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DC State Test Investigations
For the most serious allegations of test improprieties, OSSE may assign a third party investigator to conduct fact finding and prepare a report. In these cases, OSSE will provide to the LEA, its rationale for the assignment of the allegation reviews to a third party. OSSE will then present steps that will be taken during the investigation. At the conclusion, the LEA will receive a copy of the investigator's report.
The most important aspect of state-wide standardized test administration is to ensure that test scores are accurate representations of what the District’s students know and are able to do. For this reason, ethical testing practices, including pre-test activities and instruction, are paramount in making inferences about student ability and instructional quality. Therefore, if students are coached or taught only the content specific to a certain test, their test scores may not be valid indicators of their level of mastery for a specific content area.
In the summer and fall following the Spring DC CAS administration, OSSE conducts an analysis of the test results to ensure their integrity. This may include, but is not limited to: an analysis of student erasures, unusual patterns or gains in student performance, student-level multiple choice and constructed response answers, other forensic analysis of data patterns, an analysis of incidents reported, and audits of missing materials. After a review of each allegation of possible violations, acts are categorized into three groupings (i.e., no findings, minor, moderate, or critical) according according to the severity of the violation and its possible consequences.
Please see below the results of the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 state level investigations into alleged testing improprieties: