Assessment Newsletter (Volume 4 Issue 10)

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


March 11, 2016  |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 4, Issue 10


Below please find the final 2016-17 state assessment calendar.  Note that it will be a “NAEP year,” so you can expect increased communications from Will Donkersgoed in the fall.  At the time of this writing, HEA 55 is awaiting final signature.



The WDE684 Data Collection will be open from March 17 to April 1, 2016. This collection is submitted through the State Report Manager on the Wyoming Integrated Statewide Education (WISE) Data System. The final training session conducted via WebEx for WISE coordinators.


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. 




We are looking for 3 teachers to participate in item review for the Wyoming Alternate Assessment. Participants must have at least 2 years of experience working with students with significant cognitive disabilities and must have administered the Wy-ALT this year. The review will take place in Columbus, Ohio on June 7. WDE will reimburse participants for travel, food, and lodging expenses.

Please submit letters of interest to


The Data Entry Interface (DEI) is now accessible through the Wyoming Alternate Assessment Portal. The Data Entry Interface User Guide, Data Entry Interface FAQ, and a step-by-step video tutorial have been posted to the portal. All student scores must be entered into the Data Entry Interface (DEI) by 11:59pm, Friday March 25. In order for students to receive a score report, scores must be entered in the DEI. 

Score reports as well as participation can be viewed in the Online Reporting System (ORS) using the same login information for TIDE and DEI. These reports can be used to check in with TAs and SSs who may not have administered the test or entered data yet.

Two video tutorialswalking through the major functions of the site regarding the ORS, have been recorded and posted. They are formatted as MP4 videos. For more instructions on using the ORS, consult the ORS User Guide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Wy-ALT Help Desk at 888-897-8024 or


Certain data entry errors may require that a test be reset in the DEI – for example, a TA or SS submits scores for the wrong student, or a TA/SS submits scores for the wrong test (science scores in math test). A reset clears the previous test submission and allows the TA/SS to restart data entry.


Incidents may occur during testing that can affect a student’s scores and require an invalidation. Possible reasons for invalidation include administration of the wrong grade band test or errors in administration procedures and scoring. A test invalidation permanently invalidates the student’s score and cannot be reversed.


Requests for resets and invalidations must be submitted by the Building Coordinator through TIDE. Directions are in the TIDE User Guide beginning on page 36. These requests will be reviewed by WDE and must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 25.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Wy-ALT Help Desk at 888-897-8024 or


Test materials must be shipped back to the American Institutes for Research by April 1. Ensure that all test booklets, printed manipulatives, reading passage booklets, optional scoring worksheets (if used), and any other TA-provided printed manipulatives are packaged for return. Test Administrators: please return these materials to the Building Coordinator. You may keep the physical manipulatives.

Building Coordinators then affix the provided UPS return shipment label to the top of each box of materials to be returned. If your school has a regularly scheduled UPS pickup, you may send your packaged Wy-ALT materials with this regular pickup. If you do not have a regular UPS pickup, please contact the Wy-ALT Help Desk at 888-897-8024 or Give the agent your name, school, address, and tracking numbers, as well as the most convenient time and date for pickup. Please schedule your pickup before April 1.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Wy-ALT Help Desk at 888-897-8024 or


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.)

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


The ACT Aspire testing window is quickly approaching. The WDE would like to offer the opportunity for testing coordinators, technology coordinators, and test proctors to ask questions about the Aspire assessment. A regular Q & A session will be scheduled weekly starting on Wednesday March 8 at 3:30 pm and every Wednesday thereafter until the end of the testing window.  March 23 is excluded as there will be an Test Administration training event at 3:00 pm that day. Please dial 307-439-4002 to access the Q & A sessions. 


On March 23 at 3 pm, ACT Aspire will be providing a refresher webinar for Aspire Test Administration. Please attend this session if you have any questions concerning ACT Aspire test administration.



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.


Now that schools have access to the Aspire portal, it is time to do an Infrastructure Trial, verify student data, input student 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 ( contains many tutorials and further information about test administration, or the ACT page on the WDE website ( for other helpful tools including the following:

highlighted word


Discrimination Parameter

The property that indicates how accurately an item distinguishes between examinees of high ability and those of low ability on the trait being measured. An item that can be answered equally well by examinees of low and high ability does not discriminate well and does not give any information about relative levels of performance.


  • March 16: ACT Aspire Q & A
  • March 23: ACT Aspire Refresher Webinar for Test Administration
  • March 25: PAWS and Wy-ALT Windows Close
  • March 29-30: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment Resource Development Training - Casper 
  • March 30: Last Day to Ship PAWS Materials
  • March 30: ACT Aspire Q & A
  • April 1: Last Day to Ship Wy-ALT 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 Training for Elementary Educators - Riverton
  • April 13: District Assessment Development Training 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