NJDOE News
Contact: Bob DeSando
For Release: October 6, 2000

Commissioner Hespe Announces Plan to Provide Teachers
Questions and Answers to Portions of 4th and 8th Grade Tests

Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe today announced that teachers will be given additional tools to help them align their lesson plans with the state's new curriculum standards and enable students to do better on the 4th and 8th grade assessments.

"Within the past year, the Department of Education placed a practice test on its website," Hespe noted. "Fifty percent were operational items. Others appeared on various field tests. In November, the department will send to local districts one of the two language arts literacy open-ended items that appeared on the 2000 ESPA (Elementary School Proficiency Assessment). Teachers will be able to see the responses for each one of their students."

Accompanying the actual student response will be sample responses for each score point so teachers can see how their students' written responses were scored.

The department will also release three GEPA (Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment) language arts literacy writing items about the same time. Each school district will receive all of their students' responses to the three GEPA language arts literacy tasks.

"We hope this extra information will be useful to parents who do not have access to a computer or the Internet and to school districts that have expressed an interest in seeing actual responses for instructional purposes," Hespe said. "We are continuing to work with our testing contractor to release selected items from both the ESPA and GEPA mathematics and science tests. We have asked the contractor to design a plan that would enable this to happen without jeopardizing the integrity of the secured tests."

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