AzMERIT Request and Reminders

We’re approaching the final days of testing and, except for some hiccups here and there, things are going well. As of noon today, we have administered over 10,600 tests in grades 3-HS. (Each part is counted as a test.) Well done!

REMINDERS:

Friday, April 28 is the last day for AzMERIT 3rd grade testing, including entry of 3rd grade DEI for special paper-based tests.  All 3rd grade tests will be unavailable after that date because the results are needed early for Move On When Reading.

The last day for all other tests, including DEI entry is Thursday, May 4. 

REQUEST:
Some sites have recently modified their testing schedule to allow students more time for testing. Please review the last tab of the linked schedule and let Hans Schot (hanss@susd12.org) know if your school’s dates do not reflect any changes. (Maintenance is aware of the schedule as listed, so if Hans doesn’t receive notice of changes you may have workers show up mid-testing.)

AzMERIT Study Item Activities in ELA Tests

UPDATE

ADE has responded about two issues that students may encounter during the ELA AzMERIT tests. We continue to dialog with them regarding math items.

From ADE:

These are related to our two studies. The first issue is the glossary study information page and the second is the passage survey. There really are only 18 items in that session for those students. They don’t take the field test items. Here is some general information about these that you can share with teachers:

We have two possible studies that students might encounter. These students are randomly selected and have the “custom” label in TIDE:

Activity 1: The Passage Survey: Students participating in this survey will receive a reading passage followed by a series of questions about interest level, fairness, and appropriateness. The Passage Survey is embedded in Reading tests in grades 3-8 and EOC. Students will see a message saying their test is completed at item # 18. They might see a question in the survey that mentions items 44-45 or 47-48. This refers to the item position from both parts of the ELA test; students can ignore the number and put in their response.

Activity 2: The Glossary Tool: Students who receive the glossary tool may encounter one or more test questions that contains a word that has been glossed. If the word has been glossed, then a glossary tool will be made available to the student so that they can see the definition of the word along with an audio clip that reads the definition aloud. Some students may encounter words that have an English glossary with audio, while other students may encounter words that have both an English and Spanish glossary with audio. Glossaries may be encountered in both math and reading tests in grades 3-8 and EOC.

We’ll keep you updated as information becomes available.

AzMERIT Item Cannot be Answered

We continue to receive reports where some forms of the AzMERIT tests have informational/direction items with no information requested and no response is possible, yet the system is prompting students that the item is unanswered.
We continue to express our scoring (and student/TA stress) concerns to ADE and they are looking into it. If you have it occur at your site please provide Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator (Hanss@susd12.org) with some details as listed below so that we can forward them to ADE. You do not need to document every occurrence, just a sample so that we can determine which tests are experiencing the issue.
  • Grade
  • Test including Part
  • Session ID
  • Item #
  • Brief description of issue
  • SAIS ID of one or two students experiencing issue

AzMERIT Item that cannot be answered

Schools are reporting that some AzMERIT tests contain an an item that has directions/information only but is being treated as a question. The reports are based on students bringing it to the attention of the Test Administrator of the session.
When students review to confirm they have responded to all questions, the system prompts that item as an unanswered question. Reports so far is it has only occurred in some versions of the math tests.
ADE’s response to the issue was:
“That is expected. There is no response requested or possible on that page.”
If/when it occurs with any of your students, the Test Administrator should advise the student to ignore the prompt and continue.

AzMERIT Accommodation Clarifications

If a student is ELL or has an accommodation listed on the IEP, s/he automatically gets accommodations, right?

Not necessarily. ADE is explicit when they say, “no accommodation may be put in place for an AzMERIT test that is not already used regularly in the classroom.” (AzMERIT Testing Conditions, Tools and Accommodations Guidance, February 2017, p. 5) For example, if the student doesn’t have math items read to her/him during instruction or class tests, s/he shouldn’t have text-to-speech enabled for AzMERIT math. Because of this, there may be a significant reduction in the number of students actually receiving testing accommodations.

Who marks the accommodations in TIDE?

Unfortunately, the AzMERIT system does not allow us to import the accommodations so changes must be made individually for each student. Each site is responsible for entering the accommodations for students who will be using them during testing.

School level personnel must have the role of School Test Coordinator (STC) in order to make any changes to student information in TIDE, including accommodations. School leaders such as Principals, Asst. Principals, and AzMERIT Test Coordinators should already have this role assigned to them. Additional staff that are approved by the Principal may be given the STC role by requesting it through the Bernadette Martin (bernadettem@susd12.org or x2162).

Can a student’s accommodation settings be changed while the student is testing?

Changing a test setting in TIDE after the test starts does not update the student’s test setting if the same test setting is available in the TA Interface. In the case that a student has already started a test and needs a new setting, the student must log out, and then the TA can change the setting in the TA Interface when the student logs back in.

Student Test Completion Report in AzMERIT

Please be aware that there are some slight changes this year to the process for reviewing student test completion rates TIDE.  

Tide dashboard makes it easy for site test coordinators to get a list of students who have not completed their grade-level or subject area tests by following the directions below…

  • Step 1: Chose What:  These fields allow you to select the name of the grade level or subject area test.
  • Step 2: Chose Who: Select the name of the school (if applicable).
  • Step 3: Get Specific:  Select the STATUS of the student by searching for students who have not completed (or have not started) the test you have selected.

NOTE:  The have not completed option is a good way to check to see if you still have students who have not submitted their tests at the completion of your scheduled testing session.  The have not started option should be used at the start of the day as any students still “in progress” will have already been automatically submitted at the close of the previous day.

