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The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). An Introduction and Overview of the (now) 4-State Assessment Collaborative Reading and Writing Assessments for Grades 3-5 Presented by Diana Doiron on April 16, 2009. Presentation.

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The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP)

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    1. The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) An Introduction and Overview of the (now) 4-State Assessment Collaborative Reading and Writing Assessments for Grades 3-5 Presented by Diana Doiron on April 16, 2009

    2. Presentation This complete presentation, including audio, will be available as soon as possible at: The PowerPoint portion of this presentation is currently posted.

    3. Presentation Overview • Maine’s partnership with NECAP • NECAP Standards and Maine Learning Results • NECAP Test Design • Examples of NECAP Items

    4. Why is Maine Joining NECAP? All Maine state departments were directed by the governor to achieve major cuts in future spending. The Commissioner was directed to identify significant cost reductions across all MDOE programs.

    5. Why is Maine Joining NECAP? The state assessment program had only two realistic options: 1) Adopt an all multiple-choice test format; 2) Find a less costly way to deliver a test that also includes student constructed responses.

    6. Why is Maine Joining NECAP? • In the fall of 2008, the MDOE conducted content comparisons and cost analyses associated with joining NECAP. • Comparison studies between NECAP and Maine standards showed adequate correlation (in reading and mathematics) therefore we moved forward to adopt NECAP in Maine.

    7. Why is Maine Joining NECAP? Savings were estimated at 1 million dollars per year. The Maine Department of Education petitioned the 3-state collaborative for acceptance into the assessment group. Acceptance was unanimously offered.

    8. What exactly is NECAP? NECAP is the assessment used by four New England states (New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine) to meet the testing and accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

    9. No Child Left Behind Requirements Each State Shall… Develop and implement a statewide accountability system that will be effective in ensuring that all local educational agencies, public elementary schools and public secondary schools make adequate yearly progress

    10. Maine’s Participation in NECAP • Maine will participate in the NECAP reading, writing and mathematics testing in grades 3-8. • The NECAP test will assess the NECAP common standards called grade level expectations (GLEs) in: • reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 (testing the standards of grades 2-7). • writing in grades 5 and 8 (testing the standards of grades 4 and 7).

    11. NECAP Overview NECAP and the MEA use the same testing contractor, Measured Progress, and NECAP has acknowledged “borrowing” from the MEA when they were forming their program. Consequently (fortunately), there are many similarities in policies, formats of test and answer booklets, administration manuals, reports, etc.

    12. NECAP Overview - Committees Maine educators will still be involved in reviewing and giving input on all test items by serving on NECAP Item Review and Bias/Sensitivity Committees. Maine educators, working with colleagues from New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, have recently completed this work for the October 2009 test.

    13. Maine’s Science Testing Program Maine will NOT adopt the NECAP GLEs or tests in science. Maine will continue with the current MEA science testing program at this time in grades 5, 8 and 11, assessing the existing science accountability standards of the 2007 MLRs.

    14. Maine’s Science Testing Program The decision to stay with MEA science testing was based on the discrepancy between Maine and NECAP science standards. In addition, no savings were projected for joining the NECAP science test due to the format of the test. The MEA testing window for science at grades 5 and 8 will be moved to May 10-21, 2010.

    15. Why is Maine Joining NECAP? • To achieve the cost savings, Maine is adopting the following for the content areas of reading, writing, and mathematics for assessment purposes: • NECAP standards (GLEs) at all grades 2-high school, • NECAP tests at grades 3-8, • NECAP cut scores at grades 3-8 to determine achievement levels, and • NECAP reports at grades 3-8.

    16. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards The 2007 Maine Learning Results are still very much in effect and describe the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills expected to be taught and learned at all grades and in all content areas.

    17. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards The complete set of NECAP standards (GLEs) is posted on the MDOE MeCAS webpage at: The complete ELA Parameters for Essential Instruction standards (PEIs) are posted on the MDOE Learning Standards and Guidelines webpage at:

    18. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Overall, the NECAP standards for reading and writing articulate knowledge and skills at a level of specificity comparable to the descriptor level in the Parameters for Essential Instruction (PEIs). Therefore, the PEI performance indicators can continue to serve as broad statements of learning with the NECAP standards articulating specific descriptions of that learning for a particular grade.

