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University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Office of Assessment

Connecticut Assessment Forum (2011)

The 2011 statewide assessment conference: EMBRACING THE NEXT GENERATION OF STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS, was presented by the Connecticut State Department of Education in cooperation with the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. The conference was held August 15–16, 2011 at the Marriott in Farmington. Presentation materials are archived below.

Conference Program

Download a PDF of the conference program

Keynote Address

Begin with the End In Mind: Next Generation of Assessments
Susan Gendron

Susan A. Gendron incorporates her past experience as Commissioner of Education for Maine and her current role of policy coordinator for the SMARTER Balance Assessment Consortium to share her thoughts about the next generation of assessment across the nation.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]


A. Assessing College-Ready Writing
Emily Wojcik

What are the idiosyncrasies of the college education, as opposed to elementary and secondary school? A core set of questions and issues that seem applicable across college campuses, and even across the disciplines, will be described. The report and findings of the 2009 UCONN Freshman English Committee suggesting possible avenues for going forward with college-level writing assessment will also be discussed.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

B. Assessing English Language Learners: Considerations and Requirements
Megan Alubicki

This session is designed for participants who wish to learn more about the specific assessment requirements pertaining to English language learners (ELLs). Participants will be introduced to assessment topics and considerations related to ELLs, in addition to assessment for identification purposes, annual, federal mandates and the state-mandated ; Language Assessment Scales (LAS) Links assessment. Assessment in relation to SRBI and ELLs will also be addressed, and Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) targets will be reviewed.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

C. Assessment of Special Populations
Joe Amenta and George Michna

Connecticut has two alternate assessments for students with disabilities, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT)/Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) Skills Checklist and the CMT/CAPT Modified Assessment System (MAS). This session will look at the data from these two assessments to better understand the students who have participated and identify potential implications for future instructional and assessment decisions.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

D. Assessment to Inform Instruction and Intervention within an SRBI Framework
Joshua Wilson

This session will present an overview of how assessment can support informed instructional decision-making within an SRBI framework. The presentation will focus on assessment for four purposes: (1) Evaluation/Outcome; (2) Screening/Benchmarking; (3) Diagnosis; and (4) Progress Monitoring. Applications to literacy instruction as well as related research examples will be discussed
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

E. CBAS Update
Gil Andrada

The Connecticut Benchmark Assessment System (CBAS) is undergoing several changes based on recent developments and user feedback. As we get closer to the 2011-2012 school year, come and see what has changed and what is planned. There are developments which focus CBAS on the Common Core State Standards and work being done to employ more technology on the benchmark assessments.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

F. CBAS Writing Assessment with Automated Essay Scoring
Mike Powell

One of the next additions to the CBAS will be a writing task that uses an automated essay scorer to provide holistic and trait scores for student essays. The benefits of this system include the immediate delivery of scores to students, as well as suggested improvements to their writing. During this session, there will be a demonstration of the CBAS Writing Web site, including the real-time scoring of an essay.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

Mark Vocca

In August 2010, the Connecticut State Department of Education unveiled the Connecticut Education Data and Research (CEDaR) Web portal. CEDaR provides access to education data through District and School Snapshots, Data Tables and Analysis Tools. Users have the capability to customize data tables through filter and comparison tools. This session will demonstrate these features and provide an overview of new Student Profiles targeted for the district-level user.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

H. Dos and Don’ts for CMT and CAPT Data Analysis
Abe Krisst and Steve Martin

The meeting of the school board is coming up! You are slated to present the statewide test data for your district. As you prepare, you discover that the percentage of 5th-graders who achieved the goal on the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) is lower than that percentage in Grade 4. What does this mean? How should this be explained? Can these numbers legitimately be compared, or is there a better way to present these data? Find out in this practical session. The Do’s and Don’ts of Data Analysis will guide you in finding legitimate and defensible ways to present test data. Additionally, the presenters will introduce you to online tools that will allow you to study test data alongside other relevant information about your students.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

I. Global Best-practices Toolkit
Everett Lyons and Alicia Roy

Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine comprise the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC). The primary goal of the Consortium is to transform secondary schools in the member states in order to achieve the following outcomes:

  • decrease dropout rates;
  • increase graduation rates;
  • increase college enrollment; and
  • reduce first-year college remediation.

[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

J. Measuring Student Achievement Growth with Vertical Scales
Mohamed Dirir and Norma Sinclair

The Connecticut Department of Education developed Connecticut vertical scales that measured student achievement progress across grades for mathematics and reading in 2007. In this session, a growth model using vertical scales will be presented. Uses of the growth model for accountability, program evaluation, and instructional purposes will be highlighted. Implication for the next generation of Connecticut student assessment will also be presented.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

K. Responsiveness to Intervention and School wide Positive Behavior Support
George Sugai

The purpose of this session is to highlight the elements that define responsiveness-to-intervention by describing the implementation of practices and systems of school wide, positive behavior support. In addition, examples and outcome data will be described.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) | Key PBIS Concepts, Principles, and Terminology (PDF) | SWPBS and RtI (PDF) ]

