alternate ELPAC.
  5. If the student’s ELAS is updated as IFEP on the basis of the student’s Initial ELPAC results, a Reset Appeal is required to remove all the Summative ELPAC or Alternate ELPAC TDS and DEI test events that the student started or completed because the student is no longer eligible to take the Summative ELPAC.

Reset

How It Works

A Reset Appeal removes the student’s computer-based test and score from the TDS. The Reset Appeal will also remove any entries entered into the DEI.

Applicable Conditions for a Reset Appeal

  1. Administration of test(s) with Incorrect Accessibility Resources

    • CalTAC may provide approval to reset a domain or a test if a designated support or accommodation required by a student with an IEP or Section 504 plan was set incorrectly and needs to be changed. The testing incident is not applicable to the CAA for Science and for the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test.
    • A Reset Appeal must be submitted for the ELPAC domain-level assessment if a student without an IEP or Section 504 plan received an incorrect designated support that needs to be changed or deleted.
      • The Initial ELPAC domain-level assessment for all except Writing in kindergarten through grade two can be reset if the student has not exceeded the test completion limit at the domain level. Refer to the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about test completion limits.
    • The Summative ELPAC domain-level assessment for all except Writing in kindergarten through grade two can be reset if the student has not exceeded the test completion limit at the domain level. Refer to the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about test completion limits.
      • A student without an IEP or Section 504 plan received an incorrect designated support for either a translation (translations [Spanish stacked–dual language] or glossary) resource or the streamlined interface. Reset for such a scenario is applicable for the CAASPP (except for any CAA).
  2. Incorrect Domain Exemption or Alternate Assessment

    • If the student with an IEP or Section 504 plan did not receive a prescribed domain exemption or an alternate assessment, submit a Reset Appeal. This is applicable for all grade levels and domains of the computer-based Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC except for the paper-based kindergarten through grade two Writing domain. A nonappealable STAIRS case must be submitted if the same condition involves a student registered for the paper–pencil test.
    • If the student received an incorrect domain exemption for Summative ELPAC or the Initial ELPAC, a nonappealable STAIRS case must be submitted.
  3. Administrative Errors

    • A test examiner forgot to score the student’s Speaking responses for the Summative ELPAC or the Initial ELPAC in real time and cannot determine scoring based on the information available.
    • A test examiner incorrectly selected the test session type In Person instead of Remote or Hybrid to administer an Initial ELPAC. A Reset Appeal can be submitted if the student has not exceeded the test completion limit at the domain level. Refer to the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about test completion limits. Otherwise, a nonappealable STAIRS case must be submitted. Both the scenarios result in an irregularity notation.
  4. Administration of Incorrect Assessment

    • The student is not eligible for the Initial ELPAC because the student’s original home language survey response was “English Only” and the LEA entered the student’s primary language incorrectly in the student information system. Refer to the final bullet of the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about irregularity notations.
    • A student was administered an assessment for the wrongly assessed grade level for the ELPAC. If an assessment was administered outside the grade span, an irregularity notation is applied.
    • A student was administered a CAA for Science for the wrong assessed grade level or with the wrong special education designation listed in TOMS.
    • A student was administered a general CAASPP instead of an alternate CAASPP, or was administered an assessment for the wrong grade level, or with an incorrect special education for testing designation listed in TOMS.
    • The CAASPP summative assessment is mistakenly administered instead of the interim or practice test and the student has not completed at least 10 non-PT questions or at least 1 PT question for all CAASPP computer-based assessments except the CAST. The Reset Appeal is applicable for the CAST if the student has not completed at least 10 questions.
    • A test administrator or a test examiner provided students with nonallowable materials or devices or a nonprescribed accommodation (that is, one that is not in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan) during test administration (for example, the student used a non-embedded calculator without an IEP or Section 504 plan). A Reset Appeal is required for the all computer-based tests for CAASPP, except for the CAST and the CAAs, if the student completed less than 10 non-PT questions or less than 1 PT question. The CAST would be reset if the student completed less than 10 questions.
  5. Audio Failure Due to Technical Issues

    • A student was not able to hear the audio item stimulus completely or heard it partially due to a technical issue for a Listening computer-based domain for the Summative ELPAC or the Initial ELPAC and is unable to replay the audio; or the student has not been assigned the pause or replay audio embedded designated support. An irregularity notation is applied. (Refer to the final bullet of the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about irregularity notations.)
  6. Administration with Incorrect Student Information

    • An incorrect SSID was used but test results will not be switched. A Reset Appeal is required to remove the test from the TDS, whether or not the student(s) completed testing. If the test or domain also involves entries in the DEI, the Reset Appeal is applied to the DEI test event.
  7. Resets of the DEI Entries

