ESHB 2224 Frequently Asked Questions
10th Grade Testing
ESHB 2224, signed into
law by Governor Inslee in July 2017, changed the high school test to 10th grade for ELA and mathematics.
Q: In spring 2018, which high school students should take the Smarter Balanced math and ELA tests?
- 10th graders (Class of 2020) will take the Smarter Balanced mathematics and ELA tests in the spring of 2018. 10th grade will be the federal accountability testing grade for 2017–18 (and subsequent) school years for math and ELA.
- In addition to 10th graders, some 11th graders (Class of 2019)
should also take the Smarter Balanced math and/or ELA tests:
- Class of 2019 students who did not attempt Smarter Balanced math or ELA tests last year (as 10th graders) should take the tests for purposes of high school assessment graduation requirements.
- Class of 2019 students who took the Smarter Balanced
math or ELA tests as a 10th grader but did not achieve the
graduation cut-score should retake the tests.
- Finally, some 12th graders (Class of 2018)
should take the Smarter Balanced math and/or ELA tests for purposes of
high school assessment graduation requirements.
Q: Same question, but in relation to students who participate in the Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM).
- 10th graders (Class of 2020) will take WA-AIM in mathematics and ELA tests in the Spring of 2018. 10th grade will be the federal accountability testing grade for 2017–18 (and subsequent) school years for math and ELA.
- 11th graders (Class of 2019) should take WA-AIM in math and/or ELA if:
- The student did not already participate in WA-AIM as a 10th grader.
- The student took the WA-AIM as a 10th grader, but did not achieve the graduation cut-score. This would constitute a retake.
- 12th graders (Class of 2018) should take the WA-AIM in math and/or ELA if they have not yet achieved the graduation cut-score. This would constitute a retake.
Q: What about science?
- 11th graders (Class of 2019) will take the new
Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) in spring 2018. The WCAS is based on the Next Generation Science Standards. 11th grade will be the federal accountability testing grade for 2017–18 (and subsequent) school years for science.
- WA-AIM science will continue to be administered in 11th grade, but will be based on NGSS.
Q: Will the Smarter Balanced test be the same test as previous years or will it be adjusted because it is for 10th graders? Will the test assess different learning standards?
A: Washington educators reviewed and provided recommendations for content that would be included in 10th grade testing. This Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics Testing and Content document provides an overview and answers to several common question about that process and 10th grade testing starting in spring 2018. Specifically,
- The 10th grade mathematics test will be adjusted to include learning standards expected of 10th grade students, introduced during the first two years of high school mathematics courses. Content that is exclusively introduced in a third-year course or subsequent courses will not be included. The following documents provide specific information about 10th grade mathematics testing:
- The 10th grade English language arts test will not be adjusted. For the 10th grade ELA test, educators compared the expectations outlined in the ELA K–12 Learning Standards for grades 9–10 and 11–12. After concluding that the minor differences were primarily related to text complexity, educators reviewed the Smarter Balanced Stimulus Specifications and determined that the adaptive nature of the test allowed for adequate differentiation of text complexity appropriate for 10th graders.
WA-AIM for math and ELA will go through the same review of standards, and where applicable, adjustments will be made. More information will be available after educator advisory workgroups convene.
Q: Will there be different cut-scores for the 10th grade test?
A: Yes, there will be new cut-scores, reflecting that it is a 10th grade test and measuring “on track to career- and college-ready”. The law calls for the State Board of Education (SBE) to identify “equivalent student performance standard that a tenth grade student would need to achieve on the state assessments to be on track to be career and college ready at the end of the student's high school experience.” In other words, there will be a new scores representing what it takes for a 10th grader to achieve Levels 1, 2, 3, or 4.
On January 11, 2018 the State Board of Education adopted 10th grade cut scores that students must earn for federal accountability reporting levels (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4) in both ELA and mathematics. Level 3 and above is consider “on track” to College and Career Ready. The graduation cut scores for both content areas, adopted by the State Board in August 2015, did not change.
|Level 2 cut score||2491||2533|
|Graduation cut score||2548||2595|
|Level 3 cut score||2577||2614|
|Level 4 cut score||2678||2697|
For WA-AIM, if there are adjustments to the assessment, new cut-scores will be established, and follow the same process described above.
Q: How will the new 10th grade achievement levels be determined?
- Washington educators, in conjunction with educators from other Smarter Balanced states, convened to review achievement levels appropriate for 10th grade students. Achievement level setting is the process where a panel establishes the performance descriptors and minimum score (cut score) necessary to be classified into each level [Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 (meeting standard), or Level 4]. These levels and descriptors are based on our Washington K–12 Learning Standards. The panelists recommended the minimally acceptable student performance for classification into each achievement level shown in the previous question..
- OSPI presented the recommended scores to the State Board of Education and they were for approved in January 2018.
For WA-AIM, if new achievement levels are required, the process will be similar to that of the Smarter Balanced tests, but with only Washington educators involved.
Q: Will there be a cut-score for graduation purposes that is different than the cut-score for meeting standard?
- Just as was the case before this bill passed, there may be one cut-score for 10th grade ”on track to career- and college-ready” and another cut-score that represents the high school graduation standard.
- SBE discussed the graduation cut-scores during the January 2018 meeting and expects to discuss it at other meetings in 2018. The SBE did not make any changes to the graduation cut scores in January. Until any changes are approved by SBE, the same graduation cut-scores will apply as have been in place since 2015 and shown in the table above. Any approved increases would not affect students who are already in high school. If SBE approved an increase to the graduation cut-score, it would only apply to future cohorts of students.
If necessary, establishing new WA-AIM scores for graduation will follow the same process as above.
Q: Given that the test is moving to 10th grade, what will happen to the higher education agreements regarding placement into college-level courses?
- OSPI will be working with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, as well as with the Washington Student Achievement Council, the Council of Presidents, and the baccalaureate institutions to determine what will happen with the agreements. For students who had already taken the Smarter Balanced test prior to 2017-18 and who achieved a Level 3, the agreements are still in place.
Q: Will you make a new test map (test blueprint) available?
- The test blueprint for the 10th grade ELA test will be the same as the previously-used 11th grade test blueprint. Based on educators’ recommendations that changes to the content of the test bank are not necessary, there was no need to change the test blueprint.
- We are also able to continue to use the previously-used 11th grade test blueprint for the 10th grade mathematics test. This is possible for three reasons:
- The very large number of items in the high school bank allowed removing specific content without eliminate entire sections of the test bank;
- The adaptive nature of the test allows selecting items based on student performance throughout the test; and
- The sampling nature of the test blueprint allows selecting a variety of content within broad categories of the standards.
- A new test blueprint for the WA-AIM, if needed, will reflect any adjustments through the Access Point Frameworks and the linked Performance Tasks.