Posted Date: 10/16/2018
Included with your child’s progress report, you will find state test scores for last year. If you follow state news, you have probably already heard about all of the changes to the state testing program (now referred to as OSTP – Oklahoma State Testing Program). To match with new federal education standards, the state of Oklahoma completely dismantled the old testing program. Because of these changes, last year’s testing was considered a “learning” year for all involved to try the new testing system and make subsequent changes as needed. This resulted in what appears to be much lower test scores for Oklahoma students across the board. We have been assured by the State Department of Education that this was the expected result and that students will see no negative impact to their academic record based on last year’s scores. In fact, we have been instructed to no longer view state testing as a “Pass / Fail” system. Instead, the State Education Department will be focusing on year to year growth by student, not on a single score for any given year.
Also, you will see that the scoring system has changed. There is no longer a “Limited Knowledge” score on testing. The four scores are now Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic. Students across the state are expected to cluster around the Basic and Proficient range. The largest score represented across the state this year was “Basic”. The Basic designation is supposed to indicate that the student has the basic skills expected for that particular subject / grade level, but has room for growth going forward through the years. This year’s testing is meant to provide a base line score, from which a student’s growth in subsequent years can be tracked. For more information about state testing and information on how to interpret test scores, the Oklahoma State Department of Education website now has a Parent Portal which includes a Parent Portal Training video, Parent Portal Guide, Parent Interpretation Guide, and an Understanding My Student’s Score page.