This spring, Kansas students in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school will take new state assessments in math and English language arts. While students will continue to take the assessments using a computer, the assessments will look different and will be aligned to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. This letter is intended to provide you with a brief explanation of the changes to the assessments and the results.
Technology enhanced features such as “drag and drop” and highlighting text will provide a more engaging opportunity for your student to demonstrate understanding of the subject matter. Due to the alignment with the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards and the new features of the assessments, you and your student’s teachers will receive a more detailed report of how your child is doing in math and English language arts. The new reports will identify where your student is doing well and also show the areas where additional focus is needed. With that being said, any time a new state assessment is introduced, it requires a comprehensive analysis of performance results to determine what exactly the scores mean. In order to complete this analysis, we anticipate that assessment results will be made available in August. Receiving the results later, rather than nearly immediately as we’ve done in the past several years, will be a change for everyone—students, teachers and parents.
The new assessments were developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) located at the University of Kansas. CETE has created a practice site for anyone wanting to take a closer look at the new assessments. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the practice items to get a better idea of what your student will experience. The practice assessments can be found at: http://www.ksassessments.org/sites/ksassessments.org/files/documents/Instruction%20for%20KITE%20Practice%20Tests_021414.pdf
Thank you for your continued support of Kansas education and for being THE most important person in the education of your student.
Dr. Diane M. DeBacker, Commissioner
Kansas State Department of Education