FAQs Regarding Assessments 1. What curriculum will be tested in 2012-13 and in what format (online or paper)? In 2012-13 the assessment will be aligned to the Common Core and the NC Essential Standards, which will be the new NC Standard Course of Study. Students will be taught and assessed on the same set of standards. 2. What content will be included in the English II assessment beginning in 2012-13 (will this replace the English I assessment and does it include content from both courses)? The English II assessment will cover reading for literature, reading for information, writing and language. The test specifications for all English language arts assessments can be found on the website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/assessment/ela.pdf. Beginning in 2012- 13, there will not be an English I End-of-Course assessment. 3. How will you ensure that online testing for grades 3-5 is developmentally appropriate? Research and analysis of field test data will ensure that online testing is developmentally appropriate. 4. How will the constructed response items be scored? Constructed response items will be scored using a combination of human and artificial intelligence scoring. Artificial intelligence scoring can be used for spelling and grammar checks. 5. How will the inclusion of new item types, like constructed response, affect scoring? Will that change the testing windows for high school so that there is enough time to get the scores back since the test counts as 25% of the final student grade? Testing windows will be adjusted to reflect the delayed scoring due to the inclusion of constructed response items in the English II assessment. 6. Has there been any discussion around decreasing the amount of time that it takes for students to complete the assessments? Yes. All new assessments will have fewer items than previous editions of the tests. The final number of items per assessment is dependent upon field test analyses and test reliability. 7. How will schools that do not have adequate equipment/devices deliver their assessments online? Though many of the new assessments were designed for online administrations, all assessments will be available in a paper/pencil version for 2012-13. 8. How will the state address the issue of culturally biased testing items? Will educators be permitted to submit sample test items? North Carolina educators write all items used on the assessments. All items are reviewed by teachers, content experts, students with disabilities experts and limited English proficiency experts for bias and sensitivity, issues. 9. Many users have experienced problems within the current online testing system. How will these issues be addressed before the roll-out of more online assessments? The capacity of the online assessment system has been increased dramatically for 2012-13.This should prevent many of the problems that have been experienced in the past assessment delivery. Additionally, system outages will be alerted through a new email emergency alert system which will minimize impact on students on test day.. 10. Will the state be providing benchmark assessments aligned to the Common Core and NC Essential Standards? Resources for building and delivering benchmarks assessments will be made available in the Instructional Improvement System (IIS). But the state will not provide any statewide benchmark assessments. 11. How will the new EXTEND2 tests be designed and delivered to students? EXTEND2 assessments were designed for online delivery and will be available for online administration in 2012-13 (as with all other assessments there will be a paper/pencil version available as well). In 2014-15, when we transition to Smarter Balanced assessments, we will no longer have EXTEND2 assessments. 12. When will there be released or sample items available of the new assessments (for 2012-13)? Sample items for the EOCs will be available late fall of 2012 and sample items for EOGs will be available in early spring 2013. 13. For the Smarter Balanced assessments, how will the state to state comparisons work for the computer adaptive testing? The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is working very closely with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to ensure that state to state comparisons will be available between the different assessments and the different states. Reporting systems are currently under development. Please check the Smarter Balanced website for the latest news and updates (www.smarterbalanced.org).
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