Important message: State Assessments

March 14, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In a few weeks, the New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests will be administered to our Sherburne-Earlville students. Last year, the number of test sessions for these annual assessments was reduced from three to two; that change remains in effect this year. This means that students will take each subject test over only two testing days instead of three as in past years. Additionally, the 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests will continue to be untimed.

The ELA exam will be given on April 3 and April 4, and the Math exam will be given on May 1 and May 2.

Below you will find a summary of the changes that were made to the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests over the past several years.

• Fewer testing sessions. Last year, the Grades 3–8 ELA and Math Tests were reduced from three test sessions per subject to only two sessions per subject, meaning each subject will have two days of testing instead of three. With fewer test sessions, each test will have fewer questions than in past years, lessening test fatigue for students and better enabling them to demonstrate what they know and are able to do.

• The tests continue to be untimed so students who are still working on their exams will be allowed to continue to work, within the confines of the regular school day. Students who finish may be permitted to hand in their test materials (or submit the test if testing on computer) and leave the room. If so, students should exit quietly so they do not disturb any students still working.

• Test questions reviewed and written by New York State Teachers. Hundreds of New York State educators were involved in creating and reviewing questions for 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests and selecting the questions for the test forms.

Teacher and Principal Evaluation/APPR

• Student performance on the 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics Tests will have no employment-related consequences for teacher and principal evaluations. This means no teachers or principals in New York State public schools will be affected by the results of the 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests.

Release of Test Questions and Instructional Reports

• Test questions and instructional reports will be released before the end of the school year. Like the past several years, the State Education Department will release 75-percent of questions from the 2019 tests and the instructional reports for educators on or around June 1. You can view 2018 test questions on EngageNY. (https://www.engageny.org/3-8)

Computer-Based Testing

• Computer-based State assessments. Sherburne-Earlville will administer the 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests on the computer. The computer-based test will have the same questions as the paper version but students will take the test on a tablet or Chromebook.

• Stronger instructional tools. The State Education Department is helping districts begin to transition to computer-based testing (CBT), which has the potential to make the assessments stronger instructional tools and will make it possible to get test results back sooner.

• The move to CBT. The State plans to have additional districts utilize CBT next year. The long-term plan is to have all districts using CBT for annual state tests.

You can find more information about the State tests on the State Education Department’s website. (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/eigen.html)

Thank you for your time,

Eric Schnabl
Superintendent

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