Topic:
EDUCATION (GENERAL); EDUCATIONAL TESTING;
Location:
EDUCATION - TESTING;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


June 1, 2000

 

2000-R-0554

STANDARDIZED TESTS ADMINISTERED IN CONNECTICUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked for a list and brief description of the standardized tests administered to public school students in Connecticut. You asked that we exclude diagnostic tests for disabilities and language proficiency tests.

SUMMARY

By law, each student enrolled in the 4th, 6th, and 8th grade in the public schools must take the Connecticut mastery test. Students in the 10th grade must take the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT). Special education students are exempt if their planning and placement teams consider it inappropriate for them to take the tests. Students who have been enrolled in a bilingual or English as a Second Language program for less than three years are also exempt (CGS 10-14n and 10-14q).

The mastery and CAPT tests are the only standardized tests the state requires school districts to give. But, many districts administer other standardized tests, as well. According to a 1997 survey by the State Department of Education (the most complete and up-to-date data available), 119 of the 171 school districts in the state use standardized tests in addition to the state mastery tests. In 1997, 32 different standardized tests were used in at least one district.

In addition, the state participates in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP administers a U.S. Department of Education exam to randomly selected students. Participation by states, districts, schools, and student is voluntary.

TEST LIST AND DESCRIPTIONS

Standardized tests used in Connecticut fall into two broad categories: achievement and aptitude tests. The first group measures what students have learned and the second what they are interested in or have a facility for. The list below describes the standardized tests Connecticut districts used in 1997 as reported on the SDE survey, together with brief description of each test and a list of the districts that used it.

Test descriptions below are taken from an online test database established jointly by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, the Educational Testing Service, the University of Nebraska's Buros Institute, George Washington University, and Pro-Ed (a test publisher). Some descriptions are also taken from online information available from test publishers. Information on Connecticut mastery tests comes from the State Department of Education.

Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT)

CMTs are designed to assess essential reading, writing, language arts, and mathematics skills that students can reasonably be expected to have mastered at the beginning of grades 4, 6, and 8. All school districts use the test.

Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT)

CAPT assesses 10th graders' performance in math, language arts, science, and interdisciplinary knowledge. The language arts part of the test includes a response to literature test and an editing test. The interdisciplinary part requires students to apply skills from across content areas. CAPT measures both what students know and what they can do. All school districts use the test.

Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) – 65 districts

DRP tests reading comprehension. The following districts use it:

Ansonia

Groton

Newtown

Suffield

Region 6

Barkhamsted

Hamden

North Branford

Thompson

Region 8

Berlin

Killingly

Norwalk

Torrington

Region 10

Bloomfield

Lisbon

Norwich

Waterford

Region11

Bolton

Litchfield

Old Saybrook

West Hartford

Region 18

Branford

Manchester

Oxford

Westbrook

 

Brookfield

Meriden

Portland

Weston

 

Canterbury

Milford

Putnam

Westport

 

Clinton

Monroe

Redding

Wethersfield

 

East Hartford

New Canaan

Rocky Hill

Willington

 

East Lyme

New Fairfield

Simsbury

Wilton

 

Ellington

New Hartford

Somers

Winchester

 

Farmington

New London

Stafford

Windsor

 

Greenwich

New Milford

Stamford

Windsor Locks

 

Griswold

Newington

Stratford

Region 4

 

Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT) – 42 Districts

The MAT is designed to measure achievement on a broad range of subjects including, for example, vocabulary; reading comprehension; math concepts, problem solving, and computation; spelling; language; science; social studies; and research skills. The districts that use the MAT are:

Ashford

Colebrook

Naugatuck

Salem

Watertown

Barkhamsted

Columbia

New Fairfield

South Windsor

Westport

Berlin

East Granby

New Milford

Southington

Wethersfield

Bloomfield

East Haddam

Newtown

Stafford

Wolcott

Bozrah

Farmington

North Stonington

Thomaston

Region 10

Bristol

Hamden

Plainfield

Thompson

Region 16

Canterbury

Madison

Plymouth

Trumbull

Region 17

Cheshire

Manchester

Preston

Union

 

