Assessment Newsletter (Volume 3, Issue 33)

Update from the Wyoming Department of Education  |  view online |  website


10-09-2015  |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 3, Issue 33


ACT logo

Educators who are interested in working with colleagues in Wyoming to develop content-based performance level descriptors (PLDs) in reading/ELA, math, and science for the grade 11 ACT!  These PLDs will describe the range of knowledge and skills for each of the performance levels (basic, proficient, and advanced) WDE reports on the ACT.  The one-day session, hosted by the WDE assessment and standards teams, will be facilitated by content experts from the ACT and participants will benefit from a deep-dive into specific content of the ACT.

Participants should have at least three years of experience teaching reading/ELA, math, or science in grades 9 -12+ and a working knowledge of the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in these subjects.  WDE will provide a stipend of $300 to cover lodging, transportation, and meals.  The meeting will be held in Cheyenne on Wednesday, November 18th from 9:00 – 4:30.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Scoring & Norming to Improve Writing Instruction

Writing PD
Click on photo to view the video.

The WDE is offering a two-day professional development workshop in Cheyenne December 8-9. Participants will learn how to use the Wyoming Writing Rubric to systematically score writing samples in a group setting, encouraging quality writing instruction.

Selected Wyoming writing prompts must be administered to students beforehand, and their writing samples will be scored and normed. All identifiable student information must be removed before submission. Samples must be submitted before November 20, 2015. 

Registration closes November 20, 2015.


ACT Aspire Technical Readiness and Infrastructure Trial Training Webinars

ACT Aspire will be providing Tech Readiness and Infrastructure Training Webinars.  Please select your preferred session(s) from the links below to register. After registration, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note: Course materials are available for this session and can be downloaded prior to the session. The deadline for registering is Friday, October 16.

Wyoming Technical Readiness Training - Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Session Password: Aspire

Wyoming infrastructure Trial Training - Duration: 1 hour

Session Password: Aspire


Since Explore and Plan are now officially retired, they have been replaced by ACT Aspire, an online assessment in ELA, math, science, and writing. In order to ensure Wyoming high schools are ready to implement this new test, WDE has scheduled training in locations throughout the state. A successful online administration will require a thorough understanding of technology and implementation requirements. The training sessions will be a half day, and it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that every district assessment coordinator, district technology coordinator, and school assessment coordinator attend.

The final training date for ACT Aspire Training is on November 2, at 9 a.m. Space is limited.

Park County SD #1
Support Services Building
245 North Evarts                                                                                                                   Powell, Wyoming




ACT Aspire has provided information for the April-May 2016 Test Administration. As noted during the ACT Aspire training, the Landing Page is the hub from which all the information is accessible. Please bookmark these links as they will be valuable resources for you as the testing window approaches. A number of links are provided below:

* ACT Aspire Avocet

* ACT Aspire Landing Page 

* ACT Aspire Accessibility User's Guide

ACT Aspire Tech Readiness Manual

ACT Aspire Testing Times



AIR Logo

The Wy-ALT Guidance for Test Coordinators on Online Systems Access for the 2016 Wy-ALT administration has been updated and is now available on 2016 Assessment Materials page of the WDE website. In the guide, you will find information about using the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE), User Role Matrices, how to set up user accounts, and much more. Please check the 2016 Administration Materials webpage in the coming weeks for other updated materials!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment


The Wyoming Department of Education is pleased to provide Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment Resource Development Training, presented by Jan Hoegh of Marzano Research.

The training will include:

  • Gaining an awareness of the research regarding classroom assessment.
  • Understanding the difference between obtrusive, unobtrusive, and student-generated assessment, and how to use each in the classroom. 
  • Learn data analysis practices related to classroom assessment

PTSB or UW credit will be available for these sessions.




Have you ever wondered what Lexiles and Quantiles are? Have you wondered how to use them to improve instruction for your students? WDE is partnering with Metametrics, the company that provides Lexile and Quantile data on PAWS, to provide a series of Web-Ex meetings to answer your questions. These sessions are intended for teachers, instructional facilitators, curriculum directors, assessment coordinators, principals – anyone who wants to learn more about using Lexiles and Quantiles. Please share the information widely about these opportunities. Each of the sessions will be held for one hour, beginning at 3:30 on the dates listed below to facilitate teacher attendance.



MAP Training

NWEA and the Wyoming Department of Education Assessment Team are offering MAP Training in four locations around the state. These sessions are intended for teachers, instructional facilitators/coaches, curriculum directors, and principals. Attendees will learn how to use MAP data to plan instruction. Each session will be a day and a half in length.

Sessions will be held on:

  • November 2 - 3 in Lovell, WY
  • November 2 - 3 in Cheyenne, WY
  • November 5 - 6 in Riverton, WY
  • November 5 - 6 in Casper, WY

For more information, please contact Shelly Andrews: or 307.777.3781


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Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)

A measure of the tendency of test takers' scores to vary because of random factors, such as the particular selection of items on the form the test takers happened to take, or the particular scorers who happened to score the test taker's responses. The smaller the SEM, the smaller the influence of these factors. The SEM is express in the same units as the scores themselves.


  • October 12 -13: PD: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment - Powell, WY
  • October 13: PD: Maximize the Match: Understanding Text Complexity - WebEX 
  • October 14 - 15: PD: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment - Buffalo, WY
  • October 15: PD: Differentiating Instruction Using the Lexile and Quantile Frameworks - WebEx
  • October 19 - 20: PD: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment - Casper, WY
  • October 20: ACT Aspire Wyoming Tech Readiness Training Webinar
  • October 21 - 22: PD: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment - Cheyenne, WY
  • October 22: ACT Aspire Tech Readiness Training Webinar
  • November 2 - 3: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Lovell, WY
  • November 2 - 3: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Cheyenne, WY
  • November 5: ACT Aspire Tech Readiness Training Webinar
  • November 5 - 6: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Riverton, WY
  • November 5 - 6: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Casper, WY
  • November 10: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar
  • November 11: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar
  • November 18: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar 
  • December 8 - 9: PD: Scoring & Norming to Improve Writing Instruction - Cheyenne, WY