STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION EXTENDS PROOF OF CONCEPT STUDY
State Board of Education members recently approved the extension of the Department of Public Instruction’s Proof of Concept Study into the 2016-17 school year.
State Superintendent June Atkinson said she was pleased Board members extended the study. “Teachers want interim assessments so that they may address their students’ academic needs when it will have the most impact,” Atkinson said. “Students participating in the study scored higher than those who were not in the study, which reflects the positive benefits to obtaining feedback across the school year and not just at the end.”
Under the Proof of Concept Study, three interim assessments are administered throughout the school year with a stand-alone summative assessment at the end of the academic year. Traditionally, students are tested for academic proficiency at the end of the academic year. Teachers use the results from the interim assessments to adjust their instruction and provide immediate assistance to students in areas where they are struggling. Ultimately, the State Board will use the results to determine the best course of action for state assessments.
During the initial pilot year, the interim assessments were given to a sample of fifth-grade mathematics students and a sample of sixth-grade English language arts (ELA)/reading students. A paper/pencil format was used and assessments did not exceed 90 minutes in duration (except for students with documented special needs that required accommodations). The interim assessment scores also were not included in accountability and teacher-effectiveness calculations.
The modified end-of-grade (EOG) assessment was the traditional EOG test without embedded field-test items. Students took the modified assessment in the content area in which they were selected.
Forty-five schools and 3,906 students participated in the fifth-grade mathematics 2015-16 Proof of Concept Study. On the modified EOG mathematics assessment, 61.4 percent of students scored at Achievement Level 3 and higher compared to 60.7 percent (4,034 students) of students who did not participate in the study but took the modified EOG assessment.
Thirty-three schools and 3,920 students participated in the sixth-grade ELA/reading 2015-16 Proof of Concept Study. On the modified ELA/reading EOG, 58.3 percent scored at Achievement Level 3 and higher compared to 56.8 percent (4,778 students) of students who did not participate in the study but took the modified EOG assessment.
With these results in mind, State Board members approved extending the Proof of Concept Study into the 2016-17 school year and also
- increasing the number of participating schools from five percent of schools at each grade/content to approximately 15 percent;
- including a subset of low-performing schools;
- allowing volunteers to participate, preferably one school per district; and
- requiring students to take the entire EOG assessment, not a modified version.
Department staff suggested including additional grades in the 2017-18 school year and then including all grades, 3-8, beginning in the 2018-19 school year.
An analysis of the 2015-16 Proof of Concept Study is available on the State Board of Education’s website (click on Meetings tab then July 7 State Board of Education meeting agenda, and scroll to SLA 1).
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.