Testing Incident Types

There are three types of testing incidents; listed from most serious to least serious. In the order of severity they are, breach, irregularity, and impropriety. They are described in this subsection.

Breach

In the event of a breach involving the ELPAC or CAASPP, the breach incident must be reported to the LEA ELPAC or the LEA CAASPP coordinator immediately. The LEA ELPAC or CAASPP coordinator must immediately report the breach to CalTAC by calling 800-955-2954 if the breach is due to social media exposure on the part of a student or adult or due to media coverage of an administration. In addition, the coordinator must complete and submit an ELPAC or CAASPP STAIRS case in TOMS within 24 hours.

Breaches may include such situations as exposure of secure materials or a repeatable security or system risk. These circumstances have external implications. Examples of a breach are a test administrator modifying student answers or test items shared in social media.

The steps to process a breach are as follows:

  1. Local administrators or staff mitigate the incident as necessary and immediately report the breach to the site coordinator, the LEA coordinator, or both.
  2. The LEA coordinator immediately calls CalTAC to report the breach. Within 24 hours following the call, the site coordinator or LEA coordinator submits a case in STAIRS to report the breach and, if prompted, submits an Appeal.
  3. The submitter (and the LEA coordinator, if the submitter was a site coordinator) receives an email summarizing the submittal.
  4. The CDE reviews the STAIRS case and approves the Appeal, if necessary. (Note that some breaches may be nonappealable but need CDE approval.) The coordinator retains the STAIRS response email for the LEA’s records.

Irregularity

An irregularity is an unusual circumstance that impacts an individual or group of students who are testing and may potentially affect student performance on the test or impact test security or test validity. These circumstances can be contained at the local level. Examples of irregularities are student(s) who were assigned an incorrect designated support or accommodation, or student(s) who cheated or provided answers to each other.

The steps to process an irregularity are as follows:

  1. Local administrators or staff take corrective action and notify the site coordinator.
  2. The incident is mitigated as necessary by school staff, and the LEA coordinator is notified for assistance with mitigation.
  3. Within 24 hours, the site coordinator or LEA coordinator uses the online STAIRS/Appeals process to report the impropriety.
  4. The coordinator submits an Appeal request, if prompted.
  5. The submitter (and the LEA coordinator, if the submitter is a site coordinator) receives an email summarizing the submittal.
  6. The CDE or CalTAC reviews the STAIRS case and approves the Appeal, if necessary. There may be irregularities that are nonappealable but need CDE approval. The coordinator retains the STAIRS response email for the LEA’s records.

Impropriety

An impropriety is an unusual circumstance that has a low impact on the individual or group of students who are testing and has a low risk of potentially affecting student performance on the test or of impacting test security or test validity. Examples of improprieties during a test session are student(s) making distracting gestures or sounds [e.g., talking] or a disruption such as a fire drill or internet outage.

The steps to process an impropriety are as follows:

  1. Local administrators or staff take corrective action and notify the site coordinator.
  2. The incident is mitigated as necessary by school staff, and the LEA coordinator is notified for assistance with mitigation as necessary.
  3. Within 24 hours, the site coordinator or LEA coordinator submits a case in STAIRS to report the impropriety.