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12/15/2011 8:15:00 AM
Assessment and Accountability Update - December 15, 2011
Assessment & Accountability Update

The Assessment & Accountability Update for December 15, 2011 is now available.

You can access this and past issues of the Assessment & Accountability Update on the ODE website.


In This Issue:
  • OAKS Online Scheduled Down Time and Deployment of Additional Opportunities
  • Test Item Security Reminder
  • Retesting of 3rd – 8th Graders restricted beginning January 2012
  • Revising an OAKS Writing assessment for use as an Essential Skills local performance assessment (work sample)
  • Extending the ELPA Adaptive Algorithm to the Speaking Domain – Update
  • ELPA Test Specifications and Blueprints Updated
  • Expect Your Winter Writing Test Shipment January 2nd to 4th
  • Presentation on the OAKS Adaptive Algorithm via WebEx
  • Development of the Common Assessment for 2014-2015
  • The final draft version of the Smarter Balanced math content specifications has been released for public review
  • 2011-2013 Social Sciences OAKS Assesses 2001 Content Standards
  • State Board Adopts Revised Report Card Distribution Rules
  • OAKS Online Tests Administered To Date

Next Assessment and Accountability Update

The next Assessment and Accountability Update will be published on Thursday, January 5, 2012.


OAKS Online Scheduled Down Time and Deployment of Additional Opportunities

  • The OAKS Test Delivery System will be down December 16, 2011 – January 2, 2012:
    The OAKS Test Delivery System (TDS) will be offline for scheduled maintenance from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 16 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 2. During this time, the Training Site, TIDE, and the Online Reporting System will remain available for authorized users.

  • Changes to OAKS Test Delivery System to Deploy Wednesday, January 11, 2012:
    Second and third student opportunities become available: students who took their first test opportunity in OAKS Online between November 8, 2011 and January 10, 2012 will be able to access their remaining test opportunities at the district’s discretion. ODE provides a total of three test opportunities per student for OAKS Reading, Math, and Science and a total of two test opportunities per student for OAKS Social Sciences.

  • The Online Writing and ELPA test windows open on Wednesday, January 11. For 2011-12, the following changes have been made.


  • Online Writing (Grade 11 only):
    • Copy and Paste editing tools allows students to copy and paste text using either buttons or keyboard navigation.

    • Bilingual spell-check allows students to spell-check their work in either English or Spanish.
    English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA):
    • ELPA will be one single test divided into two segments with the first segment being the ELPA “core” of reading, writing and listening, and the second segment being speaking.
    • The ELPA speaking segment will be semi-adaptive this year. See article below and at the ELPA website at http://www.ode.state.or.us/go/elpa


Test Item Security Reminder

Recently, ODE has received reports of test administrators reviewing secure test items during test administration. It is a violation of test security for test administrators to review or discuss the content of test items, stimuli, reading passages, or writing prompts for any reason and must be reported to ODE as a test impropriety. As described on p. 16 of the 2011-12 Test Administration Manual, if a student is concerned about an item, test administrators may direct the student to enter the concern through the student comments tool of the student interface. However, test administrators must not initiate comments on test items. ODE has provided student directions that a test administrator can read aloud to a student who has a concern about a test item. These directions appear on p. B-10 of the 2011-12 Test Administration Manual.

Protecting the security of our test items is vital as the U.S. Department of Education requires each state to maintain a secure assessment system to ensure the validity of state accountability data. In addition to compromising the validity of Oregon’s assessment data, the loss of an item due to a breach of security is costly, devalues the work of Oregon teachers who invest their time in the development of Oregon’s test items, and detracts from students’ future access to appropriate test items.


Retesting of 3rd – 8th Graders restricted beginning January 2012

Senate Bill 801 – which prompted ODE to develop an Assessment Best Practices Guide -- also restricts OAKS Online retesting of 3rd – 8th graders beginning in January. Students in grades 3 – 8 who have already met or exceeded the state achievement standard cannot be retested unless a parent provides permission.

