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OSSE Announces Enhanced Test Security Measures for DC Public Schools and Charters

Friday, December 23, 2011
Agency acts to improve test protocol

OSSE Contact: Marc Caposino, (202) 727-7207

Washington, DC: To ensure the validity of 2011 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) results, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) today issued a Request for Proposal soliciting vendors to investigate and assess individual classrooms. The announcement comes as State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley introduces a series of recommendations and procedures aimed at improving testing protocols across the District and strengthening the validity and reliability of test investigations.

“Testing impropriety is an issue this agency takes very seriously,” said Superintendent Mahaley. “Any violation of security undermines trust and faith in our entire educational system by casting doubt on the positive growth we have begun to see city-wide. I want to ensure OSSE has the most stringent safeguards and standards in place to ensure all DC CAS exams are governed and graded above board.”

This RFP solicitation is the next step in solidifying a series of new procedures and protocols that were recommended to the OSSE by an independent advisory committee of national experts in the area of educational assessment. This group is comprised of Won-Chan Lee of the University of Iowa, Paul Nichols of the Center for Assessment, Rachel Quenemoen of the National Center on Educational Outcomes, and William Schafer of the University of Maryland, the committee made the recommendation that OSSE manage all investigations for the 2012 DC CAS administration to prevent any appearance of conflicting interest from local education agencies (LEAs).

Recently, OSSE created an enhanced set of statistical measures to more thoroughly analyze and assess student-level gains in achievement from 2010 to 2011. These statistical measures include student erasures from an incorrect to correct answer; student erasures for consecutive or multiple years; and in-classroom variances.

“It is my hope that this announcement will send a strong message to all those involved in educating our children, that the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor for Education and OSSE remain committed to firm standards, assessment and accountability in all aspects of education in the District of Columbia.”