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2016-17 Updates

2016-17 MDE Updates/Assessment Info:

What's new 2016-17

2016 Session: Legislative Impacts on Minnesota Testing

The Omnibus K-12 Education Finance Bill signed during the 2016 Minnesota Legislature session has changes to the statewide assessment program and also additional requirements or clarifications for schools and districts.

The bill does not alter the assessments offered and supported by MDE. The MCA, MTAS, and ACCESS/Alternate ACCESS for ELLs will continue to be offered in the same grades and subjects.

We have identified the following changes that will impact district planning. More detailed information about these impacts will also be shared at the time of the Assessment Conference.

· College entrance exam:

  • Beginning in the 2016–2017 school year, the SAT will also be reimbursed for students who take that college entrance exam. A district can contract with ACT or College Board or both. Districts will still contract directly with the service provider.
  • Students can choose one of these college entrance exams for reimbursement; there were no changes to the student participation language.
  • There was no change to the amount of funding provided for college entrance exam reimbursement. It is possible that public school districts will be reimbursed in full for the 2016–2017 administration but MDE cannot guarantee full funding at this point. If full funding is not provided, reimbursements will be distributed proportionally. Nonpublic school students’ reimbursements will be made with remaining funds following public school reimbursements.

· Districts and charter schools must post to the web, before the first day of each school year, a comprehensive testing calendar that includes additional elements than required in the past. MDE is working with stakeholders to provide samples as soon as possible due to the requirement beginning in 2016–2017 school year.

· Additional requirements for MDE to implement regarding aggregation and disaggregation assessment data were implemented. This will require additional data collection and reporting by districts. MDE will be working with stakeholders to gather feedback and provide details to schools and districts as soon as possible.

· Minnesota state colleges and universities may use the high school MCA Career and College Readiness score to inform course placement. MDE will relay details once we are informed by Minnesota State.

· The department is required to create and post an optional parent refusal form. MDE will be working with stakeholders to gather feedback and finalize the form.

· The department is required to develop a publicly available database with whistleblower protections for stakeholders to report service provider disruptions and technical interruptions. This database is in addition to, not in place of, the service provider’s helpdesk for technical assistance. Contacting the service provider directly will remain the most efficient and effective way to resolve any testing difficulties.

· Districts must have a process in place to seek advice from school board and teacher representatives when considering the adoption of standardized assessments beyond those required by state and federal law. If districts do not have a committee or agreement in place for this purpose, they are required to convene a committee as described in 120B.304.

· The bill also was amended to include a Civics test and changes to the academic standards revision cycle. Further information about both of these areas will be communicated later in the summer.