main content starts hereDistrict’s 8th grade ELA data withheld from State Ed Report Card

| November 14, 2016

Mohonasen Central School District scores from the April 6, 2016, eighth grade English Language Arts (ELA) state examination are not included in the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Report Card released Nov. 14 due to a reporting error by the Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC).

According to Superintendent Kathleen A. Spring, on April 6, 2016, the district became aware of and reported to NYSED’s Office of State Assessments (OSA) and Capital Region BOCES a potential misadministration of the test due to a substitute teacher who did not follow testing protocol. The class in question included 17 eighth grade students.

The district’s test results are reported to OSA by NERIC, an arm of Capital Region BOCES. According to the OSA, the 17 scores in question should have been coded in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) to indicate there had been an administrative error. However, these corrections were not uploaded by NERIC within the OSA’s acceptable timeframe.

The district received notification on Oct. 21 that the situation had been determined to be a misadministration of the test, invalidating the 17 scores. Because the 17 scores had been submitted as part of district results and not correctly coded by the OSA deadline, it was determined that the scores of all other 8th graders, though valid, would not be posted, per NYSED.

“Due to a series of errors, including staffing changes at NERIC, the district’s scores are not included in the annual state report card. We apologize for this situation,” said Spring. “Each year we review instructions on test administration with all personnel involved in testing. However, this situation has made us look more closely at our protocols, particularly with regard to substitute teachers on test days.”

Spring said letters that included test results were mistakenly sent last month by NERIC to parents of the 17 students. Those letters went out prior to the Oct. 21 notification by NYSED.

“It’s important for parents/guardians to be aware that Grades 3-8 New York State tests do not have an impact on student advancement or graduation requirements,” said Spring.

According to Spring, eighth grade students took the exam in the morning of April 6 and then followed their regular class schedule for the remainder of the day. At the end of the day, some students reported to their English teacher that the substitute teacher administering the test in the morning did not read the test directions to the class of 17 students and that the tests were handed out while students were still talking. The English teacher immediately notified Draper administrators, who in turn began an investigation and reported the information to Capital Region BOCES/NERIC and the New York State Education Department (NYSED)/OAS per prescribed state testing protocols.

Parents or guardians who have questions can contact the district office at 356-8210.