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Letter: Field Testing Memo

The New York State Education Department mandates field-testing in virtually all of its school districts. The purpose of field-testing is to help in determining whether items are appropriate and to establish whether an item is valid for use with the students it is designed to test. Although there may be philosophical differences regarding the State of New York’s testing program, there are also legal requirements.

In order for the state to develop valid and reliable tests, they need to utilize items that reliably measure what they are designed to assess. One of the ways this is done is by using data that is collected each year from field-testing. The improvement of assessments is connected to participation in field-testing of items for future tests. Without this information, the state cannot improve its tests.

Field tests are scheduled for June 2014. Unlike the usual grade 3-8 state assessments, these field tests are completed in a single sitting and take no more than 40 minutes. Our hope is that our participation in these field tests will contribute to the development of more effective state assessments.

The students who did not participate in the assessments earlier this year will not be expected to take the field tests. They should be prepared to quietly read during the administration of the test. A schedule will be available at your child’s school.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your building principal.

John Lorentz

Superintendent of Schools