Online Reporting System- Student Test Status

When running reports via the TIDE Online Reporting System to locate students who have NOT completed testing for AzMERIT, we are aware that many of you are seeing a great number of students with a testing status of “started” (even though their “last active” date is several days ago).

We have just received confirmation from ADE that students with the “started” status listed, actually DO have data in the system but for some reason (as yet to be determined by AIR) this data isn’t processing.

This being the case, please do not worry about trying to pull or reset for testing any student listed with a status of “started” unless you receive specific directions from us to do so.   As per ADE, the testing data for these students IS in the system and should be updated eventually at their end.

This will allow you to focus, for make-up purposes, solely on the students who have no testing status at all within the Online Reporting System (i.e. students who were absent or did not take their test).

The return of the son of AzMERIT- FAQs

Q: How closely do Test Administrators need to follow the directions and scripts?

A: SUSD expects all staff to follow the testing guidelines established by ADE. According to the Test Administration Directions (TAD), Test Administrators are responsible for

  • Following the Test Administration Directions exactly as stated
  • Following the Test Administration Directions exactly as stated
  • Requesting guidance from the Test Coordinator when unusual circumstances arise or when uncertain about proper procedures.

 

Q: The students are submitting their tests and it shows on the TA dashboard; however, the Online Reporting shows that they have only started or some other status besides reported. What is happening?

A: Although reports should be in real time, AIR is aware of and are working to repair a severe time lag between the student submissions and the Online Reporting. This lag can even roll over to the next day. The good news is that the student tests/responses are not impacted. The bad news is that it makes the reports impractical to be used for monitoring student test completion. In the meantime, Test Administrators may print a screenshot of the session before closing or make a list of students who have not completed so that the Site Testing Coordinator can make arrangements for students to continue testing in another location.

 

Q: Students who are no longer enrolled are still showing on our TIDE roster. Can we remove them?

A: No. The TIDE system will not allow us to remove or delete students. They will continue to display at the site in all reports until they are transferred to another school or district. Since TIDE is only the “warehouse” where students are being housed for testing, additional students will not impact accountability. Enrollment for accountability purposes will be based on SAIS. “Please remember that there is no school accountability associated with TIDE enrollment”. ADE

 

Q: Can we add our own students to TIDE?

A: No. Sites may not enter students into TIDE. Although the Site Test Coordinator access level to TIDE allows it, SUSD is having the district office enter students to minimize errors. Students may not be removed from the system and incorrect SAISIDs cannot be corrected without coordinating with ADE.  Additionally, students may already have TIDE enrollment from other schools which will be impacted if entered. (Some of our sites are forced to have students wait to be tested because of these types of errors.)

 

Q: Can student tests be re-opened?

A: Yes. Under the appropriate circumstances tests can be re-opened or restarted. Site Testing Coordinators must contact Hans, via phone, to discuss the options and appeal to ADE for action.

 

 

Q: May Test Administrators enter accommodations for students during a test session?

A: Yes. If the speech-to-text accommodation isn’t working for a student, the TA may check with the Site Testing Coordinator and enable it for a student. The student will need to pause and then re-enter the session. The TA can manually select the accommodation when authorizing the student into the session.

 

Q: Some students report that some of their writing wasn’t saved when they paused. Can it be restored?

A: Since the writing seems to be treated as a single question, there may be the possibility that the system won’t save the entire writing entry if paused. Before testing begins, students can be reminded to frequently save their work and avoid the issue.

 

Q: A student became ill after starting the test and was unable to return to finish it. May s/he have the test re-opened?

A: No. “Students who need to leave school before completing a particular test session of AzMERIT, including those students who leave due to illness, are ineligible to continue the test for that test session.” TAD p. 10

 

Q: If the Computer Based Testing dictionary tool isn’t working, may students use paper dictionaries?

A: Yes, but only in the incidence where the CBT dictionary isn’t working. The Site Testing Coordinator should approve each case where this is necessary and report it on the form provided by Frank.

 

Q: Since withdrawn students can’t be removed from TIDE rosters, will they count against us for percent tested or accountability?

A: No. As per ADE, “Please remember that there is no school accountability associated with TIDE enrollment”.

 

Q: A student was mistakenly authorized and began taking the wrong test. What should we do?

A: Call Hans, immediately for directions. If the test was given out of order, the student will most likely need to complete the test. If the student is ineligible for the test, an appeal must be filed with ADE to invalidate the test.

 

Q: A student or group of students were unable to complete testing because of a technology issue. Can the test be re-opened?

A: In most situations, yes. Call Hans to determine which action will be taken.

 

Q: A student submitted his/her test instead of pausing. Can it be re-opened?

