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Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers. Navigating the Landscape of the Smarter Balanced Field Test with ALL Students . June 25, 2014 10:15 – 11:45 am NCSA – Next Generation Assessment Systems . Trail Blazers. Idaho - Angela Hemingway Montana – Judy Snow South Dakota – Jan Martin . Session Overview .

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Trail Blazers

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  1. Trail Blazers Navigating the Landscape of the Smarter Balanced Field Test with ALL Students June 25, 2014 10:15 – 11:45 am NCSA – Next Generation Assessment Systems

  2. Trail Blazers Idaho - Angela Hemingway Montana – Judy Snow South Dakota – Jan Martin

  3. Session Overview • Each state will describe the journey with details addressing such topics as: • Decisions as to why all students in the field test • Balancing new assessments with existing systems • Political landscape • Communication strategies across all stakeholders There will be time for questions and discussion at the end of the session.

  4. Idaho’s Journey Angela Hemingway Director, Assessment and Accountability

  5. Brief Overview of Statewide Assessments in Idaho Direct Writing & Direct Math End Idaho adopts standards in core subjects Second version of ISAT (DRC) Idaho Core Standards Implemented & Smarter Field Test First version of ISAT (NWEA) Idaho joins Smarter 2016 Idaho revises standards in core subject areas Idaho adopts higher standards in Math & ELA Online statewide testing begins Smarter Pilot Test Smarter Operational Test, Digital Library, & Interim Assessments 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014

  6. Why test ALL students? • New standards were to be implemented SY13-14 • Some push back from teachers who were concerned that accountability was tied to the “old tests” and “old standards” • Some were not going to teach the new standards if they were going to be held accountable to the old standards • US DOE flexibility allowed for a chance to avoid double-testing • Chance to test our infrastructure • Allow for students, teachers and administrators to experience a “dress rehearsal” before the 2015 operational assessments

  7. Testing All Students – Logistics and Technologies • All students in Grade 3-8 and 11 took both the math and ELA non-PT and PT • Over 164,000 students participated with an 88% completion rate • Grade 9 and 10 became optional due to test length (~70% of districts chose to test 9 and 10)

  8. What were the students’ perceptions? • Nearly 10,000 students participated in the statewide survey • Surveys were developed by grade band • Paper and electronic versions were made available to all schools

  9. What did you think about the questions on the test you took today?

  10. What did you think about navigating the test you took today?

  11. How well did the test you took today match what you learned in class this year?

  12. Grade 3- 5: Were you able to use the keyboard to type your answers?

  13. Students Comments –LIKES

  14. Students Comments – DISLIKES

  15. Technology Coordinator Survey - What went well with the administration of the  Smarter Balanced Field Test in your district?

  16. Technology Coordinator Survey - What were the biggest challenges your district faced in administering the Smarter Balanced Field Test?

  17. Technology Coordinator Survey - How did supporting the administration of the Smarter Balanced Field Test in your district compare to supporting administration of the ISAT in previous years?

  18. Principal Survey - What new expenses do you anticipate to incur to administerSmarter Balanced next year?

  19. Principal Survey - What went well with the administration of the Smarter Balanced Field Test in your district or school?

  20. Principal Survey - What were the biggest challenges your district or school faced in administering the Smarter Balanced Field Test?

  21. Idaho’s Changing Political Landscape • Significant support early in the process • All looking forward to higher standards and more robust assessments • Then it became publicized that no ISRs would be available • “Opt outs” began….but do not appear to be significant in number (survey in progress) • Many schools are changing their policies regarding enrollment and attendance to avoid this situation in the future

  22. What we have learned? • Information needs to be thoroughly reviewed internally before its public release • Training modules and documents are helpful, but need to be streamlined • Formation of a Smarter Balanced Committee helped determine areas of additional need/support and should be formed sooner • Edmodosite was very helpful, but required significant staff time; guidance should be provided regarding appropriate posts • Surveys were helpful, but need slight modifications

  23. Montana’s Journey

  24. 56 counties 316 districts 824 schools 332 schools with under 50 students 71 one room school houses Big Sky Country253 Miles: Longest Bus Route

  25. Why Field Test All Students Commitment to CCSS Support for Computer Adaptive testing Partnerships Dress rehearsal/ trial run/pressure test system

  26. The New and the Old

  27. Political Landscape Paper pencil tests Misinformation Opt out Myths

  28. Technology • Number of Montana students starting and completing tests: 72,876 (98%) • Only one school without internet capacity • Technology Assistance Initiative • Contract with META and SAM • Montana Educational Technologists Association • School Administrators of Montana • Regional meetings • Final report

  29. Communication • July 2013—Meetings with partners • September 2013—official email request waiver • Dedicated newsletters and website • January Assessment Conference • Live weekly • 20 minute digital blasts (recorded) • Webinars (recorded) • Transition liaisons • Crash course • Surveys • Montana educator involvement in development activities and Digital Library