    • A test examiner did not score the student's Speaking responses in real time and cannot determine scoring based on available information. This is applicable for all grade levels for the computer-based and paper–pencil tests for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC.
    • All of the student’s responses were required to be reentered into the DEI. This is applicable for the paper–pencil tests for the CAASPP, for all grade levels for the Reading and Listening domains for the Initial ELPAC, and for grades three through twelve for the Summative ELPAC.
    • All of the student’s item scores were required to be reentered into the DEI. This is applicable for the following domain-level assessments:
      • All grade levels for the Speaking domain computer-based and paper–pencil tests for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC
      • The Writing computer-based domain for kindergarten through grade two for the Initial ELPAC
      • The Writing domain for grades three through twelve for the Summative ELPAC and for all grade levels for the Initial ELPAC paper–pencil tests
    • The designated support or accommodation required by a student with an IEP or Section 504 plan was set incorrectly and needs to be changed for kindergarten through grade two for the Initial ELPAC.
    • A student with an IEP or Section 504 plan did not receive a domain exemption or an alternate assessment for kindergarten through grade two for the Initial ELPAC.
    • A correction was required as a result of the RSVP that changed the student’s ELAS. This is applicable to the Initial ELPAC domain-level assessments for kindergarten through grade two.
    • The student who was registered for a paper–pencil test was not eligible for the Initial ELPAC because the student’s original home language survey response was “English Only” and the LEA entered the student’s primary language incorrectly in the student information system.
    • An incorrect SSID was used but test results will not be switched for the paper–pencil test, so a Reset Appeal is required to remove the test from the DEI, whether or not the student(s) completed testing. This applies to the all grade levels for the Initial ELPAC and for grades three through twelve for the Summative ELPAC.
    • An incorrect SSID was used but test results will not be switched for the second score entered for an Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test belonging to a different student, so the student’s scores must be reset and all the scores for the correct student must be reentered into the DEI.
    • An Initial ELPAC assessment resulted in a correction to the Summative ELPAC. This is applicable for paper–pencil tests and computer-based tests for all grade levels for the Speaking domain and for paper–pencil tests in the DEI for grades three through twelve for the Reading, Writing, and Listening domains.
    • A CAST DEI test event was administered unintentionally instead of an interim or practice test and the student has not completed 10 questions.
    • A test administrator provided the student with nonallowable materials or devices or an accommodation not prescribed by the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan, and the student has completed less than 10 questions for the CAST paper–pencil test entered into the DEI.

Re-Open

How It Works

Reopening an assessment allows a student to access a test that has already been submitted or has expired.

Initial ELPAC and Summative ELPAC domain assessments have an expiration rule of 20 calendar days from the day the test is accessed by the student for the first time and 10 calendar days after the test is reopened following an expiration. A CAASPP test that is reopened following an expiration will remain open for 10 calendar days from the date it is reopened. If an expired domain for a Summative ELPAC or an Initial ELPAC is reopened, the test will resume at the last unanswered item.

If an expired test for the CAASPP is reopened, the test will resume at the last unanswered item, which could, in some cases, be different from where the student left off (if, for example, the student went back to review prior items). For the CAASPP, the student will be able to review items within the current segment of the assessment but cannot return to previous segments of the non-PTs. Only a Grace Period Extension Appeal will allow a student to return to prior segments of the test.

Applicable Conditions for a Re-Open Appeal

  1. A Re-open Appeal for the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test, computer-based CAASPP, all computer-based domains for all grade levels (except kindergarten through grade two) for the Initial ELPAC, and the Summative ELPAC must be submitted if the test was accidentally submitted prior to completion.
  2. A Re-open Appeal for the computer-based CAASPP, all computer-based domains for all grade levels (except kindergarten through grade two) for the Initial ELPAC, and the Summative ELPAC must be submitted if the test expired before the student could complete the test.
  3. CalTAC may reopen a CAASPP computer-based assessment that had expired earlier because a summative assessment was administered unintentionally instead of an interim or practice test and the student is ready to complete the assessment now.
  4. CalTAC may reopen a CAASPP non-PT after it expires (45 calendar days) or may reopen a domain for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC after it expires (20 calendar days) if a student is unable to complete the test because of an unanticipated excused absence or unanticipated school closure or the student unintentionally submitted the test before completing it. The Appeal should be requested when the student is ready to complete testing.
  5. While entering information from a student’s paper answer booklet into the DEI, an error was made, and selected student responses must be reentered. This is applicable to the paper–pencil tests for the CAASPP, the Reading and Listening domains for all grade levels for the Initial ELPAC, and for grades three through twelve for the Summative ELPAC.
  6. While entering information from a student score sheet into the DEI, an error was made, and selected student’s scores must be reentered. Scores can be reopened for all grade levels for a computer-based Speaking domain for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC. This is also applicable for the Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two for the Initial ELPAC, for paper–pencil tests for the Speaking and Writing domains for all grade levels for the Initial ELPAC, and for grades three through twelve for the Summative ELPAC.

