Assessment Newsletter (Volume 4 Issue 12)

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


March 25, 2016  |  WDE Assessment Newsletter  |  Volume 4, Issue 12


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. 

public comment


In September 2015, the USED released new guidance, which requires states to demonstrate that their assessments are aligned with the full extent of their adopted content standards including speaking and listening. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) will submit a waiver from the requirement to assess speaking and listening for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Public comments may be submitted no later than April 19, 2016 through the following online survey:


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 by April 13.


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.



Reminder PAWS Test Materials must be shipped to ETS for scoring on or before March 30, 2016. If you have any questions or concerns about returning your materials please contact the PAWS Help Desk at 1-877-327-9415

Non-College Reportable Accommodations Ordering

The window to order Non-College Reportable accommodations materials for the ACT opens Monday, March 28, 2016. Non-College Reportable accommodations are for students whose requests for ACT-Approved accommodations are not approved, or who receive services solely for limited English proficiency. There is no approval process for these accommodations. However, students should have current school accommodations plans or exceptions statements. As a reminder: students who test with Non-College Reportable accommodations will not receive a standard ACT score report, and these scores will not be reported to colleges, universities, scholarship agencies or other entities. They can, however, be used for the Wyoming Hathaway Scholarship program. Ordering will take place in the PearsonAccess next system by test coordinators  logging into their account at:  The deadline for ordering is April 8, 2016.


ACT Aspire recently updated the testing times for each Aspire sub-test. Please replace the information previously published with the table below:


The Aspire test window opens for 9th and 10th graders in just two weeks (April 11th).  In order to test your students, you must set up test sessions for them.  According to a review within the ACT Aspire portal, it appears that about half of the districts have not set up their testing sessions.

Not sure how to set up test sessions?  There are many resources to assist.  


1. There are multiple self-paced training videos within the (TMS) Training Management System.

     - Creating , Editing and Viewing Test Sessions  (15 minutes)

     - Adding and Removing Students from Test Sessions (5 minutes)

     - Copying Test Sessions (6 minutes)

2.   Avocet - Test Coordinator Manual (Test Session Setup (CBT))

3. Contact Customer Service - 1-888-802-7502 #8 for Wyoming or email

Remember:  You will not be able to test your students if you haven't set up the test sessions in the ACT Aspire Portal.


The recorded version of the March 24 Test Administration training webinar has been posted to the Wyoming Avocet site.  Please access it, and the previous (Technology Readiness) training, under "T", and "Training", then "Training Recordings." You may also access it using the link below.

aspire training videoAssessment Watch Video Button


The Infrastructure Trial is a valuable tool for testing your infrastructure for the Aspire assessment. This tool allows schools to set up fictitious tests and run the TestNav 8 system in a trial setting.  Access to the Infrastructure Trail can be found by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to the ACT Aspire Portal
  2. Click on arrow next to the person icon at the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select Edit profile
  4. Under Profile Details switch your tenant from the Default (Wyoming) to Infrastructure Trial.

If you do not have this option then please use the following form to gain access to this system: Infrastructure trial signup

WDE strongly recommends use of this tool by all districts prior to April 11. 


As we approach ACT Aspire administration, we would like to highlight the some videos from the ACT Aspire Training Management System that focus on the administration of this assessment. These videos are small tutorials running no more that 16 minutes apiece focusing on the ins and outs of starting, monitoring, troubleshooting, and administration functions for this assessment.


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. The next session will take place March 30 at 3:30 pm. Please dial 307-439-4002 to access the Q & A sessions. 


Under WAEA, high schools are rated on their performance on two major indicators – Academic Performance and Overall Readiness.  The latter includes a component called Tested Readiness. Tested readiness has been based upon index scores derived from student composite scores on the ACT Explore test in grade 9, the ACT Plan test in grade 10 and the ACT test in grade 11. Table 10 below is from the 2015 Implementation Manual. Table 10 shows how index points were assigned to schools based upon student performance on the ACT tests.

Since the ACT Explore and Plan tests are no longer available, they were replaced by grade specific version of the ACT Aspire tests for the spring 2016. The process of identifying index score ranges on the grade 9 Aspire test and grade 10 Aspires will be as follows:

  • The percentage of Wyoming students within each score range on the 2015 Explore test and the 2015 Plan test will be computed.
  • Once the 2016 Aspire test results are available for Wyoming students, score ranges will be computed such that the percentage of students within each score range matches the 2015 percentages as closely as possible.
  • A new Tested Readiness Score Ranges and Index Point Values table will be constructed to reflect the identified score ranges. This table will be included in the 2016 Implementation Manual.   


A big thank you to all of the Principals, Building Coordinators, and teachers who welcomed the WDE Assessment Team into their schools during the 2016 PAWS Administration. We appreciate the time you took to meet with us during the busy assessment window. The feedback you provided was invaluable.

highlighted word


Standard Error of Measurement

A measure of the amount of error to be expected in a score from a particular test. The smaller the standard error of measurement, the greater the accuracy of the test score. The standard error of measurement is the standard deviation of a theoretical distribution of a set of variations, each of which is the difference between the obtained score and true score. Thus, if a standard error of measurement is 5, the chances are two to one that an obtained score lies within five units of the true score.


  • March 29: WorkKeys Webinar for Groups and Batch Load for Online Testing
  • March 29-30: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment Resource Development Training - Casper 
  • March 28: ACT Non-College Reportable Accommodations Ordering Window Opens
  • March 30: Last Day to Ship PAWS Materials
  • March 30: ACT Aspire Q & A
  • April 1: Last Day to Ship Wy-ALT Materials
  • April 1: WorkKeys Webinar for Test Administration for Online Testing
  • 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 12: WorkKeys Webinar for Test Administration for Online Testing
  • April 13: District Assessment Development Training for Secondary Educators - Riverton
  • April 15: WorkKeys Webinar for Groups and Batch Load for Online Testing
  • 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