Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, OSSE suspended statewide assessments, with approval from the US Department of Education (USED), in 2020 and 2021. As a result, the District was unable to measure student academic performance across schools, local education agencies (LEAs), the state and specific groups of students for two years. In the absence of these critical statewide summative assessment data, OSSE sought to obtain some sense of student learning over the past academic year. As per a requirement of the District’s waiver with the USED and our commitment to understanding the landscape of local assessments, OSSE asked for and received local assessment collection summaries from schools across the District.
The School Year 2020-21 OSSE Local Assessment Collection Report synthesizes the high-level findings from OSSE after reviewing the Local Assessment portion of the school-level Continuous Education Plans (CEPs) for the 2020-21 school year. This report will explain local context for both administration and reporting of assessments, OSSE’s key findings from the plans and the next steps for programmatic support.
As companion files to the report, OSSE is also sharing the self-reported data from schools on their local assessment participation and number of students who met individual, school and LEA assessment goals. Please note that this collection is the first time that OSSE has required LEAs to self-report local assessment data. Unlike statewide summative assessments, local assessment data do not have the same strict psychometric requirements for reliability, comparability, test security, and data security for statewide comparability. Additionally, schools use a variety of different assessments. Therefore, it would be irresponsible for the state education agency to aggregate and report local assessment results. The intent of this collection was to respect the diversity in approaches and plans for local assessments at the school and LEA level.
Users of these data should strongly consider the following:
- Decisions about curriculum and assessment should be made as close to the student as possible, and as such, local assessment plans are highly specific to the school and LEA.
- The 2020-21 school year was immensely difficult from a school administration perspective, requiring shifts in priorities and procedures across the board.
- It is challenging to administer local assessments remotely in a manner that will produce reliable results, even with advance planning time. Schools worked hard to provide standard testing environments, but there were many barriers outside of their control. Testing irregularities and non-standard test environments make interpretations of specific data points very difficult.
- Reduced participation in local assessments impacts the generalizability of results for the school.
- Local assessment data are best used by the specific school and LEA, as they are equipped to contextualize the data and supplement with other information.
We appreciate all the hard work that went into both administering these assessments and reporting them to OSSE.