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English language arts writing pilot benefits educators, students and the Department

10/25/2021

The Ohio Department of Education, along with Cambium Assessment, Inc., invites schools and districts to participate in a voluntary English language arts writing pilot. The pilot will occur Nov. 1-19. Its purpose is to determine valid and reliable test questions for future use on Ohio’s State Tests. This writing pilot is open to all districts and schools. Although voluntary, this is a unique opportunity for schools to help develop the highest-quality writing items while preparing students and educators for future test administrations. An entire district, school or individual grade level can participate in the pilot.

The pilot will include English language arts classes in grades 4-8 and high school. Students will take the test of the previous year’s enrolled grade. For example, new seventh graders in fall 2021 will take the sixth-grade English language arts writing pilot. Students who are new ninth graders will take the eighth-grade English language arts writing pilot. Students in grades 10-12 will take the high school English language arts pilot. This will be an online test experience using Ohio’s existing systems. No paper forms will be available. Each student test will consist of one passage set with associated reading items and one writing prompt. The time for administering the tests will be limited to one hour.

Participating districts must identify students in TIDE in advance of the writing pilot. The enrolled grade will determine test eligibility in the test delivery system. Districts should pre-identify students in their current enrolled grades, not last year’s enrolled grades.

The tests will require the use of the secure browser and Test Administrator (TA) Interface. The pilot will simulate a normal test administration. Test coordinators should review the Quick Guide for Setting Up Your Online Testing Technology, which summarizes the basic technology requirements to conduct online testing.

Districts will need to download the 2021-2022 secure browser from the portal if they have not yet completed this task. Detailed installation instructions and additional information about preparing networks and devices for online testing are available in the platform-specific technology guides.

In addition, participating districts need to ensure personnel have a Teacher (TE) or TA user account to access the TA Interface. Please review the User Management Guidance Document for information regarding user roles, password updates and managing accounts in TIDE.

The Department and its partners rely on school participation for the success of the pilot and appreciate those who can participate. The pilot tests the writing questions and not students, so the field will not receive student results. Please watch for future communication regarding this testing event. Direct questions to the Ohio Help Desk at 1-877-231-7809.