ODE will post an updated draft Best Practices Guide as well an update to the Test Administration Manual by Monday, December 19, 2011, to http://www.ode.state.or.us/go/tam. The State Board of Education is expected to adopt the Assessment Best Practices Guide in January 2012. ODE will provide sample letters that districts may use to notify parents:

  • Using passive language such that the parent is assumed to consent to re-testing (this can be used from January to June 2012), or

  • Using explicit language such that the parent must specifically consent to any re-test once their student has met or exceeded the standard (districts may use this letter beginning in January 2012; However, in the 2012-2013 and beyond school years schools must have explicit parent permission before retesting the student).



Revising an OAKS Writing assessment for use as an Essential Skills local performance assessment (work sample)

ODE has recently received several questions from the field regarding the potential for high school students who did not meet the standard on an OAKS Writing assessment to revise their test for use as one of the three required writing work samples to demonstrate proficiency in the Essential Skill of Writing. ODE has determined that allowing students to revise their non-meeting OAKS Writing assessment as a work sample is permissible so long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Districts must adhere to all test security requirements and protocol, as described in Part IV of the Test Administration Manual (TAM):

  2. http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/teachlearn/testing/admin/2011-12-tam.pdf PDF
  3. Districts are prohibited from maintaining copies of the secure writing prompts for any purpose, as described in Appendix G of the TAM (page G-11):

  4. http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/teachlearn/testing/admin/2011-12_appendix-g.pdf PDF
  5. Districts that offer revision opportunities to OAKS Writing assessment student responses as work samples must follow all revision guidelines as described in Appendix M of the TAM (page M-8, link below). Teachers may only provide feedback via the official state scoring guide and/or the optional feedback form. Except for the use of these forms, no teacher feedback is permitted for work samples applied toward the Essential Skills graduation requirement. Teachers may not discuss the students’ work with them, make any written or oral comments, or point out any specific errors or places in the work sample that need attention. Absolutely no coaching or prompting is allowed, since it’s critical that the work sample be representative of independent student work.

  6. http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/teachlearn/testing/admin/2011-12_appendix-m.pdf PDF
  7. OAKS Writing assessments that are revised as work samples may only count for one of the three required writing samples used as evidence to meet the Essential Skills graduation requirements.

  8. OAKS Writing assessments that are revised as work samples may not be used to meet the annual local performance assessment (“opportunity-to-learn”) requirement.

Questions should be directed to Derek Brown (derek.brown@state.or.us eMail) at 503-947-5841.


Extending the ELPA Adaptive Algorithm to the Speaking Domain – Update:

As described in the November 17th Assessment and Accountability Update, ODE has been following up on stakeholder feedback concerning the application of the adaptive algorithm for the speaking segment for 2011-12. Over the past several weeks, ODE has worked with its vendor, American Institutes for Research (AIR) and members of the ELPA Content Panel and the Assessment Advisory Panel, to further analyze the ELPA speaking item pool, the use of the adaptive algorithm, and overall approach to delivering ELPA Speaking items to students. This analysis was precipitated by concern stakeholders raised that for those students who may be more proficient in speaking than in the other domains; they advised ODE to look into whether the selection of speaking items on such a student’s performance in the other domains might artificially lower the difficulty of the speaking items presented to the student and therefore prevent the student from accurately demonstrating proficiency in speaking.

In 2011-2012, the speaking segment will be delivered to students after completing the “core” segment of listening, reading, and writing. Based on results of analyses a semi-adaptive approach is being taken. The speaking items delivered to a student will be derived from both 1) a group of items on which the student may demonstrate advanced proficiency and 2) items selected based on the scale score the student achieved on the “core” segment of the ELPA.

