Assessment Newsletter (Volume 4, Issue 7)

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

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February 19, 2016  |  WDE Assessment Newsletter  |  Volume 4, Issue 7


SAVE THE DATE: PAWS REVIEWS JULY 18-22

Wyoming educators are invited to apply for consideration to participate in PAWS reviews for the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), July 18 to July 21, 2016, in Sheridan, WY.  Educators from around the state will review test questions and field-test data. Teachers will also make suggestions that will guide the development of the state assessments. ETS will provide pre-paid hotel accommodations for those who need them. In addition, participants will be reimbursed for mileage and meals outside those provided during the meetings and receive a stipend. 

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2016 PAWS BLUEPRINTS NOW AVAILABLE

Updated test specification documents have been posted to the WDE PAWS webpage. The blueprints identify the focus, number of items, and the emphasis that domains will receive on the PAWS assessments. The emphases are the same as the 2015 blueprints, they have simply been updated and reformated to reflect the new year.

To access the blueprints, visit the PAWS webpage. Scroll down to the 'Materials By Grade' section and use the toggles to access the blueprint for each  subject and grade-level.


2016 PAWS RELEASED TEST QUESTIONS

The 2016 Released Test Questions (RTQs) for PAWS reading, math, and science are currently available on the website. Please use these newly-released questions along with the older ones as samples of how individual domains may be addressed on the assessment. These resources can be found on the PAWS page. To access the RTQs, scroll down to Materials By Grade; select a grade level; then select the items to be viewed based upon subject and release date.

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ACT ASPIRE GRADES 9 AND 10 - CLARIFICATION

It has recently come to our attention that there is some confusion in the field about whether the new Aspire assessments in grades 9 and 10 are optional and whether the data will be used for school accountability.

As you know, the ACT retired the Explore and Plan assessments, effective at the end of the 2014-15 school year.  In order to minimize design changes to the WAEA high school accountability model, statute from last year's legislative session was developed that essentially substituted Aspire for Explore and Plan beginning in the spring of 2016.  

Given statute, Aspire is a required assessment and it will be used in place of Explore and Plan for school accountability under WAEA.  All 9th and 10th grade students are expected to participate in Aspire (with or without accommodations); students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are expected to participate in the Wy-ALT instead.


ACT ASPIRE TIMELINE

Now that schools have access to the Aspire portal, it is time to do an Infrastructure Trial, verify student data, input students’ accommodations, and finally begin setting up test sessions and groups. Schools should also be checking the portal for transfer approvals. If you are unsure about the transfer process, please review the Transferring Students training module.

The Test Management System (actaspire.tms.pearson.com) contains many tutorials and further information about test administration, or the ACT page on the WDE website (edu.wyoming.gov/educators/state-assesment/act/) for other helpful tools including the following:

 

 

 


ACT ASPIRE TECHNOLOGY READINESS TRAINING RECORDING

Earlier this week WDE and ACT provided a refresher of the Wyoming Aspire Technology Readiness Training webinar for the ACT Aspire assessment. Now that schools have been established and are currently working on the infrastructure trial, this video outlines the next steps for Tech Directors and Building Coordinators. 

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ACT WORKKEYS TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

If you are administering WorkKeys online, there are a number of suggested training webinars available to assist Test Coordinators and Test Administrators with that transition.

ACT WorkKeys Test Administration Training for Online Testing Webinar (Duration: 1 hr.)

Feb. 24 (2 pm), March 11 (1 pm), April 1 (10 am), or April 12 (1 pm)

This webinar is intended for new test coordinators and proctors administering the online version of ACT WorkKeys. 

Register here: WorkKeys Test Administration Training for Online Testing

ACT WorkKeys Groups and Batch Load Training for Online Testing Webinar (Duration: 1 hr.)

March 29 (1 pm), or  April 15 (2 pm)

This training will cover using "Groups" and/or "Batch Loading" as part of the ACT WorkKeys online test administration process. 

Register here: ACT WorkKeys Groups and Batch Load Training for Online Testing


TRANSPORTING SECURE TESTING MATERIALS PROCEDURES

School staff are responsible for ensuring maximum student participation in the statewide assessment system. School staff are also responsible for ensuring test security. As noted in the PAWS Building Coordinator’s Manual, district staff may transport test booklets between buildings (including to a student’s home) with approval from the Wyoming Department of Education to facilitate student participation in exceptional circumstances. In order to grant approval, WDE will need to review and approve the process the district or school will implement while moving the testing materials in question. This process should include:

1. An assessment calendar which identifies the administration dates and testing locations and names of Test Administrators (TAs)

2. The processes that ensure the security of PAWS materials while being distributed, transported, and re-collected/returned

3. Practices that ensure the optimal test environments for students

4. Any accommodations required for addressing needs of students with disabilities 

All secure materials transportation requests must be submitted via email to Deb Lindsey (deb.lindsey@wyo.gov).  


TEST SECURITY WEBINAR POSTED

A copy of the 2016 Test Security Webinar Powerpoint is now posted on the WDE website. The information in the webinar includes: the importance of test security, common test security issues, how WDE detects possible security issues, etc. The recording will be posted next week.

We encourage all involved in assessment to watch this video in advance of the testing windows.

 
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WORD OF THE WEEK

Performance Standards

What students have to do to show that they can use and apply what they have learned. Performance standards indicate how well a student must read, write, calculate, etc. 


IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • February 29: Wy-ALT Testing Window Opens
  • March 7: PAWS Testing Window Opens
  • March 11: Last Day to Return ACCESS for ELLS Materials
  • March 29-30: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment Resource Development Training - Casper 
  • March 30: Last Day to Ship PAWS Materials
  • April 11 - 14: ACT: Test Coordinator Receives Secure Shipment of Testing Materials
  • April 11: ACT Aspire Testing Window Opens
  • April 11: ACT COMPASS Testing Window Opens
  • April 12: District Assessment Development for Elementary Educators - Riverton
  • April 13: District Assessment Development for Secondary Educators - Riverton
  • April 19: ACT Test Administration  
  • April 19: ACT WorkKeys Testing Window Opens
  • April 26: ELA and Social Studies District Assessment Development Training - Green River
  • April 27: Math/Science/STEM/CTE District Assessment Development Training - Green River
  • May 2: ELA and Social Studies District  Assessment Development Training - Sheridan