Clinton

Montville

Putnam

Wallingford

 

Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) – 19 Districts

OLSAT is a series of tests that measures the cognitive skills that relate to a student's ability to learn and succeed in school. Tests vary depending on the grade. OLSAT is used by:

Bethel

Colebrook

Newtown

Stonington

Region 1

Canterbury

East Granby

Oxford

Watertown

Region 9

Canton

Greenwich

Redding

Wilton

Region 18

Cheshire

Lebanon

Stamford

Windsor Locks

 

Stanford Achievement Tests - 16 Districts

The Stanford Achievement Test Series covers grades K-13 and combines multiple-choice and open-ended subtests aligned with national standards, projects, and models. Subtests cover reading, mathematics, science, social science, and language. Stanford tests are used by:

Branford

Hamden

North Stonington

Watertown

Bridgeport

Mansfield

Redding

West Hartford

Glastonbury

Newtown

Ridgefield

Weston

Greenwich

North Branford

Trumbull

Wilton

Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) – 8 Districts

ITBS assesses student progress in content areas appropriate for specific grades. Tests are coordinated with state and local courses of study and instructional materials and methods. The following districts use the ITBS: East Haven, Fairfield, Granby, Orange, Seymour, Sherman, Vernon, and Region 4.

California Achievement Test (CAT) – 7 Districts

CAT is designed to measure achievement in the basic skills in state and district curricula. Subject areas measured in the test's basic battery are reading, spelling, language, mathematics, and study skills, with optional tests in science and social studies. These districts use CAT: East Haddam, Manchester, New Fairfield, Old Saybrook, Simsbury, Thompson, and Region 7.

Cognitive Abilities Test (COGAT) – 6 Districts

COGAT measures developed instead of innate abilities. It is divided into three batteries: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. The districts using COGAT are: East Hartford, Fairfield, Granby, Vernon, Wethersfield, and Woodstock.

Educational Records Bureau Writing Assessment Program (ERB) – 5 Districts

This test uses a writing sample from each student to judge descriptive, expository, and persuasive writing. Samples are scored for topic development, organization, support, sentence structure, word choice, and mechanics. Students take the test over two class sessions so they can rewrite or revise their compositions. Avon, Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Wilton use the test.

Test of Cognitive Skills – 5 Districts

This test assesses academic aptitude including verbal, nonverbal, and memory skills. It is used by Brookfield, Newington, Old Saybrook, West Hartford, and Region 6.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery – 5 Districts

This battery of tests is administered to high school students. It links the occupational composites to examples of civilian occupations. The occupational composites are mechanical and crafts, business and clerical, health, social and technology, and electronics and electrical. The test is used in Griswold, Litchfield, North Stonington, Westbrook, and Region 6.

Boehm Test of Basic Concepts – 5 Districts

This test measures mastery of concepts that are fundamental to understanding verbal instruction and necessary for early school achievement. It measures relational concepts across space, quality, and time at increasingly complex levels of abstraction. The Boehm test is used in Hamden, Stafford, Stratford, Trumbull, and Wilton.

Gates MacGinitie Reading Test – 4 Districts

This test assesses achievement in reading skills for students at the end of kindergarten through grade 12. Each level includes tests for vocabulary and comprehension. The following districts use the test: Barkhamsted, Simsbury, Watertown, and Windham.

Differential Aptitude Test – 4 Districts

This battery of tests is designed to measure students' ability to learn or to succeed in a number of different areas. They assess verbal, numerical, mechanical and abstract reasoning; perceptual speed and accuracy; space relations; spelling; and language usage. Districts that use the test are: Bolton, Hamden, North Stonington, and Region 8.

Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test – 3 Districts

This test helps determine which students should be placed in Algebra I or pre-algebra classes. It is written to reflect current algebra curriculum and current recommendations made by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. It emphasizes understanding of concepts, not computational skills. Three districts use it: Ridgefield, West Hartford, and Region 1.

