Spring Marks the Transition to New Assessments for Vermont
Results from the October 2013 administration of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) were released today at Barre City Elementary & Middle School. This is the final year the NECAP will be given for reading, writing, and mathematics as Vermont is transitioning to the Smarter Balanced Assessment system. This spring 27 schools, including all three schools in the Barre Supervisory Union, will participate in the Smarter Balanced field test.
Vermont began using the NECAP in 2005. The tests were designed to measure students’ achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11, with approximately 45,000 students participating each year. Vermont continues to see two distinct trends: girls outperform boys in reading and writing, and the achievement gap continues between children in high- and low-income families for all subjects. In particular, male students who qualify for free and reduced lunch lag behind their peers in reading and writing in these tests.
“What the test scores show us is that although we’ve made gains, we can still do better. In particular, we need to do better with young men from low-income backgrounds,” said Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe. “We need to make sure they have the skills they need to thrive in the workforce or pursue post-secondary opportunities.”
To avoid subjecting students to double testing in the same school year, the 27 field test schools were granted an exemption from NECAP. The fall 2013 NECAP results thus reflect performance of a subset of schools, not performance across the state as a whole. Individual schools that participated in NECAP will be able to report on local educational trends.
Looking forward, the Agency of Education plans to develop a comprehensive accountability model. This model will include test scores in a portfolio of performance measures that provide a more comprehensive portrait of student learning in the state.
As we prepare for the field test, the Agency will begin to work with the school districts to prepare for the new Smarter Balanced assessment. Learn more about the Smarter Balanced assessments here: http://bit.ly/1fumy3Z. Learn more about the field test and the 27 schools who are participating in the field test here: http://bit.ly/1cDUwlY.
Vermont will continue to administer the NECAP science assessment through 2016. The fall 2013 ELA & Mathematics NECAP data is available online: http://bit.ly/1eE6QiO.
Please contact Michael Hock, State Assessment Director, at 802-828-3115 with questions.