Your Guide to the HSPA High School Proficiency Assessment This by guy26


									                     Your Guide to the HSPA
                     High School Proficiency Assessment 2005
This answers the most frequently asked questions        3. In what other ways are the HSPA test
about the eleventh-grade graduation test, the High         results used?
School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), and
provides information about its importance to your       Local school districts use the results to determine
child's education. This information explains what the   the appropriateness and strength of the local
HSPA measures, why the assessment is given, how         curriculum and to develop remedial programs to
the results are reported, and why it is important for   help students improve their knowledge and skills.
your child to do well on the assessment.                The results are also used to satisfy federal
                                                        requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act
Questions and Answers                                   (NCLB).

1. What is the HSPA?                                    4. Are children classified as special
                                                            education required to take the HSPA?
The HSPA is a state test given to students in the
eleventh grade to measure whether they have gained      The HSPA is designed to give your child's high
the knowledge and skills identified in the Core         school information about how well all students have
Curriculum Content Standards. These standards,          mastered the Core Curriculum Content Standards,
adopted by the State Board of Education, identify       including students with educational disabilities.
what students should know and be able to do at the      Special education students will be working toward
end of various benchmark years. The HSPA replaces       achieving the standards at levels appropriate for
the Grade 11 High School Proficiency Test               them and with any accommodations or
(HSPT11), which was administered from 1993 to           modifications        they may      need.     These
2001. The HSPA will help determine whether your         accommodations are defined in their Individualized
child is making satisfactory progress toward            Education Programs (IEPs). The accommodations
mastering the skills he or she will need to graduate    or modifications should be the same as those used
from high school. Students who enter the eleventh       by these students in other classroom testing, and
grade on or after September 1, 2001, must pass the      may include Braille, extended testing time, or a
HSPA' as a graduation requirement. The HSPA             different testing site.
measures eleventh-grade achievement of the Core
Curriculum Content Standards. In March 2005, all        Every student with disabilities must take each
first-time eleventh-grade students will take the        content area of the HSPA unless exempted by the
HSPA and receive test scores in Mathematics and         IEP because the disability is so severe that the
Language Arts Literacy.                                 student has not been instructed in the knowledge
                                                        and skills tested and cannot complete any of the
2. Why is my child required to pass the                 item types on the test. Parents and guardians of
   HSPA?                                                children with disabilities should discuss participation
                                                        in the HSPA, and any necessary accommodations, at
In 1988, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a      the child's IEP meeting.
law (18A: 7C-6.2) that requires all students who
graduate from a public high school in New Jersey to     While most special education students will
demonstrate mastery of skills ". . . needed to          participate in the HSPA testing, there is a small
function politically, economically, and socially in a   percentage of students with the most severe
democratic society." These skills are defined in the    disabilities for whom some of the content standards
Core Curriculum Content Standards in the areas of       are not appropriate. The New Jersey Department of
Mathematics, Language Arts Literacy, and Science.       Education has identified those standards that are
                                                        appropriate for students with severe disabilities. The
                                                        department recently developed a different kind of
                                                        process to measure

the achievements of special education students who                    OCTOBER 2005
are exempt from taking the HSPA. The new
assessment, the Alternate Proficiency Assessment
                                                                    Regular Test Dates
(APA), was implemented for the first time in                      October 4, 5, and 6, 2005
November 2001. The portfolio assessment will                       Make-up Test Dates
document student performance in Mathematics and
Language Arts Literacy.                                          October 11, 12, and 13, 2005
                                                         7.   What does the HSPA measure?
5.   Must students identified as limited
     English proficient (LEP) take the HSPA?             The 2005 HSPA measures achievement of
                                                         eleventh-grade knowledge and skills in the areas of
Yes. All limited English proficient (LEP) students       Mathematics and Language Arts Literacy as
must take each content area of the HSPA. LEP             described in the Core Curriculum Content
students are provided accommodations and                 Standards.
modifications during testing, which can include a
translation dictionary, translation of the test
directions, extended testing time, or a small group
testing environment. Parents and guardians should
                                                         The Mathematics Section will be administered on
meet with the school bilingual/ESL coordinator to
                                                         March 1, 2005. This section requires students to
discuss appropriate testing accommodations and
                                                         solve problems of basic mathematics, algebra, and
modifications for LEP students.
                                                         geometry. The Mathematics Section contains two
6. When is the HSPA given?
                                                         types of questions. Most questions are multiple
                                                         choice; students select the correct answer from
The HSPA is administered to all first-time eleventh-     four choices. Other questions are open-ended and
grade students in March of the eleventh grade. The       are scored by highly trained raters. Students are
March 2005 test will be administered over a three-       required to write their answers or to explain or
day period. Your child will spend approximately two      illustrate how they solve mathematical problems.
and one-half hours each day taking the HSPA.             The Mathematics Section tests student knowledge
Students who do not pass all sections of the test will   of the following skills:
be able to retest in October, and again in March and
                                                         Number and Numerical Operations
October of subsequent years, if necessary. Students
must retake only those sections not yet passed. In       Geometry and Measurement
March 2005, an additional day, March 4, will be used
to field test items for use on the Science Section       Patterns and Algebra
which will be administered for the first time in         Data Analysis, Probability, Statistics, and
March 2006.                                                Discrete Mathematics

     HSPA TEST SCHEDULE FOR 2005                         Language Arts Literacy
              March 2005                                 On March 2 and 3, 2005, students will take the
           Regular Test Dates                            Language Arts Literacy Section of the test. The
         March 1, 2, and 3, 2005                         reading component requires students to read
 Make-up Test Dates March 8, 9, and 10, 2005             passages and to answer related questions about
                                                         each passage. Most of the test questions are
              Field Test Date                            multiple-choice; however, some questions require
                 March 4, 2005                           students to provide written responses using their
                                                         own words, usually in the form of written
            t n r e r d o s oe-ended
            i       e fr
These quesosa r e e t a “pn
questions and are scored by highly trained raters.
Reading passages test comprehension, both literal
and inferential. Literal comprehension is the
ability to understand the actual meaning of
written words. Inferential comprehension is the
ability to use careful reasoning to extend
understanding of the word themselves. Questions
are based on those skills that critical readers use
to understand, analyze, and evaluate text.

The writing component requires students to
respond to two writing prompts. One prompt
presents a photograph and requires students to
create a story based on features or elements of the
photo. The other prompt provides a topic and
requires students to write a persuasive essay
based on that topic. These two tasks measure
 or h ds b i o osut en g n
          l        ly
yu ci ’ ait t cnt c m ai i       r          n
sustained written responses.

The writing prompts used on the HSPA were
carefully screened and pretested to assure that
they are fair and interesting and that they will not
offend students. Both teachers and parents
participated in the selection of these prompts.

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