    19. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Reading PEI A1 Interconnected Elements:  Comprehension, Vocabulary, Alphabetics, Fluency Students will read texts, within a grade appropriate span of text complexity, and apply their knowledge and strategies of comprehension, vocabulary, alphabetics, and fluency. (NECAP Grade 2) Word Identification Skills and Strategies Applies word identification and decoding strategies by… Identifying regularly spelled multi-syllabic words, by using knowledge of sounds, syllable types, or word patterns (including most common spellings for consonants and vowels, e.g, knot; catch; float; fight; or common suffixes)

    20. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Reading PEI A1 Interconnected Elements:  Comprehension, Vocabulary, Alphabetics, Fluency (NECAP)Word Identification Skills and Strategies • Applies word identification and decoding strategies • (NECAP) Vocabulary Strategies • Identify the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary • (NECAP) Breadth of Vocabulary • Shows breadth of vocabulary knowledge, demonstrating understanding of word meanings or relationships

    21. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Reading PEI • A2 Literary Texts • (NECAP)Initial Understanding of Literary Texts • Demonstrate initial understanding of elements of literary texts • (NECAP)Analysis and Interpretation of Literary Texts/Citing Evidence • Analyze and interpret elements of literary texts, citing • evidence where appropriate

    22. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Reading PEI • A3 Informational Texts • (NECAP)Initial Understanding of Informational Texts • Demonstrate initial understanding of elements of informational texts • (NECAP)Analysis and Interpretation of Informational Texts/CitingEvidence • Analyze and interpret elements of informational texts, citing evidence where appropriate

    23. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Writing PEI B2 Narrative Writing Students write narratives that relate events, ideas, observations, or recollections. (NECAP)Narrative Writing- Creating a Story Line and Applying Narrative Strategies

    24. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards

    25. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Maine Language PEI D1 Grammar and Usage Students use parts of speech and vary sentence structure to communicate. D2 Mechanics Students apply the rules of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to communicate. (NECAP)Writing Conventions -Applying Rules of Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics -Writing a variety of complete simple and compound sentences -Using the paragraph form: indenting, main idea, supporting details -Applying basic capitalization rules - Using commas correctly in dates and in a series - Using end punctuation correctly in a variety of sentence structures - Correctly spelling common high frequency words and recognizing the syllable and pattern rules when adding prefixes or suffixes - Identifying grammatical errors, when given examples

    26. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards The MLRs will be modified to include the NECAP assessment standards (GLEs) in mathematics, reading and writing at grades 2-7 and high school, providing a consistent progression along the learning continuum.

    27. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards Until the MLRs are modified, instruction should be informed by the current PEIs unless there is a discrepancy between them and the NECAP GLEs. In those instances, instruction should reflect the NECAP GLEs.

    28. 2007 MLRs and NECAP Standards • Differences • NECAP expects students to identify homonyms and homophones in grade 3 while in the Maine PEIs this knowledge is expected in grade 4. • NECAP expects students to distinguish fact from opinion in grade 3 while in the Maine PEIs this knowledge is expected in grade 5. • NECAP expects students to understand relationships among words including shades of meaning (cold, freezing) in grades 4 and above while in the Maine PEIs the expectation regarding shades of meaning is held off until grade 7 when a greater choice of more sophisticated words is fair to use.

    29. NECAP Reading Test Design Types of Items The reading test consists of a combination of multiple-choice items (MC) worth 1 point each and constructed-response items (CR) worth 4 points each.

    30. NECAP Overview Test Design • There are 9 test forms at each grade. In each test form, reading is assessed in 3 testing sessions. Each reading testing session has a base time of 45 minutes, with up to an additional 45 minutes allowed for a student to finish(100% extra time). • There are integrated test/answer booklets at grades 3 and 4.

    31. NECAP Test Design -Reading • Reading Test Design • There are 52 common score points at all grades distributed between the following item types: • 28 1-point Multiple Choice (MC) • 6 4-point Constructed Response (CR) • 54% MC and 46% CR Items

    32. NECAP Test Design -Reading Reading passages are divided evenly between literary and informational text. Each reading session contains 2 long passages (4 MC, 1CR, 4MC, 1CR) 2 short passages (4 MC, 1 CR) 4 stand alone MCs. Questions are arranged primarily in text order.

