Test results from the new statewide assessment have yet to be released, despite concerns from educators that they will not be able to address possible issues in student achievement before the next round of testing in March.
The latest delay came after the state released the results of the Alaska Measures of Progress and Alaska Alternate Assessment tests to the state’s 54 superintendents last week and found ambiguities in the way the data had been reported by the Kansas-based company contracted to deliver them, said Department of Education and Early Development personnel.
“Yes, we did see our results, but they are embargoed which means we are not releasing them publicly yet,” said Kenai Peninsula school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff. “At this point, only superintendents have received results; principals do not yet have access, and parents can expect hard copies in late November.”
Students in grades 3-10 across the state took the new test in spring of 2015. Once the results are released, students will get two reports, one for language arts and one for math, said Brian Laurent, data management supervisor for the state’s department of education.
Both reports will include the scale, or overall score and achievement level. It will also include a comparison to the median scale score for all students in the individual students’ grade within his or her school, Laurent said.
For school districts, data will be split into categories that display results in individual student results, school summaries and district-level results. Eventually, more detailed scores including performance within various demographics — like racial groups and students with special needs — will be released, Laurent said.
Elizabeth Davis, Administrator of Standards Implementation for the state’s Department of Education, said it’s standard practice for the state to release reports to school districts and do a quality check ahead of a public release.
As the Achievement and Assessment Institute, the state’s testing contractor, reworks the data — the department has set a new release date for the second week of November.
Davis said the delay in releasing the scores should be attributed to it being the first year of the state adopting new standards and assessments.
The goal is to have the results out as soon as possible, once the assessment has been finished in the spring time, ideally before most schools release for the summer, Davis said.
She said she’s heard from several educators who are concerned that with the information coming out so late, they won’t be able to address issues in student achievement before the next round of testing. Davis said the concern is valid but said there are other ways teachers can measure student academic abilities including grades, teacher observations and classroom works.
“Every day teachers are checking with in with students and monitoring their progress,” Davis said.
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