Curriculum and Assessment FAQs

Curriculum and Assessment FAQs

Academic Content Standards

Dual Alignment


Academic Content Standards

    What are content standards?

    Content standards describe the knowledge and skills that students should attain, often called the “what” of “what students should know and be able to do.” They indicate the ways of thinking, working, communicating, reasoning and investigating as well as important and enduring ideas, concepts, issues, dilemmas and knowledge essential to the academic area of study.

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    What are benchmarks?

    Benchmarks are the specific components of the knowledge or skill identified by an academic content, performance or operational standard. A benchmark can be declarative, procedural or contextual in the type of knowledge it describes. Meeting benchmarks can be demonstrating by constructing a response (performance task) or scoring on a test (performance level).

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    What are grade-level indicators?

    Grade-level indicators are the checkpoints that monitor progress toward the benchmarks.

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    How can I use the standards?

    Parents can use the standards to keep track of what their children are learning and to talk to teachers about their children’s academic progress.

    Students can use the standards to monitor their progress towards meeting established learning expectations.

    Find more information about Academic Content Standards.

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Dual Alignment

    What does it mean to be dual aligned?

    Questions on the OAA and OGT originally aligned to the 2001-2002 standards were reviewed by the Ohio Department of Education and American Institutes for Research staff then by committees of Ohio educators. During the review, each question was either aligned to a new learning standard or identified as having no alignment and therefore removed from the test bank.

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    How are questions for each test selected?

    The dual aligned questions were used to develop tests that meet current blueprint and statistical requirements. Questions were not moved from one test to another test.

    Science: Questions that are identified as dual aligned and are within the grade band will be considered appropriate for the test. To meet OGT test requirements, the following types of questions will still appear on the 2013-2014 spring OGT.

    • Earth Science items that have moved to grades 7 and 8 in Ohio’s New Learning Standards
    • Science Process items that are not aligned to specific content in Ohio’s New Learning Standards

    Social Studies: The Ohio Graduation Tests for social studies in 2014 are dually aligned between the 2002 Academic Content Standards for Social Studies and Ohio's New Learning Standards, with the focus on American History and Modern World History. However, in order to maintain the test requirements (Blueprints) of the social studies OGT, there will be a few questions from the following 2002 benchmarks (that are also aligned to Ohio’s New Learning Standards) on the 2014 spring, summer and fall OGTs: People in Societies A-C; Geography A-C; Economics A-B; Government A-B; Citizens Rights & Responsibilities A-B.

    English Language Arts and Mathematics: Questions that are identified as dual aligned and at or below the tested grade level will be considered appropriate for the test.

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    How do we use the Comparative Analysis during this transition?

    The Comparative Analysis is a good place to start and the content in the middle column is definitely dual aligned. However, only focusing on the middle column will not fully prepare your students for the dually aligned assessments or for the next grade/course. Therefore, a careful review of the content in all columns of the Comparative Analysis and thoughtful vertical articulation across the grade levels will insure students equipped for success.

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    Are the 2013-2014 science OAAs still grade-band or grade-level specific?

    The 2013-2014 science OAAs are still grade-band assessments.

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    What if a concept/skill has moved to a higher or a lower grade?

    Science: If the concept or skill is still within the testing grade band then it may be assessed on the 2013-14 spring test, if it has moved out of the grade band then it will not be assessed.

    English Language Arts and Mathematics: If the concept or skill has moved to an earlier grade level it is identified as foundational and therefore considered appropriate for the test. The concept or skill will not be assessed if the concept is at a grade higher than the assessed grade.

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    What standards should we focus on for the 2013-2014 school year?

    Ohio’s New Learning Standards. The dual alignment allows teachers to fully implement the New Learning Standards and adequately prepares students for the assessments.

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Last Modified: 11/6/2013 3:00:30 PM

Pursuant to ORC 3301.079 (B) (3) and 3313.60, it is the responsibility of Ohio's local boards of education to vet and approve curriculum and educational materials for use in the public schools within their district. The use of any materials posted or linked to on the Ohio Department of Education website, including materials within the Common Core State Standards or Appendices or any state model curricula or other educational resource material, is entirely up to the discretion of each local board of education.