From Z to A: Setting the STAAR Cut Points from End to Beginning Gloria Zyskowski, TEA Kimberly O’Malley, Pearson
Session Overview• STAAR Assessment Program• Alignment of Content Standards• Standard Setting 101• Alignment of Performance Standards• STAAR Standard-Setting Process
STAAR Assessment Program• Emphasis on college and career readiness• Aligned system of assessments• Increased rigor Focus—on the curriculum (TEKS) that are most critical to assess Clarity—regarding what will be assessed and how the assessed content standards are preparing students for their next step Depth—is emphasized over breadth in assessing student expectations
College Readiness Goals• To become one of the top 10 states in the nation in terms of college readiness by the 2019–2020 school year• High school graduates prepared for postsecondary opportunities
Texas Definition of College ReadinessTexas Education Code (TEC) §39.024:• ―…the level of preparation a student must attain in English language arts and mathematics courses to enroll and succeed, without remediation, in an entry-level general education course for credit in that same content area.‖ at four-year college and universities at institutions that offer associate degrees and certificates
Alignment of Content Standards• Start with college readiness• Align to high school standards• Vertically align down to elementary school
Texas College and Career ReadinessStandards (CCRS)• Legislation required TEA and THECB to establish vertical teams to develop standards in English language arts Mathematics Science Social studies• Approved in January 2008• Have been compared with other national standards
Aligned to High School Standards• Gap analysis and alignment study• TEKS refinements and revisions• Identification of critical skills in English III Algebra II
Vertically Aligned to Elementary• Map critical skills back to third grade• Focus on essential skills for current grade and important to be prepared for the next grade• Readiness vs. supporting student expectations Readiness student expectation emphasized in the STAAR assessments
College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS):• First integrated into the EOC assessment at the end of the sequence (English III and Algebra II)• Then mapped backwards across courses and grades to form a content-aligned system
Standard Setting 101• Different types of standards Content Standards Performance Standards Accountability Standards• Process of determining the level of knowledge and skill students need to demonstrate to be classified into the various performance levels.• Involves obtaining recommendations from those who are knowledgeable of the content/skills to be assessed the test population the ways in which test scores are used
Standard Setting 101• Combines content, data, and policy expertise
Alignment of Performance Standards• Start with college readiness• Align to high school standards• Vertically align down to elementary school
College Readiness StandardsTEC § 39.024 mandates:• The setting of college readiness performance standards for English III and Algebra II Informed by research studies Research studies conducted prior to initial standard setting and at least every three years thereafter• The comparison of standards to national and international ―college readiness‖ assessments and success in military service or the workforce• The conducting feasibility studies for science and social studies EOC assessments
Aligned to High School Standards• Performance standards in lower-level EOC assessments informed by studies that relate student performance in one course with student performance in the next course Algebra I standard aligned with Algebra II English II standard aligned with English III English I standard aligned with English II
Vertically Aligned to Elementary• Performance standards in middle and elementary school also informed by studies, relating student performance in one grade/course with student performance in the next grade/course Grade 8 math standard aligned with Algebra I Grade 8 reading standard aligned with English I Standards in grades 3–7 reading and mathematics aligned with next grade/course
Performance standards based on empirical evidence from student performance• across courses and grades• on external assessments
STAAR Standard-Setting ProcessEight steps for setting STAAR performance standards:1. Conduct validity and linking studies2. Develop performance labels and policy definitions3. Develop grade/course specific performance level descriptors4. Standard-setting committee5. Policy review committee6. Approval of performance standards7. Implementation of performance standards8. Review of performance standards
1. Conduct Validity and Linking StudiesStudies to inform the college readiness standard:• Follow students from high school to college• Compare EOC performance and other test performance SAT ACT ACCUPLACER THEA• College students take STAAR EOC assessments
1. Conduct Validity and Linking StudiesStudies to inform standards for STAAR EOC assessments:• Relationship between test performance in the same content area• Relationship between test and course performance• Comparison to TAKS• Comparison with NAEP
1. Conduct Validity and Linking StudiesStudies to inform standards for STAAR 3–8 assessments:• Relationship between test performance in different grades in the same content area• Relationship between grade 8 and high school• Comparison with TAKS• Comparison with NAEP• Vertical Scale
Why Studies for Setting PerformanceStandards?• Texas goal is to be in the Top 10 in terms of college readiness by 2019–2020.• Comparisons of Texas standards with national and international standards are important in meeting this goal.• Studies will be conducted at least every three years to update standards and monitor progress.