Once the fields have been completed, you can click the Generate Report button to get a .pdf list of student names and I.D. numbers OR you can use the Export Report button to export an Excel File to view later.

Please be aware that during periods of high testing volume (such as during AzMERIT weeks), students data may take up to an hour (approximately 60 minutes) to reflect on the TIDE dashboard.

If student test results to progress status does not appear within 60 minutes of students completing their assessment, please submit details to http://helpdesk.susd12.org to allow us to follow up.

Thanks.

Confirming TA Certification

As AzMERIT testing approaches for most folks, all site test coordinators should take a few minutes to CONFIRM that all of your site Test Administrators (TA) are confirmed TA Certified by following the directions posted below…

  • Log in to your TIDE Dashboard via http://azmeritportal.org/test-coordinators/
  • From the home page click on Users and then select View/Edit/Export Users
  • Under Role select Test Administrator (TA) 
  • Under School select your site (if applicable) 
  • Under the TA Certified option select Yes

  • Click the Search button

You should now have a list of all teachers who are TA Certified (see the last column).

If you identify any teacher who HAS completed their certification but is still not showing up on this report PLEASE CONTACT BERNADETTE MARTIN (ext. 2162 or bernadettem@susd12.org) right away so that we can notify TIDE support as soon as possible.  

Turning Chrome Vox Off Before AzMERIT

Chrome Vox is an accessibility program within the Chrome operating system.  Students may have turned this feature on intentionally or accidentally while using the Chromebook for instructional purposes.  Chrome Vox reads everything on the screen to the user.  Unfortunately the AIR Secure Browser App does not neutralize this feature.  This provides an accommodation that the students should not have during testing.  ChromeVox must be turned off on all students Chromebooks prior to AzMERIT testing following the directions below.

How to Identify the problem:  When the student boots the device using Kiosk mode, it will go directly to the AIR Secure Browser log in screen.  If Chrome Vox is active, when the student clicks on the “Click To Test Audio”  button, instead of just playing a few notes of music, the device will say “Play Audio Test Button.”   Students will also see an orange box on the screen which reads off specified text on the screen.

To turn off ChromeVox simply press the key combination “ctrl + alt +z”.  This will disable the the read-back function on the device (however this will NOT impact the voice pack features what have already been approved for the student on the AzMERIT test).

Note: When Chrome Vox is active. AIR does not give an error.  It runs as it normally does except that it reads to the student.  It reads whatever is on the screen and clicked on and whatever the student types into fields. As an example, in the logon screen, when the student clicks in the username field it reads “Your username with hint username. Edit text.”  It will then read whatever is typed into this field.

What visual aids need to be covered during testing?

ADE has clarified what is meant by visual aids “that could assist students while testing.” Their response was that anything “content related” should be covered or removed. This would include anything on the walls, desks, dividers, or other location accessible to the students.
For example, number lines, vocabulary walls, and graphic organizers should be covered or removed.

AzMERIT Accommodations

AzMERIT Accommodations

Q) If a student is ELL or has an accommodation listed on the IEP, s/he automatically gets accommodations, right?
A) Not necessarily. ADE is explicit when they say, “no accommodation may be put in place for an AzMERIT test that is not already used regularly in the classroom.” For example, if the student doesn’t have math items read to her/him during instruction or class tests, s/he shouldn’t have text-to-speech enabled for AzMERIT math even if it’s on the IEP. Because of this, there may be a significant reduction in the number of students actually receiving testing accommodations.

Q) Who marks the accommodations in TIDE?
A) Unfortunately, the AzMERIT system does not allow us to import the accommodations so changes must be made individually for each student. Each site is responsible for entering the accommodations for students who will be using them during testing. School level personnel must have the role of School Test Coordinator (STC) in order to make any changes to student information in TIDE. School leaders such as Principals, Asst. Principals, and AzMERIT Test Coordinators should already have this role assigned to them, and additional staff that are approved by the Principal may be added with the STC role by requesting it through Bernadette Martin (bernadettem@susd12.org).

Q) What is marked for accommodations?
A) There are three sections to note for students that are SPED or ELL.
1. Demographics : SPED/ELL (regardless of accommodation)

2. Accommodations (if any) that the Test Administrator or Proctor will provide…

3. Accommodations (if any) that the system will provide…
(Reading aloud the reading test items to a student is not allowed so text-to-speech isn’t a choice in the reading accommodation choices.)

As per AzMERIT directions…
“Providing unacceptable accommodations to students who may receive accommodations, providing accommodations to students who may not receive them, or failing to indicate that accommodations were provided are test administration errors. Test Administrators must know which students testing are eligible to receive accommodations and which accommodations are appropriate for each eligible student. Test Administrators must provide appropriate accommodations for eligible students.”

“Students who require specific test settings or testing accommodations must have those set before the test session. Those with a TIDE user role of School Test Coordinator are able to change all test settings and accommodations in TIDE any time prior to testing. Those with a Test Administrator or School Teacher user role will be able to change test settings and accommodations (except for ASL and Closed Captioning) in the Test Administrator (TA) Interface prior to approving the student for a CBT session. Information on how to add and update accommodations can be found in both the TIDE and Test Administrator (TA) User Guides.” Both guides are available through the AzMERIT Portal or the Google AzMERIT School Resources folder.

Reminder: DO NOT add or remove students within TIDE. If an enrollment needs to change, contact Bernadette Martin (bernadettem@susd12.org).