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OSSE Selects Alvarez and Marsal, LLC to Investigate Classrooms, Strengthen Data Integrity Measures

Thursday, March 8, 2012

OSSE Selects Alvarez and Marsal, LLC to Investigate Classrooms, Strengthen Data Integrity Measures

Agency pledges full cooperation and transparency to ensure test validity

OSSE Contact: 202-727-6436, osse.media@dc.gov

Washington, DC -- The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) today announced the selection of Alvarez and Marsal Public Sector Services, LLC (A&M) to investigate the validity of 2011 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) results.

“Commissioning A&M to oversee the investigations of classrooms provides the safeguards our agency needs to ensure the integrity of our testing methods and solid confirmation of test results,” said State Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley. “OSSE remains dedicated to setting high standards of achievement for D.C. students and preventing any breaches in test security; having A&M on board allows us to fulfill these goals while focusing our attention on the improvements that are being made across the District.”

Selected after a competitive RFP bidding process, A&M’s investigation contract will look into classrooms in both District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and District Public Charter Schools flagged by OSSE for possible testing concerns following analyses of test results from the 2011 DC CAS. The classrooms that were listed for further review had wrong-to-right erasure flags, score variation within classrooms, and unusual student gains from 2010-2011.

Beyond classrooms flagged by OSSE, District Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will also have, at their individual request and cost, the opportunity to analyze additional forensic data unique to their schools, such as formative assessment results compared to DC CAS results, to recommend other classrooms for investigations. A&M’s contract will cover these additional investigations and upon completion, OSSE will review all investigative findings and issue final determinations.

“It is important to remember that any data flags indicated by OSSE are only suggested areas that require further review and do not provide evidence of impropriety by any particular school or individual,” said Mahaley. “Test integrity is an issue we take seriously, and with this contract in place, we have now reached the end stages of a comprehensive approach to deal with this important issue.”

“OSSE is committed to protecting and enforcing testing standards, assessments, and accountability on behalf of D.C. public education.”

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