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 1 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 Mathematics 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 paragraphs. 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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