For the purposes of APPR, there are no K-2 standardized tests administered or required by the State*. Decisions about how to measure student progress in K-2 are made by local school districts and BOCES. Education Law §3012-c provides districts and BOCES with design flexibility and assessment options. This document is intended for districts and BOCES seeking opportunities to reduce and/or refine assessments used in early elementary grades and subjects. Districts and BOCES are encouraged to reflect upon decisions made within Grades K-2 to ensure testing is the minimum necessary for effective decision making at the classroom, school and district level. Effective March 2, 2014, the Department implemented the Regents action to eliminate traditional standardized assessments for use in K-2 from the list of state-approved assessments for use in APPR plans for the 2014-15 school year and beyond. The Department requires districts and BOCES and their respective collective bargaining units to identify ways other than traditional standardized assessments to assess learning progress for these very young students. There are a variety of ways in which a district or BOCES can design a meaningful and authentic assessment program that provides information to drive instructional decisions, ultimately leading to an increase in students' knowledge and skills. This document offers considerations and opportunities that draw upon performance-based assessment approaches used by a variety of districts and BOCES. The Department offers this resource to encourage districts to engage in collaborative conversations about assessment opportunities available at all levels, including the early elementary level. Please also see the Guidance on the Amendments to Reduce Local Testing for APPR Purposes.
*Please note that federal law mandates that the English proficiency of all English language learners enrolled in Grades K-12 be assessed annually. The New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) is the annual assessment that NYS administers to comply with federal law. The NYSESLAT gives the State and schools important information regarding English language development of English language learners. The NYSESLAT is not required for APPR purposes in grades K-2. In the listening, reading, and writing subtests, students in grades K-2 mark their answers in their test booklets by circling or otherwise marking the answer or picture. There is no bubble sheet for these students to use. A teacher or aide must transcribe the student's responses to the answer sheet exactly as the student recorded it in the test booklet. The speaking portion of the NYSESLAT is administered to a student one-on-one. For a parent’s guide, please see: NYSESLAT.
Additional tools associated with the document that you may find helpful are as follows:
- APPR Guidance
- Assessments in APPR
- APPR Planning and Design Resources
- Data Driven Instruction (DDI) Resources on EngageNY
- SLO 103 Webinar: The Use of Past Performance Trends and Historical Data
- SLO Development for Educators who Need to Develop School-wide SLOs
- State-approved assessments
- Teachers College Reading and Writing Project