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Practice Makes Practice

October 1, 2013

During the 2011-12 school year, the state of Oklahoma wrote new standards for history and social studies tests. That led to the need for new test items for tested grades/subjects (5th, 7th, 8th, and US History). During the 2012-13 school year, that meant all state social studies tests but the US History EOI would be field tests – that is to say that students would take the tests, but scores would only be used to collect information about the quality of the test items. Since US History is one of the End of Instruction exams that high schoolers must take for graduation, we really couldn’t go a year without having scored exams for that.

This email to superintendents and district testing coordinators today explains that we’re almost finished with that:

MEMO:  October 1, 2013

FROM:  Office of Accountability and Assessments

TO:     Superintendents, Principals, District Test Coordinators, and Social Studies/U.S. History Teachers

RE:     2013-2014 Social Studies and U.S. History Assessments

During the 2011-2012, the Social Studies/History Standards were revised, and the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for the Social Studies were implemented for instruction in the 2012-2013 school year.  The purpose of this memo is to explain how these changes will be reflected in the 2013-2014 assessments.

Grades 5 Social Studies and Grade 8 U.S. History Assessments

  • The Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies will be assessed for the first time in Spring 2014 for Grade 5 Social Studies and Grade 8 U.S. History.  Standard setting for these new tests will occur in summer of 2014 with scores delayed until July.
  • These assessments will be a part of the A-F Report Card for the 2013-2014 school year.

Grade 7 Geography: Eastern Hemisphere Assessment

  • The results of the spring 2013 assessment for Geography did not yield the statistical data required to produce a high quality assessment with valid and reliable results.
  • Therefore, students testing in Spring 2014 will take part in an Oklahoma item tryout.  No scores will be available for students or schools.

OCCT ACE U.S. History Assessment

  • The OCCT ACE U.S. History test will fully assess the depth and rigor of the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for U.S. History for the first time in 2013-14.
  • Students testing in the Winter/Trimester and Spring testing windows will receive an immediate raw score, but complete student results will not be available until after Standard Setting in June.  This assessment will be a part of the A-F Report Card calculation for the 2013-2014 school year.
    • It is recommended that OCCT 2nd Time Testers participate in the Online Optional Retest Windows in Winter/Trimester and Spring.  These tests will be based on the content of the 2012-2013 assessment and will yield immediate raw scores and performance levels.

OMAAP EOI U.S. History

  • All students currently enrolled in EOI U.S. History will need to be assessed using either the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests (OCCT) or the Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program (OAAP). OMAAP assessments are no longer available to first time testers.
    • An OMAAP EOI U.S. History test will be available to 2nd Time Testers with a previous score and offered during the Winter/Trimester and Spring testing windows. The OMAAP EOI is for retake purposes only in order to meet a graduation requirement or to apply a Modified Proficiency Score.
      • Results will be available for 48 Hour Reports if test books are received by the end of the testing window. Otherwise, scores will be available for Two Week Roster Reports.

If you have any questions regarding any of these assessments, please contact the Office of Accountability and Assessments at (405) 521-3341.

Sincerely,

Joyce DeFehr

Before I get to the bigger issue, did anybody notice that we don’t call non-scored items field tests anymore. We’re supposed to call them Oklahoma Item Tryouts. What is it with re-naming everything at the State Education Department (SED – I’m trying it out, just to see how it looks)?

The real takeaway from this is that we will be field testing trying out new items for the 7th grade geography test for a second year in a row. Not only did the time that students spent taking last year’s test not count for anything; it also didn’t even help the testing company get usable data and test items sufficient to give a meaningful assessment this time around.

Teachers and administrators are going to be frustrated by this. Parents and students will too. It’s just another example of an overpaid testing company and an out-of-touch state bureaucracy failing to provide service to schools.

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  1. Okra farmer (alias- reach too far coach)
    October 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Attention: Parents concerned about your child being stressed over too much testing.
    Solution: Inform testing officials at your child’s school site that you are opting out of any testing that does not provide you with data results that indicates your child has learned necessary skills.
    Clue: The State Dept of Education sent out letters today to all districts that, in the infinite wisdom of the “so called” testing experts, the 7th grade Geography test would AGAIN be a test that will not be scored for students, teachers and parents to see. That means the test will be given and scored without your child, your child’ teacher, your child’s school and you receiving any results. That is correct, the data Will Not be shared. By definition DATA is not data if it is not shared by parents, students and teachers to improve student learning. Of course one would have to be an educator to understand this basic principle of learning.
    Thus it seems logical to me that giving this Geography test, administered in April, is simply a method to allow a testing company to acquire more test items to be used nationwide. Oh, one more thought needed to be shared-
    The taxpayers (parents of school children) will pay for this test so CTB gain make more profit. Can you say “for profit public education” Janet??

    PARENTS CAN YOU “JUST SAY NO TO TESTING”. Your choice

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  2. Rob R
    October 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to light.

    Like

  3. Rob Miller
    October 2, 2013 at 6:48 am

    This is unacceptable! We subjected over 40,000 seventh grade students to an extra two hours of testing last year knowing in advance we would not get results. Now, we are being told we need to do it again because the testing company ostensible screwed it up! Sorry, no second chances! The Governor and SDE should demand our money back from CTB/McGraw-Hill. Then we need to ask our legislators to enact a one-year moratorium on geography testing or eliminate the requirement all-together. It is NOT required by NCLB and is purely a state mandate. Especially in light of the fact that testing for ELA and Math will more than double next year with OCCRA, this is the time to simply eliminate this test.

    The SDE thinks they can fool parents by calling this a “item tryout” instead of a field test. Parents, read the other comments and do what is right for your child.

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  1. October 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm
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