Therefore, ODE has revised the ELPA Speaking test blueprint to ensure that each student receives at least one speaking item with a sufficiently high scale value so that each student has the opportunity to demonstrate advanced speaking skills regardless of their performance on the other domains. The rubrics for the short speaking response (SSR) and the speaking extended response (SER) items are multiple point rubrics, so that students at all proficiency levels have the opportunity to earn points on the item. Even students at the beginning level have the opportunity to score points because of these multi-point rubrics while advanced speakers can score maximum points.


ELPA Test Specifications and Blueprints Updated:

During the review of the ELPA speaking items for the use with the semi-adaptive algorithm, an adjustment was made to the speaking segment at grade band 2-3. During 2011-12, students in 2nd and 3rd grade will be presented with four Elicited Imitation items, one Speaking Short Response item, and one Speaking Extended Response item. The ELPA test specifications and blueprint documents have been updated to reflect this change, and appear on the ODE website at http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=496.


Expect Your Winter Writing Test Shipment January 2nd to 4th:

The 2012 Winter Writing test window opens on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Districts administering the paper format of the Winter Writing test will receive their shipment of secure test materials between Monday, January 2, 2012 and Wednesday, January 4, 2012. This shipment will include both English and Spanish tests. Districts that ordered Braille Writing tests will receive a separate shipment including the Braille version of the test. Districts must ensure that all secure test materials are stored in a secure area in accordance with Part IV – Test Security of the 2012-12 Test Administration Manual. Remember to keep all boxes in which your shipment arrives for use in returning completed Writing tests for scoring.

Districts will receive a return kit in a separate shipment by Thursday, February 9, 2012. This return kit will include return mailing labels, a return checklist, and an overage certification form. Districts submitting non-precoded “overage” booklets for scoring must sign this form and include it with their shipment certifying that overage booklets were only used to test eligible Grade 11 students who had not previously taken and passed the High School Writing test.

Winter Writing is the first of two testing windows for eligible Grade 11 students to take the state writing assessment. The second window opens Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Please note that students may only take the test once and must choose to take the assessment either in the paper or online format during ONE of the two windows. For more information about the requirements for the OAKS Writing Assessment, please see Appendix G of the Test Administration Manual.


Presentation on the OAKS Adaptive Algorithm via WebEx:

On Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 ODE and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will co-host a WebEx from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. to provide a presentation on how the OAKS Online and ELPA adaptive algorithms work. If you would like to participate in this WebEx, please e-mail Cari White at cari.white@state.or.us eMail.

Development of the Common Assessment for 2014-2015

Work is focused on procurement of services from vendors through Requests for Proposals. The RFP for the Item Authoring and Item Pool (RFP 07) application has been released to vendors—Proposals are due Wednesday, January 18. The Consortium is seeking to acquire and implement an application that can support item authoring and development activities as well as store and retrieve the pool of items available for use by the summative and interim assessment system. The RFP is available at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/Jobs-Contracts.aspx.

The summative assessment item specifications kick-off meeting was held December 1–3—Work on the contract for RFP-04 Item Specifications began last week with the kick-off meeting in Phoenix, hosted by the contractors, Measured Progress and ETS. Key staff from these companies and co-chairs and work group members from Item Development, Performance Tasks, and Accessibility and Accommodations participated in the three-day meeting where the latest drafts of the ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Content Specifications claims and targets were presented, which will define the evidence needed to inform the development of item specifications. Kathleen Vanderwall was requested to serve as monitor for the ensuing language arts work.

Stakeholder Research—Hart Research is identifying the needs of states as they transition to the Common Core State Standards and prepare to implement an aligned assessment system. In the next few weeks, Hart Research will be conducting an online survey in member states. Participants will be contacted via email. These insights will be extremely helpful as we develop resources and tools to help states communicate about our collective efforts.