    33. NECAP Reading Item Example • Which word has the same vowel sound • as try? • line • dish • C. field • D. chair • These word identification skills and strategy items are new item types for Maine students in grade 3. Similar item types measuring variant spellings for consonants and vowels or rhyming words will be in the grade 4 reading test.

    34. NECAP Reading Item Example puffed whistled Which word belongs with the words above? A. drove B. looked C. forgot D. Hissed Example of Grade 3 Word Identification Item

    35. NECAP Reading Item Example Which sentence uses the word plot to mean “a secret plan”? A. The police discovered the plot to rob the bank. B. The plot of the story led the main character to many cities. C. The gardener divided the plot between vegetables and flowers. D. The couple bought a plot large enough for a house and garage. Grade 5 Vocabulary Example

    36. NECAP Reading Item Example The words subway and submarine have a prefix (beginning) that means A. under. B. with. C. next to. D. in between. Knowing roots, prefixes, and suffixes are included in the strategies demonstrating breadth of vocabulary. This is a grade 5 example.

    37. NECAP Test Design -Reading • Reading Passages are similar to the MEA since there are: • purpose setting statements, • the same formatting, • paragraphs numbered in the margin when referenced in the item. • Poems are numbered every 5th line.

    38. NECAP -Reading Reading passages begin with a purpose setting statement (PSS) such as: A fascinating place is somewhere very interesting. Read this passage about why forests are fascinating places. Then answer the questions that follow. (Grade 4) Helen Keller was a real person who could not see or hear. Anne Sullivan was a teacher at a school called the Perkins Institution. Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow. (Grade 3)

    39. NECAP Reading The passages will look very much like the MEA passages you are used to seeing. Poems, though not on every test in every grade, are often presented in pairs.

    40. NECAP Reading • Key words such as most likely, best, or main will be written in bold in the question for emphasis. • Vocabulary from the text is included in the item set. The vocabulary word is underlined in the question and in the text. • Specific paragraph reference is purposeful. The paragraph will be numbered in the text.

    41. NECAP Reading Item Example • In paragraph 36, the word chorused • means that the people • A. laughed aloud. • B. spoke together. • C. pushed forward. • D. thought quickly. • Example of a grade 5 vocabulary in context item.

    42. NECAP Reading • Constructed Response (CR) Items • These are short student-constructed responses that require students to write about a paragraph. • Students will earn the full 4 points for each response if they: • Respond to the entire question • Demonstrate original thinking • Elaborate on a response with specific detail from the text • Writing is not scored in the reading CR. However, if the quality of the writing is such that it interferes with understanding, then it will prevent the student from receiving the full 4 points. Students may respond to a reading CR with a chart, graph, other form of written response that makes the content clear to the reader.

    43. NECAP Reading View the reading test design graphic at: View reading released items at: 1/4 to 1/3 of the reading test will be released each year. View released items for a grade over several years to get the full sense of the reading test.

    44. NECAP Reading Item Example • Why does the Shah think the shepherd is wise when they first meet? Use details from the story. • Example of a grade 4 constructed response.

    45. NECAP Reading Item Example

    46. NECAP Test Design - Writing • Maine and the other NECAP states all value writing and therefore have chosen to include it in their tests although it is not required under NCLB. • The writing portion of the NECAP test is the most different from the MEA of the content areas.

    47. NECAP Test Design - Writing • This October, the NECAP writing test will consist of a previously scheduled writing field test only. No student scores will be reported, but data from the field test, including that of Maine students, will be used to inform the writing test for the next five years. • 100% of writing items are released each year. No items from this year’s field test will be released.

    48. NECAP Writing • Writing Test Design • There are 2 sessions of writing. • There are 34 common score points at all grades distributed among the following item types: • 10 1-point Multiple Choice (MC) • 3 4-point Constructed Response (CR) • 1 12-point Prompt

    49. NECAP Test Design - Writing • Multiple choice items at grade 5 assess aspects of writing such as accurate spelling, combining sentences in a correct and efficient way, correct end punctuation of sentences, accurate capitalization of words, and correct usage of commas in a series and in dates.