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«Revised January 15, 2009* January 2009 TO: Principals of Public, Nonpublic and Charter Secondary Schools FROM: Candace Shyer SUBJECT: January 2009 ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Candace Shyer, Bureau Chief

Test Development

Office of State Assessment

Revised January 15, 2009*

January 2009

TO: Principals of Public, Nonpublic and Charter Secondary Schools

FROM: Candace Shyer

SUBJECT: January 2009 Regents Examinations and Regents Competency Tests.

*A revision has been made to Part C of the table on page 15 for the Regents Examination in Physical Setting/Earth Science.

This memorandum provides information concerning the format, content, and credit allotment of the Regents Examinations and the Regents Competency Tests to be held in January 2009. Please make the information for each subject area available immediately to the teachers who will be administering these examinations.

The publication, Regents Examinations, Regents Competency Tests, and Second Language Proficiency Examinations: School Administrator’s Manual, 2008 Edition, contains the general procedures to follow in

administering these examinations. This manual is available on the Department’s web site at:

http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa/sam/secondary/home.html. Information concerning administering examinations to students with disabilities or to limited-English-proficient (LEP) students is also provided in this manual.

Included in the shipment of nonsecure materials are five Information Booklets pertinent to the scoring of the Regents Examinations administered in January. These booklets address the scoring of Regents Examinations in the following content areas: English, Integrated Algebra, Mathematics A and B, the Sciences, Global History and Geography, and United States History and Government. The package of nonsecure test materials that will be shipped to school principals for the January examination period will include two copies of each of these five publications. School administrators should photocopy these booklets and distribute copies to school personnel who will be involved in the scoring of these examinations.

A separate booklet, Directions for Administering Regents Examinations, January Administration, contains specific instructions for administering each Regents Examination. Each Regents Competency Test also has separate detailed directions for its administration and scoring. All persons involved in administering the January 2009 examinations must read these specific directions prior to the examination. Copies of these directions are included in the shipment of nonsecure examination materials.

Thank you for your cooperation.

IMPORTANT: When student papers for any State examination are scored in cooperation with another school, answer papers may be transported to the cooperating school. It remains the principal’s responsibility to ensure the security of such papers while they are out of the building.

–  –  –

Use of Communication Devices At the beginning of each test administration, proctors must read the following statement to all

students taking secondary-level State examinations:

You may not use any communications device while taking a State examination, either in the room where the test is being administered or while on a supervised break (such as a restroom visit). Such devices include, but are not limited to, cellular telephones, pagers, CD and audiocassette players, radios, MP3 players, Personal Digital Assistants, video devices, and associated headphones, headsets, microphones, or earplugs.

If your cell phone rings or vibrates, you may not look at or answer it. You may not send, receive, or look at text messages. If your pager beeps or vibrates, you may not look at it. You must therefore turn these and other such devices OFF right now and secure them underneath your desk [or in the location specified by the principal]. You must not turn such devices back on until you have completed your examination, handed it in, and left the examination room. Your examination will be invalidated and no score will be calculated for you if you use any such device or related communications technology for any reason under any circumstances, or if you wear headphones while in the testing room.

For Principals and Proctors:

Any student observed to be using any communications device while taking a State examination must be directed to turn it off and put the device away immediately. To allow for all possible outcomes of procedural due process, the student should be allowed to complete the examination.

The incident must be reported promptly to the school principal. If the principal determines that the student was using a communications device during the test administration, the student’s test must be invalidated. No score may be calculated for that student.

The incident must be reported in writing to the Office of State Assessment, as is the case for all testing irregularities, misadministrations, or other violations of State testing policy and procedures.

_____________________________

Note: Some students with disabilities may use certain recording/playback devices ONLY if this accommodation is specifically required as a provision of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Accommodation Plan (504 Plan). If not, the general policy on communications devices as provided above is in effect, and the school may not allow the use of any such equipment.





–  –  –

Before allowing students to begin each session of the examination, have them check the cover of the examination booklet to be sure it has the correct title, date, and time.

A scoring key for each session contains the answers to the multiple-choice questions, scoring rubrics for each part, annotated anchor papers for each score level for each written response, and prescored practice papers. A chart for converting students’ raw scores to scaled scores will be provided on the Department’s web site at: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa. The scaled score is the student’s final examination score. Because the scaled scores corresponding to raw scores change from one administration to another, it is crucial that scorers use only the conversion chart provided for the January 2009 administration to determine the student’s final score.

The Information Booklet for Scoring the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English provides further information about the scoring of this examination. This booklet is provided to each school in the

shipment of nonsecure test materials and is available on the Department’s web site at:

http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa/hseng.html. This booklet includes detailed procedures for training scorers, resolving discrepant scores, and managing the logistics of the scoring process. School administrators should provide a copy of this booklet to all school personnel involved in coordinating the scoring of the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English prior to the date of Session One of the examination.

Online Teacher Evaluation Form Suggestions and feedback from teachers provide an important contribution to the test development process. The Department provides an online evaluation form for State assessments. It contains spaces for teachers to respond to several specific questions and to make suggestions. This form is posted at www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa/exameval.