Example: Algebra II and SATContent Overlap• SAT (general) is broader, but STAAR is deeperSAT Mathematics (not SAT STAAR Algebra II Subject Test) • Quadratic Functions and• Arithmetic operations Relations• Algebra • Square Root Functions• Geometry • Rational Functions• Statistics • Exponential and Logarithmic Functions• Probability • Etc…• Etc…
Example: Algebra II and SATTiming• STAAR Algebra II Spring of junior year Spring of senior year• SAT (General Test) Spring of junior year Fall of senior year• Students take the assessments around the same time of year. However…
Example: Algebra II and SATData are not available on the same timeline• SAT data are typically available to the state after students graduate• Initial standards will be set using data from tests not used for students’ graduation requirements.• Standards review will incorporate data from tests used for students’ graduation requirements. STAAR SAT Initial Seniors 2011 Standard Juniors 2010 Graduating seniors 2011 Setting (Algebra II FT) Standards Review Juniors 2014 Graduating seniors 2015
Additional Considerations• SAT—no college ready benchmark for comparison ACT does have a college ready benchmark and it will be used in comparisons• Student motivation now and then• Algebra II is a newly-tested content area Required course as part of 4x4 Required assessment for graduation (recommended and distinguished achievement programs) Instruction will improve Curriculum may be changed/updated• SAT is typically taken by college-bound students
2. Performance Labels and Policy Definitions• TEA and THECB convened a committee September 30–October 1, 2010• 26 committee members represented by diverse stakeholders in: Public education Higher education Business community Legislature
Committee Charges• Assume that the state assessment system will be implemented under current federal and state statute, both of which require a minimum of three performance levels.• Reach consensus on recommendations for the names of the performance labels (categories of performance) for student achievement on the assessments (general, modified and alternate).• Make recommendations for key words/phrases to be used in drafting the policy definitions that will define student performance within each category.
Performance Label & Policy DefinitionTAKS Example• Performance Label Met the Standard• Policy Definition Satisfactory academic achievement, students performed at a level that was at or somewhat above the state passing standard, students demonstrated a sufficient understanding of the knowledge and skills measured at this grade.
Committee ProcessStep 1: Brainstorm key words/phrases to be used in developing the policy definitionsStep 2: Share recommendations for key words/phrasesStep 3: Reach consensus on recommendations for key words/phrases to be used in developing the policy definitionsStep 4: Brainstorm performance labels for each of the performance categoriesStep 5: Share recommendations for performance labelsStep 6: Reach consensus on recommendations for performance labels
Final labels and definitions to be approved by thecommissioner of education by December 31, 2010.
3. Specific Performance Level Descriptors• Committees to meet in 2011• Committees to primarily include educators from both public education and higher education• Translate the policy definitions into grade/course and content specific descriptions
3. Specific Performance Level DescriptorsTAKS Exit-level ELA Example Performance Label Met the Standard Satisfactory performance; at or above state Policy passing standard; a sufficient understanding ofDefinition the ELA TEKS curriculum Students Who Met the Standard 1. Use appropriate strategies to comprehend both fiction and nonfiction most of the time. 2. Understand, for the most part, how literary techniques, such as symbolism, foreshadowing, and flashback, contribute to the development of a story. 3. Have some awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses as a writer. 4. Etc… Specific Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs)
4. Standard-Setting Committee• STAAR EOC: February 2012• STAAR 3–8: October 2012• Committee members to represent broad perspectives including: Educators (from both public and higher education) Policy experts (including business representatives) Dual expertise in education and policy
4. Standard-Setting Committee• Committee will follow a research-based standard-setting process• Cut scores will be informed by Test content (item difficulty, required skills) Alignment within content area External study results (e.g. SAT, ACT) Linking studies (e.g. Algebra I to Algebra II) Student performance (estimated % passing) Expert judgment• Cut score will be set starting with highest grade/course, with lower grade/course vertically aligned to higher grade/course
5. Policy Review Committee• STAAR EOC: March 2012• STAAR 3–8: November 2012• Committee of higher and public education policy experts from prior committee and additional policy experts• Review recommended cut scores across the entire STAAR program – all grades/courses and content areas
6. Approve Performance Standards• STAAR EOC: March 2012• STAAR 3–8: December 2012• College readiness performance standards approved by commissioner of education and commissioner of higher education• All other performance standards approved by commissioner of education
7. Implement Performance Standards• STAAR EOC: May 2012 (first high stakes administration)• STAAR 3–8: Late fall 2012 or early 2013• New standards are expected to be used in state and federal accountability systems starting in 2013
8. Review Performance Standards• Legislative requirement to review performance standards at least once every three years• First review in 2013• Consider additional data from research studies Longitudinal data (follow cohorts of TX students from EOC to college and careers) Substitute tests (AP, IB, SAT subject) Military service Workforce College readiness for science and social studies (depending on findings of feasibility studies)
SummaryThe STAAR Assessment Program will feature:• Content and performance standards that are an aligned system from grade 3 to college and career readiness to prepare all students for postsecondary opportunities• Performance standards that are not set in isolation but informed by data from research studies that include comparisons with national and international assessments• A multi-step research-based standard-setting process that includes diverse stakeholders from higher and public education and involves frequent review of standardsAdditional information can be found in the transition report submitted to the legislature on December 1.