Officials: 5th and 8th grade writing tests will not be included in A-F report cards

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State officials say some confusion with a testing company is causing many parents and teachers to be concerned about test scores.

Janet Barresi, the Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced fifth and eighth grade writing scores will not be included in the overall grade for this year’s A-F school report cards.

Authorities say some districts were concerned about the writing test scores when they saw across-the-board scores from CTB-McGraw Hill.

Initial reports say about 130 of 430 contested test scores were changed, which represents less than 1 percent of scores for all Oklahoma fifth and eighth grade students tested for writing.

After analyzing the tests, Barresi says she does not want there to be any question of the validity of the A-F report cards.

“When compared to previous years, we are not seeing strong variation in the overall percentage of changed writing test scores when re-scored. Nevertheless, we don’t want there to be even a shadow of a doubt that our school report cards are accurate. A-F is our utmost tool in transparency as we report the academic achievement of students in local schools. Parents and community members use this information to help them see where their schools are excelling and where they need more help,” she said.

This school year was the first time the students took operational passage-based writing tests, which require them to use evidence to generate an argument.

CTB says the tests were evaluated accurately, but officials say across-the-board numerical scores are unusual in the test.

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