Metropolitan Readiness Test – 3 Districts

This test assesses children's readiness to begin reading and mathematics instruction. It is designed for use at the middle and end of kindergarten and at the beginning of grade 1. The three districts that use the test are: Bloomfield, Plymouth, and Watertown.

Kuder Occupational Interest Inventory – 2 Districts

This test is designed for use when a person is approaching the point of having to commit himself to preparing for, or entering, a specific line of work. It is scored for 115 occupations and 33 college major subjects. Litchfield and Windsor Locks use it.

Spanish Assessment of Basic Education – 2 Districts

This test is designed to measure achievement in the basic skills of reading, mathematics, spelling, language, and study skills for students for whom Spanish is the language of instruction. It measures skill levels of Spanish-speaking students in bilingual programs and assesses Spanish-speaking immigrant students entering American schools from foreign educational systems. Hartford and New Haven use it.

TESTS USED IN ONE DISTRICT

The following tests were used in only one district in 1997:

Test

Description

District

Career Ability Placement Survey

Measures abilities keyed to entry requirements for the majority of jobs in each of 14 occupation clusters.

Wilton

Concepts of Print

Measures how well pre-literate students understand the functions and conventions of print.

Windham

California Occupational Preference System Interest Inventory

Job activity interest scores related to occupational clusters.

Wilton

Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills

Measures the basic skills of reading, language, spelling, mathematics, study skills, science, and social studies.

Avon

Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning

A screening test for use with children ages 6 to 11 who may benefit from early intervention or diagnostic assessment.

Windsor Locks

Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration

Designed primarily to assist with identifying preschool through primary school children with visual/motor problems.

Hamden

EXPLORE

Provides information for career exploration, academic evaluation, and high school course planning.

Putnam

GOALS

Achievement test developed to supplement traditional tests by measuring content that is part of the curriculum. Tests reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social science.

North Stonington

Harrington O'Shea Career Decision-Making System

A comprehensive career interest survey designed to help discover the kinds of jobs that may be of interest to student, get information about those jobs, and become aware of the careers available.

Hamden

Iowa Test of Educational Development

A high-school achievement battery to assess the intellectual skills representing the long-range goals of secondary education, particularly the thinking skills of analysis and evaluation.

Bloomfield

Johns Hopkins PLUS

Used to identify 5th and 6th graders with exceptional math and verbal reasoning ability.

Trumbull

National Education Development Test

No description available

Litchfield

Ohio Vocational Interest Survey

Occupation interest inventory combined with optional career planning questionnaire

North Stonington

PLAN

Helps 10th graders measure academic development and explore career training options. Includes achievement test, interest inventory, educational/occupational plans, and needs assessment profile

Putnam

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

Designed for people aged 2 1/2 to 90+ years, the test serves as an achievement test of receptive (hearing) vocabulary for standard English and as a screening test of verbal ability.

Thomaston

Ekwell/Shanker Reading Inventory

Measures the total range of a student's reading abilities, including oral and silent reading levels, listening comprehension, letter knowledge, basic sight vocabulary, phonics, structural analysis, context clues, efficiency skills, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and reading interests. Can be used for preschool through ninth grade.

Waterbury

Strong Campbell Interest Inventory

A survey that measures self-reported interest and skills. Focuses on careers that require a post-secondary education.

North Stonington

NAEP TEST

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a voluntary national assessment test administered by the federal government. It assesses representative samples of students in certain grades or at certain ages in public and nonpublic schools. For the main NAEP assessment, students are selected from grades 4, 8 and 12. For state assessments, subjects and grades selected vary depending on funding. For long-term assessments students in grades 4, 8, and 11 are sampled for writing, and students aged 9, 13, and 17 are sampled for science, math, and reading.

Since 1994, NAEP has been administered every two years. Starting in 2000, it will be administered annually. Connecticut has participated in all five state NAEP assessments.

JSL:eh