Testing Procedures in the Jeff Davis County School System
The Jeff Davis County School System implements the statewide testing program as approved by the State Board of Education. As the System Testing Director, I work with our staff members to make sure we follow explicitly all of the written procedures and regulations regarding testing and test administration, including the distribution and collection of test materials, test security, use of test results and official testing dates established in Georgia Department of Education materials such as the Student Assessment Handbook (SAH), test administration manuals (System Coordinator's Manual, School Testing Coordinator's Manual, and Examiner's Manual), and assessment supplements and correspondence. An additional resource, “Best Practices for State Mandated Student Assessment” provided for as a recommendation by the State Board of Education, is also incorporated in our testing program. This resource provides practical recommendations for a school system to use in the development and implementation of local procedures that will protect the integrity of the testing program.
At the school level, I work directly with our principals and counselors (who also serve as school testing coordinators) who are involved a great deal with our testing program. They help make sure all of the procedures and regulations are followed at their school.
All assessments are administered by Georgia-certified educators. We train and orient any persons involved directly or indirectly in the assessment process and procedures required for appropriate and secure administration of all state-mandated assessments. Test materials are secured before, during, and after testing. It is imperative that all test materials be tracked and accounted for at each level of distribution. Signed documentation is kept on file regarding the receipt, verification, and distribution of all testing materials. Test security has always been essential and continues to be vital in the age of high stakes testing and accountability.
State-mandated assessments allow for certain accommodations when needed by students. Our Special Director and our ESOL Director and their respective departments work together to ensure the appropriate accommodations are provided for in regards to any of our students who need them. Only accommodations specified in a student's IEP, lAP, or ELL/TPC can be used.
Maintaining the confidentiality of student test scores and protecting the integrity of the test are important parts of our testing program. The individual student score is only made available to the student, to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student, and to appropriate local, state, and federal governmental agencies as provided by state and federal law. We provide these individual student score reports for all state-mandated assessments to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in a timely manner. All individual student assessment scores become a part of the student's records as soon as possible after testing, and those records follow student.
As per the Student Assessment Handbook, “Any action that compromises test security or leads to the invalidation of an individual student's or a group of student's test scores will viewed by the State Department of Education as inappropriate use or handling of tests and will be treated as such. Any concern regarding test security must be reported to the State Department of Education immediately. It is a breach of test security if anyone performs any of the following: coaches examinees during testing, or alters or interferes with examinees' responses in any way; gives examinees access to test questions or prompts prior to testing; copies, reproduces, or uses in any manner inconsistent with test security regulations all or any portion of secure test booklets; makes answers available to examinees; reads or reviews test questions before, during (unless specified in the IEP, lAP, or ELL/TPC), or after testing; questions students about test content after the test administration; fails to follow security regulations for distribution and return of secure test materials as directed, fails to account for all secure test materials before, during, and after testing (Note: lost test booklets constitute a breach of test security and will result in a referral to the PSC); uses or handles secure test booklets and answer documents for any purpose other than examination; fails to follow administration directions for the test; fails to properly secure and safeguard pass codes/usernames necessary for online test administration; participates in, directs, aids, counsels, assists, encourages, or fails to report any of these prohibited acts; and/or erases, marks answers, or alters responses on an answer document. Failure to safeguard test materials or to comply with test administration procedures could adversely effect on individual's certification status. Such must be reported to the State Department of Education and may be referred to the Educators Ethics Division of the Professional Standards Commission as a failure to adhere to established policies and procedures. While the entire Code of Ethics for Educators is critical, the following standard addresses testing specifically: Standard 11: Testing-An educator shall administer state-mandated assessments fairly and ethically. Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to: (1) committing any act that breaches Test Security; and (2) compromising the integrity of the assessment.” Any allegation of failure to follow procedures required for appropriate and secure administration of state-mandated assessments is immediately addressed by the local system and reported to the proper authority.