A: In some situations, yes. Call Hans to determine which action will be taken.

Test Form Calibration- Number of Item Responses

ADE/AzMERIT has confirmed that there may be item counting errors which are impacting certain ELA and Math and forms at various grade levels.  When students enter into any test, they are randomly assigned one of several “forms” or versions of the test.  Due to a programming glitch, some versions of the test are calculating the TOTAL number of test items as, for example 25, while students in the same test my show only 22 or 23 items.

 It is important to stress that the NUMBER of test items reflected on the Test Administrator Dashboard SHOULD NOT impact a difference in a student’s score on that version of the test.  As long as the student has completed all questions within the test, the total number of test items displayed on the Test Administrator dashboard should not keep the student from submitting their test answers or reflect on the overall accuracy of the students’ submission.

 

If test administrators see a difference in the number of items from one test to the next, just have students complete the test as normal.  ADE will be correcting this error on future versions of the assessment.

 

Even more FAQs

FAQ

Q: Can accommodations be given to a new student without an IEP, 504, or AZELLA score and placement? What if the IEP is in progress?

A: Accommodations are based on the student’s IEP/504/ELL status at the time of testing. Providing accommodations based on projected status or missing information are inappropriate.

 

Q: Do AzMERIT writing make-up tests need to be completed by the end of the first week?

A: No. All Computer Based Testing (CBT) must be completed by May 1 and all Paper Based Testing (PBT) by April 24. Schools may make up any tests needed within the window.

Q: Since AzMERIT is not a graduation requirement, is it ok to tell students that the test isn’t important?

A: It is never appropriate to tell students a test is unimportant.

 

Q: When will we receive results of the Spring 2015 AzMERIT testing?

A: Results will not be available until after the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. The State Board of Education will vote to adopt the proposed achievement levels after standard setting is completed over the summer.

 

 

REMINDERS

  • The AIR system locks all open tests at the end of the day (after midnight) When there are incidents where the student(s) were unable to complete a test because of technology issues, let Frank and me know via the reporting form he sent out.  I have been able to successfully appeal and have ADE re-open tests, but only because the sites provided the specific details.
  • Frank has been sending out tech updates that address “big” issues we may have experienced during testing. Be sure to review the updates.
  • Having a big tech issue? Check your email to be sure Frank hasn’t just sent out an update. Then call if you still have questions.
  • Who ya gonna call?
    • Enrollments: Bernadette (ext. 2181)
    • Tech Issues: Frank (979-9648)
    • Testing Procedures/Incidents: Hans (904-3453)

Day Two- Fresh Information

Thank-you to everyone who worked with us today, who continued to communicate issues related to the administration of the AzMERIT test online, and developed creative and effective solutions to make sure that students were able to complete their testing.  We learn more every day about how to better manage this process, and here are some more things we’ve learned…

Problem:  Error message stating “Students can only test at their current school” when entering the test.  Update: This is a problem which resulted from a programming error at AzMERIT/AIR.  Although it impacted a very large number of students, it was addressed within the hour.  Solution: We have been assured by AIR Support that this mistake was in no way related to our data and that this problem should not occur again.

Problem: Students entering a new testing session are not permitted select the test (i.e. the test is “grayed out”).  Update:  This is the result of a lag in processing time via AIR’s Data Servers.  It is a known issue and they are working to fix the problem at their end.  Solution:  Have the Test Coordinator for your site check confirm the name of the ORIGINAL  Test Administrator for that student’s first testing session.  If that original Test Administrator logs back in to their dashboard AND launches a new testing session, it will “kill” the first testing session and allow the test to open back up again for the student.

Problem:  Students get the error message “There was a problem with the system.  Please give this case number to your Test Administrator [11045]”.   Update:  This is an indication of a connection problem with the AIR testing servers (again, a problem with their network, not ours).  Solution:  Have students exit out of the secure browser and log back in after a few minutes.  If the problem persists, please contact Frank or Hans as soon as possible.

Problem:  Students are unable to submit their final answers at the end of the test (i.e. when students click “OK” to submit their test, nothing happens).   Update:  This points to a connection error between the students’ device and the network.  Solution:  Check the wireless connection and attempt to resubmit.

Problem:  Test Administrators being notified that their “Test Session Has Ended” in the middle of a testing session.  Update:  Remember that ONLY A STUDENT can officially submit (or end) a test.  Closing a Test Administrator session shouldn’t impact a student’s ability to get back to the test once a new session has been relaunched.  Solution:  If a Test Administrator is experiencing repeated issues with getting kicked out of a session, have them switch to a hardwired (as opposed to wireless) network connection.

