Operational Best Practices for Statewide, Large-Scale Assessment Programs,  2013 Edition

OBP"This new tome is not only an updated version of the 2010 Operational Best Practices, but it is more comprehensive in scope and focuses heavily on technology-based assessments," stated ATP CEO Dr. William G. Harris in announcing the release of this new publication in September. 

Chapter 8 on Test Security has been updated and now focuses on both security issues related to students and school educators.  An entire chapter (Chapter 22) has been included on interoperability of systems (hardware, software and networks) and of program content and data, with numerous cross-references to specific chapters where interoperability issues arise (e.g., item development, score reporting, data management).  The chapter on technical support of technology-based assessments (Chapter 15) has been greatly expanded.  The 2013 edition shifts the focus on accommodations for special populations to one of accessibility of assessments for all students (Chapter 19).  Finally, a novel checklist for states to use in developing an RFP has been produced (Pre-Chapter), which also provides insights about this process to publishers and other stakeholders.

"The original idea for developing a best practices guide actually came from the U.S. Department of Education, reflecting the belief that such a document would facilitate quality testing practices for the benefit of everyone affected by state testing programs, including schools, parents, and students," noted ATP Legislative Counsel, Alan Thiemann, Esq.

Thiemann added that the OBP document will continue to be relevant "regardless of future legislative changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)."  States and testing companies, he said, will always find advantages from understanding what procedures help to form quality testing practices.

Harris noted that the Working Group which put the publication together had participation of at least 7 different state department assessment experts, courtesy of the Chief State School Officers (“CCSSO”), and was additionally guided by co-chairs Lisa Ehrlich of Measured Progress and, (initially Pat Roschewski from Nebraska), and then Christopher Hanczrik of Washington State.  The technical editor for this edition was James Carlson from the Educational Testing Service. [To read an introduction to this newly released publication click here. To purchase, visit the ATP Bookstore.]