Restore

How It Works

Restoring an assessment returns it from the Reset status to its prior status. This action can only be performed on tests that have been mistakenly reset through a Reset Appeal.

Applicable Conditions for a Restore Appeal

Requests to restore a test that was inadvertently or inappropriately reset because an LEA wrongly requested a Reset Appeal must be made by submitting a STAIRS case. To file a Restore Appeal, the LEA ELPAC or LEA CAASPP coordinator must contact CalTAC to submit a STAIRS case on behalf of the LEA. A Restore Appeal must be approved by the CDE to restore a computer-based or DEI test event.

Requests for a Restore Appeal should be limited to only those cases where a test has been inadvertently or improperly reset as result of a mistakenly submitted Reset Appeal.

Grace Period Extension

A Grace Period Extension Appeal is reserved solely for situations where the 20-minute pause rule expired due to circumstances beyond the control of the test administrator or test examiner.

This Appeal allows the student to review previously answered questions upon logging back on to the test after the expiration of the 20-minute pause rule.

How It Works

Grace period extensions are for situations where the 20-minute pause rule expired and students are not able to review previous test questions due to circumstances beyond the control of the test administrator or test examiner. It restores the ability of the student to review previous test questions in the segment the student is in currently.

Applicable Conditions for a Grace Period Extension Appeal

A grace period extension only applies to the Reading and Listening domains for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC and to a CAASPP non-PT. There are no pause rules for the Speaking and Writing domains or for a CAASPP PT. For paused assessments for the Speaking and Writing domains, as well as for a CAASPP PT, having the test administrator or a test examiner open a new test session may be all that is needed to continue testing.

If a submitted test or a domain assessment is reopened, the test will reopen at the last page. The student cannot review previous items. Only a Grace Period Extension Appeal will allow a student to return to prior segments of the test.

The CDE may grant a grace period extension for the Reading or Listening domains for the Summative ELPAC or the Initial ELPAC, or for a CAASPP PT, in cases where there was a disruption to a test session, such as a technical difficulty, fire drill, schoolwide power outage, earthquake, or other act beyond the control of the test examiner or test administrator that resulted in the expiration of the 20-minute pause rule. However, a grace period extension cannot be granted in situations where the pause rule has expired due to student breaks, such as recess- or lunch-related breaks that lasted for more than 20 minutes.

The CDE may grant a grace period extension for the computer-based Reading and Listening domains for all grade levels for the Initial ELPAC in the event that a student or a test examiner lost the mandatory video connection required during a remote test session.

Rescore

How It Works

A Rescore Appeal is only available for the Initial ELPAC Writing domain for grades three through twelve. A Rescore Appeal allows the test examiner to reenter all the Writing domain scores in the THSS.

Applicable Conditions for a Rescore Appeal

Rescore Appeals are for situations where an error was made while scoring student responses in the THSS. These errors could be caused due to incorrectly applied rubrics or could be based on the RSVP that changes the ELAS.

Invalidate

How It Works

Invalidated CAASPP summative tests will be scored and scores will be provided on the SSR with a note that an irregularity occurred. In the calculation of the school’s participation rate, the student(s) will be counted as having participated. A LOSS is applied to an invalidated record for accountability calculations. For the public reporting website, it will be included in the aggregation for number tested only.

Applicable Conditions for an Invalidate Appeal

The CDE may invalidate any test (non-PT or PT) if:

  1. A student posted secure test materials on social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
  2. A student copied, discussed, or otherwise retained test items, stimuli, reading passages, writing prompts, scratch paper, or answers for any reason for the summative CAASPP. This does not include student logon information.
  3. A student copied, discussed, or otherwise retained test items, stimuli, passages, prompts, scratch paper, or answers for any reason for the CAA for Science. This does not include student logon information.
  4. A test administrator or coordinator modified student responses. This does not apply to the CAAs.
  5. Someone other than the student had access to the test (unless identified as an allowable accommodation in the student’s IEP or the student was taking the CAAs).
  6. A test administrator, test examiner, or a parent or guardian coached or provided assistance to the student during a test administration that might affect the student’s test-item responses.
  7. Student(s) either accessed either the internet or used unauthorized software or applications, or used unauthorized electronic equipment (e.g., a cell phone, tablet, or smartwatch) while actively engaged in a test session.
  8. Student(s) used an electronic device while actively engaged in a test session or student(s) had completed testing, but the LEA can verify that a device was being used to help other students who were engaged in a test session. This does not include non-embedded calculators.
  9. Student(s) cheated or provided answers to each other, including passing notes or giving help to other students, or using a handheld electronic device to exchange information during a test session.
  10. There is a test session in which a student deliberately did not attempt to respond appropriately to items.
  11. If a test administrator or test examiner provided students with nonallowable materials or devices or a nonprescribed accommodation (i.e., not in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan) during test administration (e.g., a non-embedded calculator used by a student without an IEP or Section 504 plan), an Invalidate Appeal is required for the CAASPP if the following conditions are true:
    • The student completed more than 10 non-PT questions or more than 1 PT question. This is applicable for all computer-based CAASPP assessments, except the CAST.
    • The student completed more than 10 questions for the CAST.