L. SIGMA: an eMetric Solution for K-12 Business Intelligence
Amy Schaefer and Lindsey Stringer

High quality data-driven decision making in school districts is only possible with timely, accurate, and relevant data, free from the bounds of any single data source. eMetric will share its latest development, SIGMA, that enables educators at all levels (district employees, school administrators, and teachers) to leverage data from several sources (student information systems, assessments, etc.) to track student performance, monitor accountability, and analyze trends and indicators. By utilizing the School Interoperability Framework (SIF), SIGMA reduces the time and expense needed for customized data processing. SIGMA provides users with an easy to use and feature rich dashboard, a scorecard, and a reporting tool. Future versions of the application will include online assessment and access to district interventions for a comprehensive application that links assessment to performance to action.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

M. SRBI Panel Discussion
Iris White, Ann P. Dombroski, Karen Habegger, Sarhanna K. Smith, Wanda Wagner, and Tom Zwicker*

In a panel discussion format, members of the Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) scientific research-based interventions (SRBI) committee will discuss the use of district wide assessments through the implementation of our SRBI plan. Summative and formative assessments are integral components of our curricula, instruments for decision-making within our professional learning communities and data teams (within our schools and across our district), as well as the foundation of our SRBI model. The use of assessments within our magnet schools as well as our special education schools has helped us to develop effective teaching strategies to ensure all of our students gain achievements.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) | ACES Public Schools SRBI: Intervention and Support Model (PDF) ]

N. State Implementation Plan for Connecticut English Language Arts (ELA) Standards (Common Core State Standards [CCSS])
Joanne White and Amy Radikas

Connecticut has adopted the Common Core State Standards…now what? Participants will learn about the statewide implementation plan and proposed information regarding the assessment system for Connecticut standards (Common Core State Standards). Participants will be provided with a framework for guiding revisions of English language arts curriculum and investigate units of study.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) | Standards Handout (PDF) | Treasure Hunt (PDF) ]

O. The Connecticut Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics: Implications for Teaching, Learning and Curriculum
Charlene Tate Nichols

This session will provide information about the CCSS and the related adjustments in mathematics instruction and curriculum that support the paradigm shift required by the CCSS in Connecticut.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

P. The Future of Assessment in Connecticut
Shelbi Cole and Gail Pagano

This presentation will provide information about Connecticut’s role as a governing state in the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Beginning in spring 2015, the SBAC assessments will be administered to students in Grades 3 – 8 and in Grade 11. This presentation will give an overview of computer-adaptive testing and innovative item types that will comprise the SBAC system.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

Q. The Next Generation of Science Standards
Elizabeth Buttner and Jeffery Greig

Now that most states have adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts, national attention has turned to determining the next generation of science standards. This session will address the effort taking place to develop the new national science standards. A science framework is forthcoming (in the next couple months), which will be used to develop the standards. The Department will be putting together a state-level team to review the standards, most likely around January 2012. Achieve will be developing materials for states to use to inform their local constituents about this effort.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

R. The Use of Computer Gaming Environments in Instruction and Assessment & New Opportunities in Technology-based Assessment
Roger Travis, Stepen Slota, Kevin Ballestrini, and Jody Clarke-Midura

The Use of Computer Gaming Environments in Instruction and Assessment
Game-based learning is on the New Media Consortium’s two-to-three year adoption horizon, but very few educators know what a game-based curriculum, or a game-based assessment, actually looks like. In this session, you’ll see two versions of this amazing future in which courses (and even tests) are as engaging as the latest game for the XBox or Wii.

New Opportunities in Technology-based Assessment
Since the performance-based assessment studies of the 1990s, three advances have taken place that potentially enable online performance assessments capable of validly measuring the full complexity of scientific inquiry: 1) advances in cognitive science; 2) advances in statistics and measurement; and 3) advances in information and communication technologies. To illustrate the power and potential of these new types of performance assessments, current research on immersive virtual environments (IVEs) will be presented. IVEs are three-dimensional (3-D) environments, either single- or multi-user, where participants’ digital personae (avatars) engage in virtual activities and experiences.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

S. Using NAEP and TIMSS Resources: Ideas to Improve Instruction
Renee Savoie and Elizabeth Buttner

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is used to measure changes in student achievement over time and allows comparisons across states. Similarly, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) measures student achievement periodically in mathematics and science in over 60 countries. This workshop will provide an introduction to the rich information these assessments yield, including achievement data, released items and scoring rubrics, and many other resources and tools that can be used locally to improve teaching and learning.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) ]

T. Using Student Success Plans to Monitor and Support Student Academic Performance and Career Decision-making
June Sanford and Jocelyn Mackey

As a requirement of The Connecticut Plan for Secondary School Reform, every district will be required to implement a success plan for students in Grades 6 through 12. The Student Success Plan (SSP) is an individualized, student-driven plan that will be developed to address every student’s needs and interests. It will help every student stay connected in school, and to achieve postsecondary educational and career goals. The SSP will provide the student support and assistance in setting goals for social, emotional, physical and academic growth, meeting rigorous high school expectations, and exploring postsecondary education and career interests. This presentation will focus on successful practices that districts have employed across the state.
[ Presentation Slides (PDF) | Model Criteria and Recommended Elements (PDF) | SSP Overview (PDF) ]