Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS!
November  2019  Issue
Bring on Fall!
For Mississippians, November highlights the advent of cooler temperatures, the leaves starting to change colors, and the arrival of a much-needed Thanksgiving break. In our schools, we are approaching the midway point of the school year and starting preparations for fall MS-CPAS testing.
For our education focus of the month, I would like to discuss the importance of integrating reading in our career and technical education (CTE) classes. The 2015 Nation's Report Card shows most high school seniors performed at or below basic on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading assessment section. In a recent policy brief by Johns Hopkins, it was reported that approximately 49 percent of students in the United States take at least one CTE class in a school year. Other reports state that students take at least one CTE class during their high school years. Most of the courses in the Mississippi secondary CTE pathways are delivered year-long as two credits, or 25% of the school day. As this tool created by ReadingPlus shows, a Tier 2 high school student needs at least two hours of reading per week for twenty weeks to show English/Language Arts (ELA) growth.
This is great opportunity for us, as CTE educators, to influence ELA gains by embedding literacy activities along with our hands-on instructional techniques. Some strategies that could be used in the CTE classroom are reading and summarizing an article on emerging trends in the CTE pathway, using reflection activities around demonstration videos of techniques, promoting critical thinking and questioning when solving CTE problems, and integrating problem-based learning activities to promote students' coming up with written solutions supported by evidence. For more guidance in this area, the Penn State College of Education has a reading and writing resource area for CTE classes.
So let's remind our students that everything we do is a learning process teaching us to stand up and learn from our failures to make the next step a greater success!
Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager
Important Dates 
Fall Practice Testing Window for Secondary Fall Testers                   
Oct. 1-Nov. 6
Fall Roster Submission Period for Postsecondary Fall Testers 
Oct. 28-Nov. 8
Postsecondary and Secondary MS-CPAS Fall Testing  
Nov. 11-15
Secondary National Certification Testing   
Nov. 11-Dec. 6
Postsecondary and Secondary Final MS-CPAS Reports Available  
Nov. 27
MS-CPAS Updates

MS-CPAS fall testing for postsecondary and secondary students takes place Nov. 11 - 15. There are a few important points concerning accommodations, testing tickets, and test status to keep in mind. Before a test is scheduled for a class, you will need to verify the class information in Step 2 of the RCU portal. While in Step 2, it is important to confirm that the correct accommodation has been assigned to students who receive accommodations. After classes are verified, you can then print testing tickets for students. When each student is provided with a testing ticket, proctors can easily verify that each student has entered the correct MSIS number and that he or she is taking the correct assessment before proctors enter their credentials to start the test. Once testing is underway, you can monitor students' test progress and preliminary scores through the Test Status Page which will open during the week of testing. After a class tests, it is important to verify that each student has a Completed, instead of an In Progress, test status.
If you are a secondary school test coordinator, please save one of these dates for spring test coordinator training: Tuesday, February 18 at the Hunter Henry Center at MSU or Thursday, February 20 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.
National Certifications Updates
The fall testing window for national certifications is Nov. 11-Dec. 6. If you have students that will be taking national certifications during this window and have questions about how to prepare, please make sure you reach out to us for assistance. We are here to make sure you have all the resources and information you need to be ready on test day.
During fall testing, you may have Culinary Arts students earn the qualifying score on the MS-CPAS and become eligible to take the ProStart exam. Once you know how many of your students qualify for this exam, reach out to the RCU at to let us know how many Level 1 and Level 2 ProStart testing vouchers you will need and which edition of the ProStart your students will take (1st or 2nd edition). Once we receive this information, we will get the ProStart voucher codes to you quickly so that you can schedule your ProStart testing session. 
Performance-Based Assessment
Polymer science materials are posted behind a district login on the PBA page. Polymer science teachers should have your testing coordinator log in to retrieve these materials for you so that you may begin guiding students through your tasks if you have not done so already.
A team of digital media technology teachers met in October to revise the DMT performance task. We will meet again in November to finalize the task. Look for your materials to be posted toward the close of the semester.
Simulation and animation design teachers have a meeting in November to revise the SAD performance task. You can expect your performance task materials to be posted toward the close of the semester.
Architecture and drafting teachers will meet via Zoom later this month to discuss any revision needed for your performance task. Look for an email from me in the coming days with more information about this meeting.
If any teacher or testing coordinator in any PBA pathway has contact information for a great evaluator, please send this contact information to me. We will begin to contact evaluators soon!
If you have any questions, please contact me via the RCU Help Desk at
Thank you for all that you do!
Riesa Blackwell
Project Manager
Key Contacts
Assessment Manager .........................
IAD Meetings and Training Events.......
National Certifications .........................
Data and Research..............................
Performance-Based Assessment.........
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