STAIRS Cases That Do Not Result in Any Appeal

How It Works

There are certain testing incidents that do not result in an Appeal. The LEA must submit STAIRS cases to report these testing incidents. The STAIRS case may result in an irregularity notation and can also require a plan of action description to be provided by the LEA as a resolution to avoid or control similar testing incidents in the future. Refer to the final bullet of the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about irregularity notations.

Applicable Conditions for Nonappealable Testing Incidents

Nonappealable ELPAC STAIRS Incidents with an Irregularity Notation—Manual Approval

Testing incidents that require to be approved by the CDE or CalTAC but may not need an Appeal and may result in an irregularity notation for the ELPAC are listed next:

  1. A student without an IEP or Section 504 plan received an incorrect designated support and exceeded the prescribed test completion limit at the domain level for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC. Refer to the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about test completion limits.
  2. Administrative errors occurred, such as related instructional materials left on the walls in the testing room; failure to ensure administration and supervision of the assessment(s) by qualified, trained personnel; incorrect instructions given and not corrected prior to testing; or a test examiner or coordinator sharing a username and password occurred for the ELPAC. STAIRS cases submitted to report these testing incidents for the CAASPP are auto approved.
  3. Administrative errors occurred, such as the student started or completed the domain-level assessment in the absence of ongoing, mandatory video monitoring during a remote test session for the Initial ELPAC.
  4. Administrative errors occurred, such as the test examiner lost video or chat access with the student during a remote test session and did not pause the Initial ELPAC test.
  5. While administering a remote test session, a test examiner incorrectly selected the test session type In Person instead of Remote or Hybrid and the student exceeded the test completion threshold for the Initial ELPAC. Refer to the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about test completion limits.
  6. A test examiner, test administrator, teacher, or some other person coached or provided some assistance to a student that may affect the student’s responses either during an in-person test session or a remote test session for the Summative ELPAC or for the Initial ELPAC.
  7. A test security breach occurred when a parent/guardian or some other person present in the room during a remote test session provided coaching or some other type of assistance that may affect a student’s responses for the Initial ELPAC.
  8. The test examiner provided students with nonallowable materials or devices or a nonprescribed accommodation (that is, one that is not in the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan) during test administration for the Summative ELPAC or for the Initial ELPAC.
  9. A test examiner or coordinator modified student responses at any time while administering a test for the Summative ELPAC or for the Initial ELPAC.

The CDE may approve a STAIRS case that does not need an Appeal for the ELPAC but would result in an irregularity notation:

  1. A student copied, discussed, or otherwise retained test items, stimuli, reading passages, writing prompts, or answers for any reason.
  2. A student retained scratch paper and had it during the same test in a subsequent test session.
  3. A student cheated or accessed unauthorized devices such as a cell phone, tablet, or smartwatch during testing. Student(s) cheated or provided answers to each other, including passing notes and giving help to other students during testing.
  4. A student accessed the internet or used unauthorized software or applications during the student’s testing event.
  5. A student disrupted the test session by making distracting gestures or talking during the test session.
  6. The description of the testing incident is not included in either of the testing incidents available in the STAIRS/Appeals process, and the STAIRS case that the LEA wants to submit requires an irregularity notation. Refer to the final bullet of the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about irregularity notations.

Nonappealable ELPAC STAIRS Incidents with No Irregularity Notation—Manual Approval

Certain testing incidents in STAIRS for the ELPAC do not result in an Appeal or an irregularity notation; however, CalTAC approval is needed when a STAIRS case is submitted for the following testing incidents:

  1. A student received a domain exemption or an alternate assessment that was not prescribed by the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan. This is applicable for computer-based and paper–pencil tests for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC.
  2. A student registered for a paper–pencil test for the Summative ELPAC or the Initial ELPAC did not receive a domain exemption or an alternate assessment as prescribed by the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.

A nonappealable STAIRS case for the ELPAC that does not need an irregularity notation may require approval from the CDE in the following instances:

  1. The description of the testing incident is not included in either of the testing incident options available in the STAIRS/Appeals process, and the STAIRS case that the LEA wants to submit does not require an irregularity notation. Refer to the final bullet of the first item in the Additional Information About Filing an Appeal subtopic for information about irregularity notations.
  2. An Appeal submitted earlier had an incorrect irregularity flag that needs to be revoked.