Rationale: In the absence of state testing for the 2019-2020 school year, and with thoughts toward the next school year, there will no doubt be questions about how teachers can plan for their incoming students without test scores. Some may be inclined to administer a released state test near the start of the next school year in an attempt to get some familiar data points for their students.
We at Eduphoria do not advise this practice. The act of administering a full state-released test is no small thing. The weight of this sort of testing at the start of the new school year could consequentially invalidate the results.
As an alternative, we propose that teachers administer summative performance level ratings for their students at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
For more information on this, please check out the following resources:
- YouTube Video: Ed Cunningham of Eduphoria and John Fessenden of lead4ward discuss the absence of state testing for the 2019-2020 school year, and provide direction for how teachers can plan for incoming students without test scores for the next school year.
- lead4ward Accountability Connect with John Fessenden
We advise that a district-level test author create one test and then copy it over and over for each grade level and subject that will be administering the End-of-Year Summary Ratings. These instructions detail how to set up Performance Levels and a single test item to assign rubric-style levels to each student. For more information about creating and administering tests in Aware, please visit the Aware Test Authoring section.
Also, please note that every district that uses Aware is able to set locally-determined performance level names for up to five performance levels. These instructions show the common practice of using three performance levels that mirror Texas STAAR performance levels. However, any performance level names will work in a similar way. For more information on setting district performance level names, visit this article.
- Create a new blank test and set up the General Settings as appropriate.
- Set the Performance Level Values so that 50%, 75%, and 100% are the test's cut scores. (In this image, the first two Performance Levels, defined by the district, are not being used.)
- In the Questions tab of the new test, create a single new item by clicking on the +.
- Make the item a Constructed Response item with a Scoring Range of 1-4.
- The Item Weight should remain as 1.
- This item does not need any content. However, in the section that says "Enter Scoring Guide" you may create a rubric table for teachers to help them score their students. This screenshot uses a copied image of the Grade 8 Math rubric created by lead4ward.
- In the Administration tab of the test, set the appropriate Students settings.
- You must use the "students in selected courses" option so that the 2019-2020 instructor can score each student.
- This will also make sure that the 2019-2020 instructor is associated with the test data for next school year.
- In the Administration tab of the test, set an appropriate testing window for teachers to be able to score their students.
- Activate the test.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Under the Collection Administration settings, click the button to Print Answer Documents. You will get a large pdf for every student that will be scored. You do not need to save or print this file. (Technical note: This step generates test entries in the database for each student.)
How this test works:
Teachers will use the "Enter Answers" option for administering tests in Aware to score each student one at a time.
The single Constructed Response item has a possible score range of 1-4.
- 1 = Did Not Meet Grade Level
- 2 = Approaches Grade Level
- 3 = Meets Grade Level
- 4 = Masters Grade Level
Remember that we set the Approaches performance level cut score as 50%. A student who is scored with a 2 will have a percent score of 50% and therefore earn the performance level "Approaches Grade Level."
We DO NOT recommend that teachers try to "predict" how a student might have done on the state test this school year.
We DO suggest that the teacher look at available data from the majority of the school year and consider the implications for students' readiness for the next school year. To what degree might a student need sustained or casual intervention? To what degree is the student an independent learner and ready for potential enrichment tasks?
Teachers are the single most qualified individuals to draw valid conclusions about student learning and determine needs for instruction, intervention, and enrichment. As John Fessenden from lead4ward has said, this activity is a "gift" from this year's teacher to the next.