State Test Results Available More Quickly to ND Schools

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557
Email: dewetzel@nd.gov
 
State Test Results Available More Quickly to ND Schools

BISMARCK, N.D., May 26, 2017 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said school administrators and teachers now have quicker access to student test results, which may be used to make improvements to classroom instruction in the future.

State law requires students to take the North Dakota State Assessment in English and mathematics annually in grades three through eight, and in one grade in high school. The high school requirement is met by testing 11th graders. Teachers began administering the assessment to students in those grades in early April.

Until this year, test results have typically not been available to teachers and school officials until the summer or fall. However, the new assessments, which most students take using a computer, can be scored more quickly, Baesler said. Results can be available within three weeks.

Rob Bauer, the Department of Public Instruction’s assessment director, said school administrators have been notified that scores from the first two batches of exams are now available for them to view online.

About 55,000 North Dakota students sat for the exams this spring. About 38,000 tests have already been graded and the results made available to school officials and teachers, Bauer said. Schools may share a student’s results with his or her parents.

Tests that have not yet been graded were taken after April 28, or were taken using paper and pencil instead of a computer. About 3,000 students in 27 schools completed a paper and pencil version of the exams. The final batch of results should be available by June 14.

The tests are intended to evaluate what students have learned during the school year. “They show what the students have achieved in their grade, because it’s taken toward the end of the school year,” Bauer said.

“Some schools take these results and see in what standards they might have instructional deficiencies or strengths,” Bauer said. “They can then make adjustments for the incoming class of students in that grade. This can help our schools improve their instruction.”

The North Dakota State Assessment was developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of states that joined together to develop new online exams to measure student English and math proficiency. They were graded by Measured Progress, a national testing company based in Dover, N.H.

North Dakota is withdrawing from the SBAC on June 30, and the NDDPI is advertising for a new assessment provider. This is necessary because North Dakota has revamped its math and English learning standards. A new state assessment is needed to measure how well North Dakota students are learning the new standards.

Bauer said the new test provider should be chosen by mid-July.  The assessment that the company develops will be used in North Dakota classrooms during the 2017-18 school year.

The North Dakota State Assessment was administered in 373 public schools and 53 nonpublic schools. Bauer said that students in nonpublic schools are not required to take the state assessment, although many do so.
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