Problem:  Testing tools such as Speech to Text, Online Dictionary…etc are not working.  Update:  This is another known issue with AIR and is impacting many of their users.   Solution:  Contact Hans or Frank right away.  As with all other testing issues recording  the essential details on AzMERIT Testing Incident Documentation Form (linked here) will help us to communicate with AIR quickly to get this issues resolved.

On the positive side, as a result of the current lag in test session processing, AIR has removed both the 20 minute and 90 minute pause restrictions for same date student testing sessions.  This means that as long as the student returns to the test before the end of the day, there should be no restrictions concerning their ability to access questions, notes and annotations within any test which has yet to be submitted.

AzMERIT- Day One Lessons Learned

Congratulations on a great inaugural day for AzMERIT Testing.  Based on our site visits today it appears that almost all issues encountered can be fixed using the basic troubleshooting tips which have been posted on our http://blog.susd12.org/azmerit/ page.   Posted below are a few reminders and “lessons learned” based on our first full day of testing…

 

  • Screen Zoom: If a student “zooms” or enlarges their Chromebook screen within the AzMERIT test, it can be reset to its original settings by holding down “ctrl + 0”.  On BOTH Chromebook and Windows devices, the size of the images on the screen can be adjusted by holding down “ctrl” and “+” to enlarge the image, and holding down “ctrl” and “-“ to reduce.

 

  • Test Administrator Browsers: Please remind your Test Administrators that Google Chrome works best for launching your Testing Session via the TIDE dashboard (Internet Explorer should NOT be used at all for this purpose). Also, please make sure that teachers and Test Administrators are shutting down ALL unused browsers and applications while running their testing session.  This doesn’t mean that T.A.’s can’t have ANY other applications running while doing the test, however the fewer things that your computer is working on, the quicker the dashboard will respond to things like student testing approval requests.

 

  • Online Reporting System:  Although the functionality of viewing student testing status as outlined in the reporting summary document shared with you earlier does appear to be working, there seems to be a delay in the system reporting back completed student testing information (anywhere from 15-60 minutes).  This appears to be related to AIR and ADE’s ability to turn around this information and is not on our end.  We have communicated this issue to the state and are hoping that the response time will improve during the week, however we encourage you to continue to communicate problems related to getting accurate student data back from the Online Reporting System.

 

  • Inability of Some Students to Enter Second Test Session: If a student is having trouble re-entering a test when moving from one testing session to another, please follow these steps…

 

  • Use the student SEARCH feature in the Online Reporting System to confirm that the student has not already submitted their test.
  • Make sure that the FORMER Test Administrator for the student has ENDED their original testing session.
  • Have the student completely log out of the secure browser and re-launch when entering in to the new testing session.
  • Try re-launching a new testing session (with a totally new SESSION I.D.) and have the student attempt to join this session.
  • If you have attempted all of the above steps and the student is still unable to access the test, please note the specifics on the incident reporting sheet for that testing session and contact either Hans Schot or Frank McCormick via cell phone right away.   

 

  • Student with a SUSPENDED Testing Status: If a student test status is listed as “suspended”, this indicates that a Test Administrator may have closed a testing session with an active student approval request pending OR that a student approval is still waiting on a current Test Administrator dashboard.  If you see this message…
    • Check with the original Test Administrator session to make sure that the student approval request is not still pending.
    • If they have not already done so, have the original Test Administrator close their testing session have the student attempt to log in again.
    • If the student status is still listed as “suspended” after trying the above steps, contact Hans Schot right away to have the student status reset.

 

Our team will continue to try to check in with all of you throughout the week to make sure that things are flowing smoothly, but please continue to have Test Administrators document testing issues using the Testing Issue Form for each testing session they run each day.  This will allow us to continue to report information effectively to AzMERIT/AIR and have them address issues as soon as possible.

 

Important Updates

*******IMPORTANT*****

ADE has clarified that the read aloud accommodation for students participating in AzMERIT

Computer Based Testing is the text-to-speech and only the text to speech.

Test Administrators and Proctors may not read the test content to students.

Please make sure that staff are made aware of the text-to-speech directive as well as the following clarifications.

 Q: May students use whiteboards instead of scratch paper for writing and mathematics? (as a Universal Test Administration Condition)

A: Yes for students with motor skills issues. No for others. AIMS had the white board accommodation primarily for students who needed more space than was available in their AIMS test books for their scratch work. AIMS did not permit the use of scratch paper. AzMERIT requires the use of scratch paper.  If giving these students scratch paper will work as well for them as a white board, then the use of scratch paper rather than the white board is preferred. However, if these students require the use of a white board due to motor skills issue and this is the only way they can do math, the white board can be provided in place of scratch paper.

