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Planning Worksheet: Alternative Testing Options for Gifted Students Problem Definition: Gifted students are marginalized by the

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) testing process. This onesize fits all multiple-choice test does not accuracy assess the progress of gifted students. Target Audience Date and Location of Summit Virginia Association for the Gifted (a statewide organization of parents, educators, and community leaders that advocates appropriate instruction for all gifted learners.) October 20 22, 2012 Annual Conference: The Many Faces of Giftedness


Breakout Session

Immediate Goal Short Term Goal: 2-3 Years Mid Range Goal: 5-7 Years Long Term Goal: 10 Years

How do you know what your gifted child learned in school this year? This will be a breakout session discussing how the current SOL tests marginalize your child by not assessing the growth (or lack of growth) they made in a given school year. Raise awareness about the inadequacy of the current SOL evaluation system for Gifted students. Implement and evaluate a pilot program using a growth model test that measures academic progress from fall to spring and year to year. We suggest the Northwest Evaluation Associations MAP Assessment ( Scale up this pilot program to all schools statewide. 98% of all Gifted students will graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma.

Talking Points and Outreach Strategies Key Talking Points How Do You Know? This is the key phrase that every parent should be asking themselves, their childs teacher, and the school administration. How do you know my child is performing above grade level? A 600 on his SOL test only proves he mastered grade level content. How do you know my child learned a lot this year? How do you know my child grew from the beginning of the year to the end of the year? My child could have scored a 600 on the first day of school. How do you know my child is being challenged? These are questions parents need to be asking and they are questions that can only be answered by a test that measures academic progress. An additional message we want to deliver goes right to common sense. We dont ask our teachers to teach blindfolded, but that is what they are doing by not knowing exactly how much their gifted students are progressing.

Dont teach blindfolded!

Literature Social Media

The blindfolded teacher will serve an important symbol for our advocacy group. It is a simple image that people will remember and should resonate with our stakeholders. A handout will be available for parents and other stakeholders that explains the NWEAs MAP test. (Link to handout: Our advocacy group will have a Facebook Page and a Twitter feed that will give parents an

Political Advocacy

opportunity to join the cause and stay updated about our progress. Our advocacy group will need to set up a Political Action Committee (PAC) in order to collect donations and lobby elected officials with a united message. People Involved / Roles and Responsibilities The group leader is responsible for all aspects of the action plan. They are responsible for the groups mission and staying on task with its short and long term objectives. This individual will communicate with the Virginia DOE about the progress of the pilot program. This persons responsibility will increase when the statewide scale up occurs around year 5. This person will be responsible for implementing a test that measures students progress and reporting the results. This person will maintain all social media and digital communication. The building principal will work with teachers and parents to inform them of what we are doing and why it is beneficial. They will also ensure the data gathered translates into improved instructions. Group members should keep up to date with the progress of the advocacy plan and lobby their local school board and government representatives. Resources Needed for Pilot Program We have chosen the NWEAs Measures of Academic Progress test. According to their website (, 2012), the benefits of the MAP test are: Understanding each students academic level gives teachers the power to help them excel. MAP computerized adaptive assessments are the tools that make it possible providing educators with the detailed information they need to build curriculum and meet their students needs, one child at a time. This test is also norm reverenced by age and grade level. Thousands of students across the country already use this assessment. This adaptive test is taken on typical students laptop or desktop computers. This is a web-based application, so no special software is needed.

Advocacy Group Leader DOE Liaison District Director Testing Technical Advisor Building Principal Advocacy Group Members

Licensing Agreement with the NWEA

Access to student computers

Funding for Training and Staff Development Miscellaneous Items Timeline 0 to 1 Year

The teachers will need staff development on how to implement the results of this test. They will also need training on how to navigate the NWEAs report site. The advocacy group as a whole will need funding for outreach and political lobbying. Advocacy Launch and Implementation Strategy Goal Task Details Awareness This advocacy group will spend the next year raising awareness for this cause. The group will also work to find a school distract willing to pilot the implementation of the NWEAs MAP test. Pilot the MAP test on a small scale. Gather During this time, the main focus will be data for scale up implementation. implementing the pilot program. The group will work with the NWEA to provide training and support for the schools and teachers who are using the MAP test. The group will prepare training modules that can be duplicated on a larger scare when the test is adopted statewide. Interested parents and stakeholders should also continue to lobby local and state officials to ensure this testing process is adopted statewide. Statewide Scale Up If the pilot program is successful, there will need to be a process for scaling up this model statewide. At this point, most of the responsibility for implementation will shift to the state DOE. The advocacy group will be available to provide resources and expertise. At this point, the advocacy group will shift roles and be primarily a research group tracking data

Year 2 and 3

Years 4 6

Year 10

Ten Year Data Analysis

and determining the long-term success of this shift in testing. The key benchmark will be an increase in the number of Advanced Studies Diplomas earned by gifted students. 98% of gifted students should now earn an Advanced Studies Diploma because they have been sufficiently challenged at each grade level. The NWEAs MAP test will ensure that their academic progress from year to year if tracked properly.