New Mexico Standards Based Assessments (page 3)
Purposes of the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment
There are three purposes for the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment:
- As required by the No Child Left Behind legislation of 2001, the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment (SBA) is utilized to determine the level at which New Mexico students achieve the New Mexico Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards at the school and district level. Each subtest is designed to measure the state content standards as delineated in the Assessment Frameworks.
- To measure the progress of students over time. In the past, measures of student progress were restricted to comparing one year’s class with another year’s class. With the development of vertical scales for reading, writing, mathematics, and science for grades 3-8, the progress of each student and group of students can be examined each year in the tested content areas.
- The grade 11 SBA will be used to determine levels of passing required for graduation for the first time in spring 2011. Students will have the opportunity to retake the assessment 2 additional times during their senior year.
Structure of the NM Standards Based Assessments
The SBA is paper-and-pencil assessment that is aligned to the New Mexico Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards. The assessment consists of multiple sections for each content area. Per the following table, all areas except Writing have three sessions and Writing has two sessions. Test items are multiple choice (MC) and constructed response (CR). For CR items, students write out their responses as opposed to filling in a bubble next to an answer choice for MC items. The ratio of CR/MC items is 80 percent MC and 20 percent CR, but because of the greater number of potential points for CR items, the point ratio for any given content area’s test is approximately 45 percent of points from CR items and 55 percent of points from MC items. Please note: the 2011 SBA change to an 80/20 configuration is due to a cost savings measure.
For the Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies assessments, CR items may require either short-answer responses (SA) or open-ended responses (OE). Students can earn up to two points for SA responses and up to three or four points for OE responses. CR items are scored according to previously established rubrics. Although there are generic rubric templates for the SA and OE items, please be aware that for actual scoring, the rubrics are customized for each specific item. The generic rubrics can be found in the Assessment and Evaluation web page. The item-specific rubrics cannot be published because to do so would compromise item security.
For the Writing assessment, about half of the total points possible are earned based on the student’s actual writing in response to prompts, but points are also available for planning and editing. Planning points are given for evidence of planning prior to writing the final draft of the response to the writing prompt(s). Editing items require a student to examine a passage that has possible errors underlined and make corrections as appropriate. The rubrics used to score responses to the writing prompts within the Writing assessment are generic and thus can be shared. The writing rubrics, the point distribution scheme, and other details about the Writing assessment can be found in the “Writing Corner” in the lower left column of the Assessment and Evaluation webpage at the following link: http://www.ped.state.nm.us/AssessmentAccountability/AssessmentEvaluation/SBA/index.html There are also some multiple-choice items in the SBA Writing Assessment.
Test Development Process for the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment
The development of a standards-based assessment is a long, highly technical process that takes at least a year to complete. Each step of the process is important to maximize the reliability and validity of the assessment. The following describes the steps taken during the development of the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment.
- The content to be assessed is defined. Since not all of the Content Standards and Benchmarks can be validly or reliably assessed on a paper-and-pencil test, Assessment Frameworks were created to delineate the skills and concepts that can be assessed on a large scale assessment. The Assessment Frameworks are derived from the New Mexico Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards by teachers and content experts. The Assessment Frameworks can be accessed on the PED Assessment and Evaluation webpage at this link: http://www.ped.state.nm.us/AssessmentAccountability/AssessmentEvaluation/SBA/index.html
- A test blueprint is developed. The test blueprint defines the content coverage of the assessment for each content area. The blueprint also defines the percentage of items or score points that will measure each standard and benchmark, the proportion of items that will be multiple choice (MC) and constructed response (CR), which are either shortanswer (SA) or open-ended (OE), as well as the number and length of the sessions. These blueprints do not change substantially from year to year to ensure that the tests are as similar as possible from one year to the next.
- Test items are developed and reviewed. The test contractor develops the test items that appear on the state assessments and is responsible for printing, shipping, scoring, and reporting for the SBA program. New Mexico educators and PED assessment staff are responsible for approving, editing, or rejecting the test items during item review and data review workshops attended by teachers at specific grade levels from around the state. An item cannot appear on a SBA unless New Mexico educators and PED assessment staff have given their approval during item and data reviews.
- Test items are assembled into a test form. Once a pool of test items has been approved, the items are used to construct an actual test form that matches the test blueprint. For example, if the test blueprint for an assessment requires that Standard 1 represent 30% of a test’s points, the correct number of Standard 1 items will be placed on the test. During this process, the staff members from the PED review all aspects of the proposed form such as pagination, clarity of tables and illustrations, sufficient writing space, and typing or printing errors.
- The test is “refreshed” each year with new items. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the “core items” (that provide the students’ score) are “refreshed” by being replaced with new items that were field-tested during the prior year administration. In addition, in 2005 and 2006, some of the items that were cycled out of the assessment were “released” for teacher, parent, and student use. These appear on the Assessment and Evaluation page of the PED Assessment and Evaluation webpage. Note: Items were not released from the 2007 or 2008 assessments due to budget constraints. No items were released from the 2009 assessment for the same reason. Newly released 2010 items and practice tests have been posted on the website at the Assessment and Evaluation web page: http://www.ped.state.nm.us/AssessmentAccountability/AssessmentEvaluation/SBA/index.html.
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