Policy 3410

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TESTING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM   Policy Code:   3410

The board believes that an effective testing and assessment program evaluates the progress of individual students and helps ensure that educational goals and objectives are being met for every child. A testing program also assists in the continued refinement of the instructional program. In addition, data from tests and assessments provide measures of student learning that are useful for evaluating educator effectiveness.

Every effort will be made to ensure that the testing program contributes to the learning process rather than detracts from it. Efforts also will be made to use only culture-free or culture-fair tests in order to ensure that measurements are reasonably accurate.

Contents

A. ADMINISTRATION OF TESTS, SCREENINGS, AND OTHER ASSESSMENTS

The superintendent shall provide for the proper administration of all state-required tests, screenings, and other assessments and any state-required remedial instruction and/or retesting in accordance with all requirements established by law or the State Board of Education. The superintendent, in consultation with the school principals, shall determine how results from such measures will be used in determining students’ final grades, provided that the requirements described in Section B, below, and any other applicable state requirements are met.

Students may participate in field testing and other sample testing as designated by the State Board or the Department of Public Instruction.

The superintendent shall develop security and administration procedures for the state testing program and other assessments that are consistent with State Board of Education requirements and relevant law. The superintendent shall ensure that all relevant personnel are instructed in such procedures. All testing personnel, teachers, and school administrators are required to be familiar with and adhere to all applicable testing manuals, handbooks, and guides, including the Testing Code of Ethics, for state and locally-required tests. Failure to follow procedures may result in disciplinary sanctions, including termination or revocation of administrative and/or teaching licenses.

Consistent with state goals, the superintendent shall submit to the board for approval a plan for transitioning to online administration of all end-of-grade and end-of-course tests beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The superintendent shall conduct any necessary evaluation of the school system’s connectivity, personnel, and hardware needs prior to developing the plan and shall consider State Board of Education best practices for online assessments in the development of the plan. Once the school system has fully transitioned to online assessments, the superintendent shall keep the board informed of any resources or other measures needed to enable continued full participation in online assessments.

B. HIGH SCHOOL FINAL EXAMS AND END-OF-COURSE TESTING

High school students must take all end-of-course (EOC) tests, NC Final Exams, and Career and Technical Education State Assessments (CTE Post-Assessments) required by the State Board of Education. The results of EOC tests, NC Final Exams, and CTE Post-Assessments will count as 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each high school course for which there is an EOC test, NC Final Exam, or CTE Post-Assessment. This requirement does not apply to EOC tests for students following the Occupational Course of Study. Further, CTE students who earn a credential will not be required to take the CTE Post-Assessment in the course.

C. MINIMIZING TIME SPENT TESTING

The superintendent or designee shall ensure that the time students spend taking standardized state and local tests and the frequency of field testing at a particular school are minimized. Specifically, the superintendent shall ensure the following.

  1. Schools will devote no more than two days of instructional time per year to the taking of practice tests that do not have the primary purpose of assessing current student learning.
  2. Students will not be subject to field tests or national tests during the two week period preceding their school’s administration of end of grade tests, end of course tests, or regularly scheduled final exams.
  3. No school will participate in more than two field tests at any one grade level during a school year.
  4. All annual assessments of student achievement adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C-174.11(c)(1) -or other applicable law and all final exams for courses will be administered within the final ten instructional days of the school year for year-long courses and within the final five instructional days of the semester for semester courses. Exceptions will be permitted to accommodate a student’s individualized education program and Section 504 plans and for the administration of final exams for courses with national or international curricula required to be held at designated times.


Legal References: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, -h; 34 C.F.R. pt. 99; G.S. 115C, art. 10A; 115C-47, -81, -83.5, -83.6, -174.11, -174.12(a), -174.13, -174.22, -174.25, -276, -288, -307, -402.5; State Board of Education Policies GCS-A series; GCS-C series; GCS-N series; TCP-C-006; 16 N.C.A.C. 6D .0301 – .0306

Cross References: Professional and Staff Development (policy 1610-7800), Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Promotion and Accountability (policy 3420), Student Records (policy 4700), Public Records – Retention, Release, and Disposition (policy 5070-7350)

Other References: Online Assessments Best Practices Guide (NC DPI), available at http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/acre/assessment/guide/; Measures of Student Learning: NC’s Common Exams (NC DPI), available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/common-exams/implementation-guide.pdf

Adopted: January 12, 2015

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