The Heat Is On!
Welcome to the dog days of summer! With July's arrival, the frequency of family reunions, pool parties, and fireworks displays increases at the same rate as the humidity and temperature. For us on the Research and Curriculum Unit's assessment team, July means the close of regular testing, drafting technical reports and manuals for the next school year, and postsecondary summer testing. As a reminder, our team is presenting numerous topics at the 2018 MS ACTE Summer Conference (July 25-27) in Jackson, MS. These topics range from national certifications and performance-based assessments, to using Google and social media for your CTE center. Our team enjoys presenting at the conference and welcomes it as an opportunity to cooperatively communicate and collaborate with each of you to improve the processes we offer each year. As a reminder, please review a few changes to some topics outlined in the previous month's newsletter.
- Interpretive Guide: May's update of the MS-CPAS Interpretive Guide came months before its usual August rewrite. We updated the guide early this year to reflect the new style of secondary and postsecondary reports. The document provides data interpretation guidelines for teachers, administrators, and school districts for all CTE reports offered by our department. Download the document here.
- Reports: Secondary and postsecondary reports can be accessed with your RCU district account here. We recently updated student label reports and sorted sort them by students' last names, from A to Z, instead of by program name. If you have any ideas for new reports, email your suggestions to the Help Desk.
- Important Dates:The 2018-2019 testing dates and assessment events calendar will be released in late July on our website.
See you at the 2018 MS ACTE Summer Conference!
Sean Owen, PhD
MS-CPAS test blueprints have been updated for the 2018-2019 school year and are now posted on the
- Summer roster submission period for postsecondary programs: June 12 to July 3
- Summer testing for postsecondary programs: July 9-12
- Makeup testing deadline: July 13
- PS Graphic Design Y1 & Y2: Aug. 29-30
- 2015 Cosmetology Y1 & Y2 Top-Off: Sept. 5-6
- 2016 Furniture Design Y1 & Y2 Top-Off: Sept. 19-20
- 2015 Collision Repair Y2: Sept. 27-28
- 2017 Law and Public Safety Y2: Oct. 4-5
- 2018 Teacher Academy Y1 (Top-Off) & Y2: Oct. 11-12
- 2018 Engineering Y2: Oct. 17-18
- 2018 Aquaculture: Nov. 1-2
- Welding: Nov. 28-29
- 2018 Teacher Academy Y1 (Top-Off) & Y2: Jaan. 9-10, 2019
- 2017 Early Childhood Y1 & Y2 Top-Off: Jan. 23-24, 2019
- Construction Core: Feb. 5-6, 2019
- Electrical Y2: Feb. 13-14, 2019
- Carpentry Y2: Feb. 20 - 21, 2019
- Welding: March 6-7, 2019
- 2018 Aquaculture: March 20-21, 2019
- 2018 Engineering Y2: April 3-4, 2010
- 2017 AEST Concepts of Agriscience: April 10, 2019
Those looking to serve on one of these IAD committees must complete Assessment 101 to be considered for participation. If you previously completed Assessment 101, contact
about your interest.
The free Assessment 101 course will open in Canvas July 16. The sooner you enroll in
and complete Assessment 101 in Canvas, the sooner you will be eligible for consideration. It takes approximately six to eight weeks to complete all of the travel arrangements for those invited to attend, so early completion is encouraged.
On July 16, anyone who has registered for Assessment 101 in GoSignMeUp will receive details about how to begin the course. Space is limited to the first 200 people. If you would like to complete the course and your program area is not listed, you are still welcome to register. It is possible other program areas that are not listed could be invited in the coming months for meetings.
National Certifications Update
The national certification results are in! Thanks to your monumental efforts, 6,596 national certification exams were administered to 5,675 secondary CTE students in the 2017-2018 academic year, which represents a 20% increase from just two years ago. Your national certification reports are now available via your RCU MyPortal account. We can't wait to see all the teachers and test coordinators at MS ACTE this month in Jackson, MS, where we'll be meeting with national certification pathways to dig into this year's certification results and discuss testing updates for the 2018-2019 school year.
Performance-Based Assessment Update
How is the revised performance-based assessment (PBA) different from the previous version? We are now using the Quality Performance Assessment (QPA) framework to guide our work. While we've always used research-based best practices to create PBA, the QPA framework provides a set of elements ensuring our assessments are of high quality. These elements include aligning to academic and 21st Century Skills, having open-endedness and real-world relevance, requiring of application and transfer, focusing on fairness and cultural responsiveness, outlining clear criteria for success, and resulting in original products (
Center for Collaborative Education, 2017, Performance Assessment Quality Criteria. Handout from the 2017 Quality Performance Assessment Summer Institute, Boston, MA.)
. These elements have the added benefit of use beyond PBA, as they can be used to ensure the quality of any classroom activity.
Smith Named RCU Leader
"I'm excited to lead an organization and group of people I care deeply about, and I'm fortunate to be able to draw from my past experiences to help us meet our goals for tomorrow."
Longtime educator Betsey Smith now leads the RCU after serving as interim director since December. Read more about Smith and her promotion
RCU Graduates 80 New Career-Technical Teachers
Eighty new career and technical educators will start the upcoming academic year with advanced teaching skills after graduating the RCU's New Teacher Induction program June 15.
Read more about the program and last month's graduation ceremony here.
Assessment Manager ..............................
IAD Meetings ...........................................
National Certification ...............................
Research & Standard Setting...................
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