- The purpose of the assessment blueprints is to outline the percentage of items that will be assessed within the Kentucky Academic Standards in each content area.
- A report including the blueprints and process will be shared with the Kentucky Board of Education at one of its future meetings.
By Jacob Perkins
The Standards and Assessment Process Review Committee ruled in a July 8 virtual meeting that the alignment process of assessment blueprints for reading and writing, mathematics and social studies was sufficient.
By statutory guidelines, the committee included teachers from each content area, two principals, two superintendents and a local school board member.
Senate Bill 175 (2019) calls for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to implement a process to review all academic standards and aligned assessments beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. The schedule calls for specific content areas to be reviewed each year, and every six years after that, on a rotating basis.
The purpose of the assessment blueprints is to outline the percentage of items in each content area that will be assessed from the Kentucky Academic Standards. The blueprints are designed to guide the development of individual test items, serve as targets for assessment development, define how results from the assessment are reported and provide information to teachers as they make instructional decisions.
“Much like a builder would take a blueprint to a house and create and build the house, in assessment, we take an assessment blueprint and build the actual assessment from it,” explained Jennifer Stafford, director in KDE’s Division of Assessment and Accountability Support.
The committee heard a report that summarized the standards and alignment of assessments review process – a process that featured a stop in front of the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education. The process included two rounds of public feedback, two advisory panel and review committee meetings that consisted of Kentucky teachers, representation from higher education and community members which helped guide the department in developing the blueprints.
“This completes a very long-term process and projects dating back with the creation of new standards,” said Rhonda Sims, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Assessment and Accountability. Sims also is serving as associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning until the position is filled on a permanent basis.
The committee did raise concerns over the lack of student feedback received. However, KDE was required by SB 175 to solicit a third-party vendor to distribute the surveys to generate public feedback, Sims said.
“One of the challenges was because it was a third-party vendor, we couldn’t specifically reach out by email to students,” she said. “… So that means we had to work through the structure of districts and schools to reach kids.”
Sims added that this feedback on student input will provide an opportunity for KDE to “think out of the box moving forward.”
Sims suggested, and the committee agreed, that the department utilize the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council in the future as a way to generate feedback from students. The committee added that the department may also want to consider the student advisory councils that are established at the school and district level to generate feedback.
Kelly Philbeck, an educational consultant with KDE, pointed out that Kentucky’s students field tested the current, newly adopted content area standards and were given the opportunity to provide feedback. While that feedback received from students was in response to the actual assessment, it was useful when considering the blueprints because the blueprint is what drives the construction of the assessment.
At the conclusion of the report, the committee agreed that stakeholders have had adequate opportunity to provide input on standards and the corresponding alignment of state assessments.
Now that the Standards and Assessment Process Review Committee has made its determination, the blueprints and process will be shared with the Kentucky Board of Education at one of its future meetings.
MORE INFO …
- Standards and Assessment Process Review Committee
- Kentucky Department for Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage
- KDE’s COVID-19 webpage
- COVID-19 Hotline (800) 722-5725