Something else to add to the problems with the Questar tests, I emailed this to the NYSED Sp Ed department on Monday and no response as of yet…
My question is, has Questar been given permission to override NYS regulations regarding testing accommodations?
Parents are being told that “no portion other than instructions” of the ELA test may be read aloud.
Per the Test Access & Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Policy and Tools to Guide Decision-Making and Implementation manual:
Testing modifications that alter the measurement of a construct, as determined by the
Department, are not permitted on elementary and intermediate-level State assessments in ELA
and mathematics. The Department policies prohibiting the use of certain testing modifications
applies only to specific testing modifications due to their impact on specific portions of the
elementary and intermediate ELA and mathematics State assessments. These policies do not
apply to any content-specific assessments at the elementary and intermediate level such as
science or social studies or to any State examinations at the secondary level.
English Language Arts (Grades 3-8)
The following testing modifications are not permitted on certain sections of the Grades 3-
8 ELA test (the identification of the specific sections are provided in the School Administrator’s
Manual and Teacher Directions for each test):
• oral reading or signing of the portions of the test that measure reading skills;
• use of spell or grammar checkers on portions of the tests measuring writing skills; and
• deletion of spelling, paragraphing and punctuation requirements on portions of the
tests measuring writing skills.
According to this year’s testing manual, no portion, other then instructions, of the ELA may be read aloud.
Per EngageNY, only the Short Response section directly measures reading comprehension.
Understanding ELA Questions
Multiple Choice Multiple-choice questions are designed to assess Common Core Reading and Language Standards. They will ask students to analyze different aspects of a given text, including central idea, style elements, character and plot development, and vocabulary. Almost all questions, including vocabulary questions, will only be answered correctly if the student comprehends and makes use of the whole passage. For multiple-choice questions, students will select the correct response from four answer choices. Multiple-choice questions will assess Reading Standards in a range of ways. Some will ask students to analyze aspects of text or vocabulary. Many questions will require students to combine skills. For example, questions may ask students to identify a segment of text that best supports the central idea. To answer correctly, a student must first comprehend the central idea and then show understanding of how that idea is supported. Questions will require more than rote recall or identification. Students will also be required to negotiate plausible, text-based distractors. Each distractor will require students to comprehend the whole passage. ii 2015 ELA Grade 3 Released Questions
Short Response Short-response questions are designed to assess Common Core Reading and Language Standards. These are single questions in which students use textual evidence to support their own answer to an inferential question. These questions ask the student to make an inference (a claim, position, or conclusion) based on his or her analysis of the passage, and then provide two pieces of text-based evidence to support his or her answer. The purpose of the short-response questions is to assess a student’s ability to comprehend and analyze text. In responding to these questions, students will be expected to write in complete sentences. Responses should require no more than three complete sentences. The rubric used for evaluating short-response questions can be found both in the grade-level annotations and in the Educator Guide to the 2015 Grade 3 Common Core English Language Arts Test at http://www.engageny.org/resource/test-guides-for-english-language-arts-and-mathematics.
Extended Response Extended-response questions are designed to measure a student’s ability to Write from Sources. Questions that measure Writing from Sources prompt students to communicate a clear and coherent analysis of one or two texts. The comprehension and analysis required by each extended response is directly related to grade-specific reading standards. Student responses are evaluated on the degree to which they meet grade-level writing and language expectations. This evaluation is made using a rubric that incorporates the demands of grade-specific Common Core Writing, Reading, and Language standards. The integrated nature of the Common Core Learning Standards for ELA and Literacy requires that students are evaluated across the strands (Reading, Writing, and Language) with longer pieces of writing such as those prompted by the extended-response questions. The rubric used for evaluating extended-response questions can be found both in the grade-level annotations and in the Educator Guide to the 2015 Grade 3 Common Core English Language Arts Test at http://www.engageny.org/resource/test-guides-for-english-language-arts-and-mathematics.