IL

TESTING PROGRAMS

Adopted: 3-14-78
Revised:  11-16-05, 6-10-15

Philosophy:

To ensure that student progress is accurately measured through standardized tests, the South Sanpete Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to implement standardized testing procedures in accordance with state and federal laws. Information from such standardized testing may be used by the District, schools, and teachers as an additional tool to plan, measure, and evaluate the effectiveness of the District’s educational program.

Policy:

It shall be the responsibility of the District’s Assessment Director to establish specific District guidelines and procedures which District personnel shall follow when administering standardized student tests in accordance with state and federal laws.

Guidelines and Procedures:

  1. It is the responsibility of all educators to take reasonable steps to ensure that standardized tests reflect the ability, knowledge, aptitude, or basic skills of each individual student taking standardized tests.
  1. All teachers and administrators shall be provided annual in-service training concerning these guidelines and procedures; including Standard Test Administration and Testing Ethics Training and Policy as written and updated by the Utah State Board of Education.
  1. All schools within the District shall administer mandated tests in compliance with established District calendars.

Test Ethics:

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the school principal to oversee the security of all testing materials while at their school.
  1. Schools, principals, and teachers will follow the Standard Test Administration and Testing Ethics Policy as written and updated by the Utah State Board of Education.
  1. Violations of test security shall be reported without delay to the District’s Assessment Director and Superintendent.
  2. The District administration shall investigate any reported incidents of breaches in test security and may implement reasonable sanctions necessary to preserve the security, integrity, and confidentiality of future tests and test administrations.

Standardized Testing Protocol:

District personnel shall conduct test preparation, test administration, and the return of all secure test material in strict accordance with procedures specified in test administration manuals, District guidelines and procedures, District policy, Utah Board of Education rules, and state application of federal requirements for funding.

  1. All standardized tests shall be administered without any reference materials being made available to students unless the state or the publisher of the test specifies otherwise.
  2. District personnel shall not:
    1. provide students directly or indirectly with specific questions, answers, or the subject matter of any specific item in any standardized test prior to administration;
    2. copy, print, or make any facsimile of testing material prior to test administration without express permission of the specific test publisher, including the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and District administration;
    3. alter, change or amend any student answer sheet or other standardized test materials at any time in such a way as to alter the student’s intended response;
    4. use any prior form of any standardized test in test preparation without express permission of the test publisher, including USOE and District administration.
    5. violate any specific test administration procedure or guidelines specified in the test administration manual, or violate any state or District standardized testing policy or procedure; or
    6. knowingly and intentionally do anything that would inappropriately affect the security, validity, or reliability of standardized test scores of any individual student, class, or school.

Assessment Results:

  1. Results of an individual student’s standardized tests shall be shared with the student and parent/guardian at the student’s SEP/SEOP conference or will be shared with the student and parent/guardian as soon as the District receives them.
  2. Test data will be used to do the following:
    1. To assess a school’s or District’s overall curriculum;
    2. To assess individual student achievement;
    3. To communicate student achievement to students, parents, District, state, and other professional groups;
    4. To assist administration in determining areas in need of improvement and to direct professional development; and
    5. To reflect the overall academic health of a class, subject, school or the whole District.
  3. Standardized testing statistical data and results shall be made available to schools, students, residents and the general public through the District and State reporting websites.

Students with Disabilities:

All students with disabilities shall participate in standardized testing as outlined in the USOE Testing Policy “Requirement for Participation of Utah Student with Special Needs.

  Opting-Out of State Testing 53A-15-1503 (9)

The policy for students and/or parents opting-out of testing has been reviewed and approved by the Assistant Attorney General, is as follows:

  1. SpecificAssessment Requirements

SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) Summative Tests ACT (American College Test) AEP (National Assessment of Education Progress)

Because the SAGE Summative tests are required to be administered by all LEAs, UCA §53A-15-1403 (9) (a)’s opt out provision was determined to be applicable to these tests. Likewise, this opt out provision was determined to apply to the ACT because it is also required to be applied statewide. In addition, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam was also subject to the opt-out provision because UCA §53A-15-1403 (9) (a) expressly includes this examination. In other words, all of these tests are subject to opt out provisions.

SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) Interim Tests

Because SAGE Interim is optional and not required to be administered by all LEAs, parents do not have the option to opt out of these examinations if their LEA chooses to administer this examination.

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills)

This examination constitutes a reading fluency assessment. While the vast majority of Utah LEAs use the DIBELS assessment, LEAs have the option, upon obtaining a State Board of Education waiver, of using other examinations to assess reading fluency. Some Utah LEAs do not use DIBELS and use, in the alternative, AIMS Web, Easy CBM  and Direct Reading Assessment, to assess reading fluency. Since DIBELS is not required to be administered statewide, parents do not have the option to opt out of this examination if their LEA chooses to administer this examination.

ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in State to State)

Assessing Comprehension and Communication in State to State (“ACCESS”) is a test which measures language proficiency for English Language learners who have limited English proficiency due to their cultural background or immigrant status. As part of the Title III program, a federal program which allocates funding to provide language instruction, Utah LEAs must meet achievement targets for English Language learners. As part of this Utah’s Title III grant, it is required by federal law to administer this test. See Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) §§1111 (b) (3) (C), 1111 (b) (7) and 3116 (b) (d). Given this test’s limited administration and Title III requirement, it was determined that this test was not a “test that is administered statewide”. Thus, UCA §53A-15-1403 (9) (a)’s opt out provision is not applicable.

UAA (Utah’s Alternative Assessment)

Utah’s Alternative Assessment (“UAA”) is designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities. UAA is the alternative assessment for SAGE testing. Beginning with the 2014/15 school year, the UAA is the alternate assessment for science and the Dynamic Learning Map (DLM) is the alternate assessment for English language arts and math. USOE determined that SAGE Summative and Interim testing were subject to UCA §53A-15-1403 (9) (a)’s opt out provision, ambiguity exists whether UAA, an assessment administered to less than 1% of Utah’s student population, constituted a “test that is administered statewide.” A legal opinion, based upon a plain meaning interpretation was provided that the UAA, an assessment administered to less than 1% of Utah’s student population was not a “test that is administered statewide.”  Thus, UCA §53A-15-1403 (9) (a)’s opt out provision was

determined to not be applicable.  However, upon further review it has been determined that because the UAA is the alternate to SAGE summative and SAGE Interim, students with disabilities should be accorded the same opt out provision for UAA as other students have for SAGE Summative and SAGE Interim.

Locally developed and/or administered Assessments (formative or benchmark)

Because locally developed and/or administered assessments are not required to be administered by all LEAs, parents do not have the option to opt out of these examinations if their LEA chooses to administer these examinations.

1.  When a student over 18 years old, or a parent or guardian opts-out of a state-level test, there is no requirement for an optional or alternative assessment to be given.  For example, opting-out of a test taken on a computer does not necessitate that a “paper- pencil” test be offered as a replacement.

2. When a student over18 years old, or parent or guardian opts-out of a state administered test, no academic penalty shall result for the student. If teachers/schools use any of these tests for grading/promotion decisions, some alternative assessment will need to be provided.

3. Opting-out of SAGE summative testing, and participating in SAGE summative testing, both result in de- identified and aggregated student data being reported to the federal government. The difference in the data shared on all public school students as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is that the proficiency level for a student who opts out will not be reported while a tested student’s proficiency level will be reported as the proficiency level (1 – 4) determined by the testing.

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4. Any student who is in school and not participating in testing should be engaged in a meaningful educational activity. Students not participating in any testing should not be singled out in any negative way nor should the student or the class be administratively punished in any way because a student opts out of testing

5. As per action taken by the Utah State Board of Education on April 4, 2014, a student who opts-out of testing will not receive a proficiency score, and for State purposes will not be counted against participation rates. However, these students will be reported as non- participants on federal reports and accountability and this may impact an LEA’s qualification for and the receiving of certain federal dollars

6. A student who has not opted-out as allowed under 53A-15-1503(9) and is absent from school, and therefore does not participate in testing, is counted as a non-participant (both State and federal reporting) and may impact the school;s participations score which is included in the calculation for the school's letter grade. An absent student is not included in calculating proficiency for a class, grade or school.

Penalties for Violations:

Violation of this policy may subject licensed educators to possible disciplinary action under the Rules of Professional Practices and Conduct for Utah Educators as contained in Administrative

Code R686-103-6 (I).

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