Answering Open Questions: Each week SBAC address a question on the minds of Consortium members. Send your questions to sbac@wested.org eMail. How will SMARTER Balanced ensure comparability of scores with PARCC? The U.S. Department of Education grant requires that scores on the assessments be comparable within each consortium, but is silent on comparability across consortia. Nevertheless, both PARCC and SMARTER Balanced are committed to working together to ensure that proficiency standards and data from the respective assessment systems will be comparable and portable across the grades. However, comparability also raises a host of both technical and policy issues, such as whether comparability is at the total score level, or also at the sub-score level. To address these issues, both consortia will be forming a joint Technical Advisory Committee, which will include both technical and policy experts, to study cross-consortia comparability. SBAC’s lead psychometrician, Marty McCall, will be closely involved with this work, in partnership with Governing States and Chiefs.


The final draft version of the Smarter Balanced math content specifications has been released for public review.

As stated by SBAC, this draft reflects revisions based on feedback from more than 200 individuals and organizations. Once finalized, the content specifications for mathematics and ELA/literacy will serve as the basis for the SMARTER Balanced system of summative and interim assessments and formative assessment support for teachers. The Mathematics Content Specifications materials are available at: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/Resources.aspx Feedback will be used to create the final content specification documents which should be released in early 2012. Input can be submitted in one of two ways:
  • Send directly to SBAC. Stakeholders have until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 to submit feedback on this final review of the Mathematics Content Specifications.
  • In addition to individual and group feedback submitted directly to SBAC, ODE specialists (Mark Freed and James Leigh) will coordinate feedback on behalf of the State. As an SBAC governing state, ODE has several staff serving on SBAC work groups [Accommodations (Dianna Carrizales-Engelmann), Item Development (Kathleen Vanderwall), Reporting (Mark Freed) and Research (Steve Slater)] who will also use this level of feedback in their roles. Individuals and groups who want to provide input to ODE’s specialists coordinating Oregon’s response to SBAC, should email a PDF of their completed survey form to Carla Martinez (carla.martinez@state.or.us eMail) by Wednesday, December 28, 2011. ODE will accept either your handwritten feedback or a print of the feedback submitted through the SBAC survey. When submitting feedback, please include a brief description of the role and region represented by the group. If you send your input to the state, please be sure to also submit your input directly to SBAC (below).

2011-2013 Social Sciences OAKS Assesses 2001 Content Standards

Oregon’s new Social Sciences content standards are organized under six strands: History, Geography, Civics and Government, Economics, Financial Literacy, and Social Science Analysis at each grade in K-8 and for high school. The core and grade-level content standards reference both content and skills. These new Social Sciences Standards can be accessed at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/subjects/socialscience/standards/adoptedsocialsciencesstandards8-2011.pdf PDF

Similar to mathematics and science, these new social sciences content standards are organized by both:
  • The core standards describing the Social Sciences knowledge and skills expected of an Oregon high school graduate.

  • The grade-level content standards describing developmental knowledge and skills that will lead to successful acquisition of the knowledge and skills in the core standards.
Both the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Social Sciences OAKS will assess the 2001 Social Sciences Standards.


State Board Adopts Revised Report Card Distribution Rules

During the last legislative session the Oregon legislature amended ORS 329.105 relating to school and district report cards. These amendments included a revision in the school and district report card distribution requirements. In response, the State Board of Education adopted at its December meeting a change to OAR 581-022-1060 that provides more options for school and district report card distribution. The new distribution rules are as follows.

    By January 15 of each year, school districts shall make a copy of the state provided school and school district performance report available to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of each child enrolled in a public school in the school district by doing one or more of the following:

      (a) Mailing a copy;

      (b) Electronically sending a copy; or

      (c) Providing a link to a state or district web site containing the reports and also making copies available in local schools, libraries, parents centers, community centers, or other public locations easily accessible to parents and others.



OAKS Online Tests Administered To Date

As of December 12, 2011 the following number of tests have been started and reported by subject:

  Math Reading Science Social Sciences Total
Started 48,505 84,753 15,522 703 149,483
Reported 42,747 74,255 14,530 661 132,193

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