Address: 385 Viking Way Ashville, OH 43103   Phone: 740.983.5000
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Testing FAQ

Q:  What assessments will my child take this year and when are they administered?
A:  The Elementary Testing Calendar  and Secondary Testing Calendar list assessments and testing schedules

Q:  What is the purpose of administering each of these assessments?
A:  The Assessment Purpose document gives an explanation of each assessment given at the district level.  
The main point to remember is that each of these assessments is just one data point out of many that gives teachers, administrators, students and parents a picture of how their student is achieving.  This information is then used to determine appropriate instructional strategies for individual students.
These assessments also provide a way to track a child’s progress over multiple years.  Classroom assessments and expectations can sometimes change from teacher to teacher, but assessments like MAP and STAR provide a consistent snapshot of student learning from year to year.

Q:  What’s the difference between the old OAA/OGT and the PARCC/AIR tests that my child is taking?
A:  State assessments have been in place for almost 15 years.  For the last 10 years, results of the state tests have been reported in the school report cards that are released by the Ohio Department of Education in September of each school year.  You can find our district and school results here.  Students in grades 3-8 took an OAA in Reading or Math.  In addition, students in grades 5 & 8 took a science OAA.  The OAA Reading, Math and Science tests were all given during a one week period.
Each test took approximately 3 hours on the day it was given. Each test contained approximately 35 questions.  For the 2014-2015 school year, only 3rd grade students will take an OAA Reading assessment because of the Third Grade Guarantee.  Third grade students will not take a PARCC ELA Assessment.  Information can be found here.

Beginning this school year, all Ohio schools must be fully implementing Ohio's New Learning Standards.  These include the areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  The standards now allow for greater focus and depth within topics and skills.  In addition to the shift in standards, there were newly developed assessments that will replace the OAA tests.  The state of Ohio is partnered with the PARCC consortium for ELA and Math.  Ohio is also partnered with AIR for Science and Social Studies. 

PARCC
will be used to deliver English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments that will begin in the late winter/early spring.  Assessments will include Performance Based Tasks and Summative Assessments given over two testing windows.  Testing window one is February 23 - March 20 and testing window two is 4/13 - 5/15.

The PARCC assessments assess writing at every grade level.  Some questions will require students to analyze text and use that information to craft a written response or to explain their mathematical reasoning.  The old OAA was made up predominantly of multiple choice and short answer questions.

AIR will be used to deliver Ohio's Science and Social Studies assessments.  AIR will be similar to the PARCC assessments and will also begin this school year.  All state assessments will incorporate computer based testing.

The PARCC (reading and math) and AIR (science and social studies) assessments are given over several days for a shorter periods of time.  For example, the 4th grade PARCC ELA performance based test will take 3 days to administer in February.  Each session is 75 - 90 minutes long.  Students taking the 4th grade ELA test will see 7-10 questions per testing session.  Most testing sessions will be administered in the morning and it is expected that instruction and learning will still take place the majority of the student’s day.

Q:  Why does the district have to give these state tests?
A:  The federal No Child left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 was passed to bring all students up to the proficient level on state tests by the 2013-2014 school year, and to hold students and schools more accountable for results.  NCLB requires all districts and schools to meet state “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) goals for their students populations and for specified subgroups, including economically disadvantaged students, limited English proficient students, and students with disabilities.

NCLB required states to align tests with state academic standards and begin testing students on an annual basis in reading and math in grades 3-8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. Finally, NCLB requires states to issue annual report cards for schools and districts to report progress and achievement on the assessments.

Q: What PARCC / AIR tests will my high school student be taking this year?
A:  The Class of 2017 (this year’s 10th graders) is the last class required to pass the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), The Class of 2018 (this year’s 9th graders) and beyond instead are now held to Ohio’s New Graduation Requirements and must take PARCC Performance-Based Assessments (PBA) and End-of-Course (EOC) exams in English I and Algebra I/Geometry I. They will also take the AIR Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) and End-of-Course (EOC) exam in Physical Science.

Students currently in grades 10 and 11 who are enrolled in U.S. History and/or American Government also must take the PBA and EOC exams for these subjects. Although 10th and 11th grade students are held to the old graduation requirements and must pass the OGT, Senate Bill 165 now requires students be tested on America’s Founding Documents. The OGT does not cover this material and therefore does not fully satisfy the new legislation.

Q:  How much time is being spent on test preparation for the new tests?
A:  The OAA was a paper-pencil assessment.  Both the PARCC and AIR assessments are online assessments.  Teachers have spent time working with students to help them build confidence with the new online testing platform.  No one wants this to be a stressful experience for any student, and we are doing our best to make the experience as stress-free as possible.

“Workbook” test preparation has diminished this school year.  Our philosophy is if our teachers continue to provide the great instruction on a daily basis that has been evidenced in our past OAA/OGT results, the test results for the new assessments will take care of themselves.  This new platform of assessment is new to everyone and there is no pressure being placed on staff or students.  Teachers and administrators have just asked what we ask of students each and everyday - try your best.

Q:  When will I find my child’s test results?
A:  State level tests (PARCC, AIR) will have family reports that will be sent home.  These reports will provide information about the assessment and how your child performed on them.  Results from the PARCC and AIR assessments will not be released to schools or families until November of 2015.  

At the elementary level, MAP and DRA results from the fall, winter and spring window are sent home in at the conclusion of the district testing window or in your child’s Progress Report.  

Often other test results are shared with parents during conferences or in a data notebook.  If you would like to learn about other test results, please contact your child’s teacher.

Teays Valley Local Schools
385 Viking Way
Ashville, OH 43103
P: 740.983.5000
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