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2016-17 will be rapid OAS transition for schools

TO:  Superintendents, Principals, Teacher Leaders

FROM:  Jan Barrick, CEO, Alpha Plus

SUBJ:  2016-17 will see rapid OAS transition for schools

DATE:  June 17, 2016

When we heard earlier this spring that the state would align mandated tests to the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for 2016-17 (House Bill 3218), rather than in 2017-18 (HB 3399, 2014), Alpha Plus educators began working on tools to implement the new standards: 

  • OAS-PASS Crosswalks,
  • OAS Pacing Calendars, and
  • OAS-aligned summative/benchmark and formative assessments.

We do this based on experience, on tests used by states with similar standards, and with input of content experts.  When HB 3218 was signed into law June 6, we pushed our one-year transition plan into a summer transition plan.

Yet, HB 3218 is far more comprehensive and complex than just eliminating EOIs and assessing new standards. It includes a new A-F Report Card, new high school assessments for the 2016-17 school year, and a different “statewide system of student assessments” to be developed for 2017-18 and beyond.  I have attached the June 14, memorandum from the Oklahoma State Department of Education for your information. The most urgent changes you need to know are:

  • “The EOIs will be replaced with Grade 10 assessments in Math, English Language Arts, and Science for the 2016-2017 school year. U.S. History must be tested once during high school.”
  • “For the 2016-2017 school year, HB 3218 directs districts to ‘adopt a plan that establishes the assessment or assessments those students are required to take in order to graduate from a public high school with a standard diploma.’ … Any policy addressing graduation requirements that will be applied during the 2016-2017 school year must be adopted by the district board of education prior to the first day of the school year.”
  • “In addition to developing a new assessment system, HB 3218 directs the State Board of Education to develop a new school accountability plan by January 1, 2017.

Alpha Plus has helped Oklahoma schools through every state standards and school accountability change since 1992. That is the year we began developing criterion-referenced assessments required by HB 1017 ahead of the State Department of Education, and even before Test Item Specifications were developed for this new type of assessment required in 1994-95.

For 2016-17, we have completed our OAS-PASS analyses and curriculum maps for Grades 3-8 in order to write new assessment questions as needed and realign items to the OAS. We are working our way through every reading and math assessment and expect to have Form A Simulated Core Curriculum Tests as well as Formative Assessment Tests ready and online by the time school starts. While Grade 10 assessments must be developed last, Alpha Plus will have high school “math” and “ELA/reading” assessments and – most likely – science and U.S. history, by Labor Day. 

Fortunately, Alpha Plus Systems, Inc. has experience writing tests without item specs from the state, and then realigning when those become available.  As long as there are state test blueprints – which the OSDE issued today – we will have aligned interim and progress-monitoring assessments that simulate those required in Oklahoma and federal law. 

Please contact us with any questions at (405) 842-8408 or online at www.alphaplus.org.  Feel forward this info to peers who may not have seen Tuesday’s OSDE memo.

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