  30. Advice for Districts and Schools Form a Team Use Tech Readiness Tool Use Practice Tests Pilot and debrief

  31. Survey Comments Navigation was too complicated for many of our students. The test went very smoothly. The students were engaged and took the challenge (and it was very challenging) seriously. Everything worked well at our school because of good planning, organization and communication. Special ed students were not able to access their accommodations. Went quite smoothly - no problems at all. I thought that there were very good questions that challenged the students and made them think about the mathematics. Students feedback was that they enjoyed being able to scroll and check the questions before starting the reading passages. Flagging questions and the glossary were also mentioned as tools they enjoyed There were some glitches in the test that kept the students from answering some problems with certain answers. For example

  32. Next Steps • Accommodations • Practice Tests • MOU and Vendor Contract • Statewide Training Plan

  33. South Dakota’s Journey

  34. Starting with a decision • Why test students on old standards? • US DOE flexibility allowed for a chance to avoid double-testing. • Need to pressure-test the technology infrastructure in the state. • Allow for students, teachers and administrators to experience the test environment before it counts.

  35. Navigating the uncharted waters of a double-testing waiver Timing of decisions and information from US DOE. Getting specific commitments from districts with Hutterite Colony students. What to do with students in JDC or other placements? Worked with current vendor to provide needed paper/pencil tests to ensure all students would be tested based on waiver expectations.

  36. Smarter Balanced in South Dakota by the numbers 150/151 Public school systems 20/20 BIE/Tribal systems 36/53 Non-public systems 70,560 student took tests 279,137 tests started 278,164 tests submitted 1,200+ district personnel involved 4 SD DOE Staff with tech support from BIT

  37. Were the schools ready? • Yes and no. • A key learning was while the schools have the technology, how it is used with students vary across the state. • Schools with one-to-one Chromebooks, iPads, or other devices – less student issues. • Schools with limited access especially in the elementary, more significant issues.

  38. Were the schools ready?

  39. Balancing new assessment with existing systems • Science still paper and pencil - regular and alt • Alternate assessment included in the waiver with field test participation voluntary at school level • ELL testing still paper and pencil for another two years • Schools needing paper/pencil reading and math tests • Tech readiness • Changes in procedures and timelines • School staff overwhelmed with all the changes

  40. Balancing new assessment with existing systems Accommodations was the number one issue for most schools Calculators Read aloud versus text to speech Accommodations versus designated supports Resources to support the schools http://doe.sd.gov/octe/SMARTERbalanced.aspx

  41. Special Education Fall workshops across the state on shifts in accommodations for on-line testing Spring testing workshops Supports provided by SBAC and SD DOE The shift to on-line testing and changes in accommodations (including language used) was one of the biggest hills we still are climbing to assist educators in understanding.

  42. Political Landscape 7 bills and 2 resolutions addressing CCSS and assessments 2 bills would have restricted ability of SD DOE to even work with out-of-state entities

  43. Breaking news…. Dateline June 22, 2014 Oddly, the Republican convention chose not to ride another big conservative hobbyhorse, Common Core paranoia. Offered an opportunity to debate the oft-bashed curriculum standards, the convention instead approved a resolution that doesn't mention Common Core but requires that any multi-state standards and tests be approved by the Legislature... because of course, Republicans like to involve big government in education, as long as it's a government that they control

  44. Communication strategies for various stakeholders Administrators – weekly updates through Secretary of Education, updates on department website including webcasts, area administrator meetings Tech coordinators – weekly updates, area tech meetings, direct one-on-one support as needed Test coordinators –weekly updates from Assessment Office, updates on department website including webcasts , webinars, workshops

  45. Communication strategies for various stakeholders Teachers – monthly updates from on-line newsletters , updates on department website including webcasts Parents – news media, letters/newsletters sent by schools, district websites Legislators - face to face meetings, presentations at committee hearings, one-on-one discussions General public – media, South Dakotans against the common core, State Board of Education meetings

  46. Survey says….

  47. Themes that emerged from the survey feedback: If students and staff did practice tests, the field test went smoother Tech staff must be involved Shift to on-line testing created confusion and concerns with accommodations Text-to-speech and sound the biggest problem across all respondents. Help desk was used with varying success

  48. Themes continued Training materials not necessarily sufficient or timely Too many last minute changes in procedures Wide variance in district level communication procedures Typing/keyboarding an issue for younger students Misconceptions about Smarter Balanced, field tests, and no scores

  49. Mapping the Future • More targeted professional development to specific groups, both in-person and web-based • Direct meetings with tech coordinators • Manuals and training materials must be teacher-friendly • Small districts – need more staff to support the district test coordinator (typically the high school counselor) • Communication on blueprints, achievement standards, and claims – reporting results

  50. Some comments from the field Overall, for the field test, it went well. We all knew the test would be challenging. As a parent, my own son came home and shared that he was very glad that the writing part could be done with a keyboard. He state, “I don’t like to write, but if I could do it on a computer,…that makes it a lot easier! I wrote a lot for the Smarter Balanced test!”

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