Missouri Chooses New Assessment Vendor

Missouri’s assessments to focus on college- and career-readiness

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has chosen CTB/McGraw-Hill for a new statewide assessment contract beginning with the 2014-15 school year. The Department’s current contracts with CTB/McGraw-Hill for the administration of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) expire with the spring 2014 test administrations. The new contract includes all required assessments in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The scope of the work addresses item development, test administration, scoring, security and reporting.  

The purpose of the state’s new assessments is to help inform better teaching and better learning. The new tests will assess the deeper knowledge students need for success after they graduate from high school. The assessments are integral to accomplishing Missouri’s top 10 by 20 initiative goal of all students graduating ready for college, postsecondary training or a career.

“High quality assessments in Missouri will better prepare our students and improve teaching practice,” said Chris L. Nicastro, commissioner of education. “Mastering more complex texts and connecting math concepts to the real world – these are the kinds of skills that today’s students will need. They are the skills and knowledge we should be testing.”

For the first time, this contract will provide interim assessments for classroom teacher use. This tool will allow districts to identify areas where students are struggling and intervene immediately instead of finding out about student performance with end-of-the year assessments.

The new contract includes all of the following:

  • Administration, scoring, and reporting of the English language arts and mathematics grade-level and new end-of-high school (EOHS) assessments;
  • Full development, administration, scoring, and reporting of English language arts and mathematics end-of-course (EOC) exams;
  • Administration, scoring, and reporting of the current Biology, American History, and Government EOCs;
  • Development, administration, scoring, and reporting of the science grade-level assessments for grades 5 and 8.

All of the assessments will be administered online. This will allow for faster results to educators as well as more detailed feedback on student performance.

The State Board of Education approved the Department’s proposed FY15 budget at its September meeting including additional funds for the new assessment contract.  The budget is subject to the normal appropriations process.  The $18-million in additional funds for the assessments reflects the increase in costs since the state’s last assessment contract as well as online delivery, ongoing development, teacher resources and the additional exams.