Assessment of Writing in Kansas
As we move forward with transitioning to our new assessments aligned to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS), one of the many questions we must work to answer is how the Kansas English Language Arts (ELA) Assessment will address all four strands of the ELA standards. The 2014 ELA assessment has been a positive stepping stone on our path toward KCCRS-aligned assessments, and we will continue along this path for 2015.
As you may know, the 2014 ELA assessment included only writing items that could be machine-scored, and did not include any items requiring students to compose text. This will change in 2015. While we still are discussing and working on a number of issues, including but not limited to scoring, number of sessions, and length of sessions, the following details seem clear, based on our knowledge at this time:
1) Students will be assessed on written composition annually because the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards include writing as one of the four strands of the ELA Standards, and because writing is a focal point in the Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.
2) In 2015, we will field test composition as a portion of the ELA assessment, following passage and prompt development, as well as passage and prompt reviews in 2014. We are unsure yet at which point during the ELA assessment students will write. More details will be released as those decisions are made.
3) Most prompts will require students to engage with/read a series of related resources (articles, narratives, videos, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc.) and then write. These resources may be narrative, informational, or argumentative, and the content may focus on topics from science, social science, math, or other content areas.
4) KSDE's intent at this time is to not “assign” specific text types to certain grades, which is a change from past practice.
We continue to meet with CETE regularly, and will update the field as best we can with the most recent information available regarding the assessment of writing in Kansas.
If you have further questions contact Suzy Oertel at email@example.com.