 

Q: Do we need to sign Test Security Agreements for AzMERIT?

A: Yes. Sites were to have already submit the signed TSA for the Principals and Site Testing Coordinator to Hans. Signed TSA for staff will be forwarded to Hans after testing is completed. They will need to be kept on file for six years.

s15-azmerit-security-agreement

Q: Does the scratch paper need to be collected?

A: Yes. All scratch paper is to be treated securely and will be returned to the District to be destroyed.

 

Q: What if students leave early?

A: Students who leave during a test may not make up that session. They may make up any session that has not been started. A form is attached for parents who still decide to take their child out during testing. A copy should be placed in the student’s CUM folder.

Early Student Pick Up During AzMERIT Testing Spanish Early Student Pick Up During AzMERIT Testing

Q: When entering accommodations in TIDE, RFEP and WD students aren’t showing up as ELL and there isn’t anything to mark 504.

A: Although their categories aren’t listed in TIDE, these students still qualify for the appropriate accommodations. Mark the appropriate accommodations and do not change the ELL and/or SPED categories.

 

 

Q: Can we ask students raise their hand or otherwise ask to get the Test Administrator’s approval before submitting their tests?

A: No. Since Test Administrators and Proctors “may not Instruct students to go back and reread/redo answers/responses after they have finished their test since this instruction may only be given before the students take the test,” having a student ask approval to submit would be influencing the student’s responses. Test Administration Directions Grades 3-8 p. 5 and Test Administration Directions End-of-Course p. 6. 

 

Please contact Hans Schott via phone if you have any questions or concerns. (ext. 2164 or 904-3453) Testing incidents such as suspected cheating, administering the wrong assessment, test security violations, or not following the testing procedures MUST be reported to me IMMEDIATELY.

 

AzMERIT Starts Monday

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would sped the first four hours sharpening my ax” – Abe Lincoln

Thanks to everyone for all of the time and effort you have put into “sharpening the ax” to make sure that our first ever AzMERIT test goes as smoothly as possible for your students.   Please note the following, final preparations for your testing sessions on Monday.

  • Please print out a copy of the page linked here and give it to each of your Test Administrators prior to the start of their testing session.  This sheet should be used to record any technology incident which disrupts student testing for five minutes or longer.  This will allow us to communicate issues directly to the ADE/AzMERIT team and have them fix potential problems as quickly as possible.
  • You should have already been provided with the official Test Administrator Guide, however if your teachers need a simpler, “one page” version of the Test Administrator directions, click on this link and print it out.
  • PLEASE NOTE that this page should NOT take the place contacting the appropriate support person immediately if you have an issue which you or your team can not fix.  Remember to refer to the support chart and phone numbers listed below if questions some up during testing.

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  • Test Coordinators: Please remember to use the TIDE Reporting Dashboard to review the progress of ALL students immediately following your student testing session.  You can click this link for a summary of the specific directions as they relate to running these reports.  It is very important that you check the status of all student tests PRIOR to students going home since all student “in progress” tests will be submitted (finished or not) by AzMERIT at the end of the day.  Once a test has been submitted, students will NOT be able to reenter the test to complete it.

Our district testing support team will be checking in with you at your site during the first days of testing next week to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Thanks!

Manually Launching the AIR App

When attempting to launch the secure AIR testing browser on your student Chromebooks, please remember that the student MUST FIRST log out of their user account before the “Apps” tab is visible on their home page.

If you do not see the Apps tab along the bottom of the page within the log-in screen, remember to check the following…

1. Make sure that the student device has been joined to the SUSD Domain.

2. Make sure that the student is logged out of the SUSD Account.

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Students can quickly sign out of their account by clicking the shortcut “ctrl+ shift + Q” two times.

Activating the AIR Secure Browser App On Chromebooks

For those of you who have requested it, here is a reminder of directions on how to activate the AIR Testing Browser on your student Chromebook devices.

To activate the AIR Testing App on Chromebooks…

 

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your @students.susd12.org Google account and navigate to http://admin.google.com

 

  1. Click on the Device Management link

 

  1. Click on the Chrome management link in the left sidebar

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  1. Click on the Device Settings link

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  1. Select your school and grade level from the Organization Units (OU) list along the left side of the page

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  1. Under the Setting for Chrome-Lab column, scroll down to the Auto-Launch Kiosk App field and select AIR Secure App from the drop-down.

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  1. Click Save Changes along the bottom of the page.

 

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Once testing is completed and you would like to return the devices to their normal settings, simply follow the steps above and change the settings from AIR Secure App to None.