Regents Competency Test in Reading The January 2009 Regents Competency Test in Reading is similar in format to the test administered in June 2008. It uses the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) test methodology to measure a student’s ability to understand written material. It contains a total of 10 nonfiction prose passages and 70 multiple-choice test items, numbered 1–70. Each test item has five choices, labeled a, b, c, d, and e.

Before allowing students to begin the test, have them check the cover of the test booklet to be sure it has the correct title, date, and time.

A student’s raw score on the test is the total number of items that the student answers correctly. The student must obtain a raw score of 47 in order to pass the January 2009 test. The passing score is printed on the scoring key.

The shipment of nonsecure test materials provided to each school includes special directions for administering and scoring the Regents Competency Test in Reading. Each person involved in the administration of the examination should become thoroughly familiar with these special directions prior to the date of administration.

Regents Competency Test in Writing The January 2009 Regents Competency Test in Writing is similar in format to the test administered in June 2008. It is designed as a direct measure of a student’s ability to organize and present ideas in written form. The tasks are set in a context that is related to the experience of students and that clearly indicates the purpose for the piece of writing and the specific audience for whom the piece is intended.

The test consists of three separate writing tasks: a business letter of complaint, a report based on information provided, and a composition. The Part III composition may be expository, narrative, descriptive, or persuasive in purpose. Teachers should keep in mind, however, that rarely are tasks purely of a single type.

For example, a task might require students to describe an object and then explain something significant about it or narrate an incident related to it. Whatever the purpose(s) of the task, information provided to the students makes clear what is expected.

Each of the three tasks requires a relatively brief piece of writing, about 100–200 words. For each task, students are directed to prepare a first draft and then to edit and revise the draft before producing their final response. Students are to write their final responses in the answer booklet provided by the Department.

Before allowing students to begin the test, have them check the cover of the test booklet to be sure it has the correct title, date, and time.

The rating guide, printed on yellow paper, contains a detailed outline of the procedure to follow in rating the students’ answer papers. It also contains criteria for rating each of the three writing tasks. The criteria for the letter and the report remain the same for all administrations of the test; the criteria for the composition are task-specific for each new administration.

The shipment of nonsecure test materials to the school includes copies of the detailed directions for administering and scoring the Regents Competency Test in Writing. These directions, printed on white paper, contain specific instructions that the proctors who administer the test are to read to the students verbatim.

__________ Please direct questions concerning examinations in English to Debra Sunukjian, Marguerite Pileggi, or Beth Dievendorf in the Office of State Assessment at 518-474-5912.

LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH

Regents Comprehensive Examinations The January 2009 Regents Comprehensive Examinations in languages other than English are offered in French and Spanish only. The January 2009 examinations are similar in format to the examinations administered in June 2008. However, the examination in French is provided in restricted form.

For the Regents Comprehensive Examination in French, the restricted examination booklet for each student is enclosed in a sealed envelope. Only students taking the examination may open an envelope and read the questions. Each Teacher Dictation Copy for Part 2 is enclosed in a sealed envelope. The teacher administering the examination may open the envelope one hour before the scheduled starting time in order to become familiar with the material. Each copy of the scoring key is also enclosed in a sealed envelope. Only teachers rating Parts 2 through 4 may open an envelope and read the scoring key. Each copy of the examination booklet, Teacher Dictation Copy, and scoring key is numbered, and all copies of these materials must be returned to the Department, along with all student answer booklets. Copies of the Regents Comprehensive Examination in French, Restricted Edition, Directions for Administering and Scoring, January Administration are provided to schools in the shipment of nonsecure examination materials. Each person involved in the administration of the examination must carefully read these directions prior to the examination administration.

The Regents Comprehensive Examinations in French and Spanish consist of two tests: a speaking test (Part 1) and a written test (Parts 2 through 4). The speaking test should be administered at the school’s convenience during the speaking-test period, which begins 10 weeks prior to the written test and ends five calendar days prior to the written test. Students earn a maximum of 24 raw-score credits on Part 1. Student scores for the speaking test must be reported to the principal no later than January 23, 2009. To indicate that this was done, the school principal should sign and date the report of speaking-test scores when it is submitted to his or her office. The Regents Comprehensive Examinations in Modern Languages, Teacher’s Manual for Administering and Scoring Part 1: Speaking includes a sample form for reporting student scores. The publication is sent to schools ordering these examinations.

Part 2 of the examinations measures listening comprehension and requires teacher dictation. School administrators should take this factor into consideration when making plans for the administration of the examinations. Distribute the Teacher Dictation Copy, which is printed on blue paper, to proctors one hour before the scheduled starting time so that they will have sufficient time to become familiar with the dictation material prior to the examinations.

Students must write their responses to Parts 2 through 4 of the Regents Comprehensive Examinations in French and Spanish in the separate answer booklets provided to schools in the shipment of nonsecure examination materials.

Before allowing students to begin either of these examinations, have them check the cover of the examination booklet to be sure it has the correct title, date, and time.

The table on the next page shows the types of questions and the credit allotment for each part of the examinations.

–  –  –

MATHEMATICS



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