Minnesota Assessments
Test Security
for Districts and Schools
Objectives of This Training
• Understand MDE policies
and procedures related to
test security.
• Identify test security
issues through examples
of test security breaches.
• Recognize how test
security issues may be
Why Is Test Security Important?
• Maintain the confidentiality and validity of:
– state assessments
– student test results
• Ensure that every student has been provided the opportunity
to independently demonstrate his or her knowledge.
• Protect the state’s financial investment.
– Test items are expensive to create and maintain.
Why Is Training
on Test Security
Situations that can jeopardize
the confidentiality of a state
assessment or the validity of
a student's test can occur:
• anywhere
• in a very short amount
of time
Training and Resources
for Staff Administering Statewide Assessments
• Participate in district training and any MDE-required
trainings annually.
• Be familiar with the applicable Assessment Manual
for OLPA, MCA, MTAS, and GRAD.
• Review the applicable Test Monitor and Student
Directions for OLPA, MCA, and GRAD before the day
of testing.
• Know the district’s testing schedule and assigned
testing days.
Non-Disclosure Agreement
• Any district staff who may
come into contact with or
see test items must sign a
Non-Disclosure Agreement
each year.
• Available in two formats:
– hard copy
– electronically in PearsonAccess
(by January 2015)
MDE Policy – Securing Test Materials
Understand the procedures for
securing test materials
• What is considered a
secure location?
• Which test materials
are secure?
MDE Policy – Returning Test
Materials Between Administrations
Follow your district’s policy for returning test materials
between administrations.
• Return the test materials to the District or School
Assessment Coordinator between test administrations, OR
• Keep secure test materials in locked storage when not in
use by students.
Video Example: Leaving Test
Materials Unsecured
Play Video
MDE Policy – Accounting for Secure
Test Materials
• Verify that all secure test
materials are accounted for by
counting the materials when
checking out and checking back
• Use the Test Monitor Test Material
Security Checklist to document to
which student each secure test
material is assigned to.
• Verify that student login
information, scratch paper, and
mathematics formula sheets
(if used) from online
administrations are accounted for.
Examples: Misplacing or Losing Test
• A math script used with
students is found at the end of
the school year inside of the
Assessment Manual.
• A student’s responses in a large
print test book are not entered
online because the used large
print test book is returned to
the service provider before data
entry occurred.
MDE Policy – Maintaining
Chain of Custody
• Ensure that the proper chain
of custody is maintained.
• The Test Monitor or Test
Administrator is responsible
for the materials that have
been assigned to them from
the time they are checked out
to the time they are returned.
MDE Policy – Maintaining Chain of
Custody (continued)
Return and check in the secure test materials that have
been assigned to you directly to the District or School
Assessment Coordinator.
• Do not let students take their own or other students'
test materials to another location to be turned in.
• Do not let another staff member return test materials.
Video Example: Not Maintaining the Proper
Chain of Custody for Secure Test Materials
Play Video
MDE Policy –
Maintaining Security of Student Tests
Online assessments:
• verify that students are provided with their correct login
information or sit at the correct computer if already
logged in
• ensure that student answers in paper accommodated
test materials are not left unsecured
Examples: Students Test Results
Are Not Credited to the
Appropriate Student and Student
Data Privacy Is Compromised
• The Test Monitor allowed a
student to sit at a computer
that was already logged into
for different student.
• The Test Administrator enters
MTAS scores for the wrong
student into PearsonAccess.
MDE Policy – Verifying Student
• Be familiar with the following:
– general test-taking practices available for all students
– allowable accommodations based on the Procedures Manual
– accommodated test materials that must be provided to
students during test administration
• Verify that you have the most up-to-date information
regarding which students are to be administered
accommodations with their test.
Video Example: Misadministering
an Assessment
Play Video
Examples: Not Following the
Documented Accommodation in the
Student’s IEP or 504 Plan and
Providing a Prohibited Accommodation
• The Test Monitor does not verify that the test session is set
up correctly for a student who should receive
accommodated text-to-speech, even though an
accommodation for text-to-speech is written in the
student’s IEP.
• The Test Monitor reads the Reading MCA test aloud to a
student, even though this is not allowed.
MDE Policy – Verifying Students Are
Taking the Correct Tests
• Verify what test and form group type will be administered
in the test session.
• Ensure students are assigned to the correct form group
type and test, and provided with the correct login
Example: Including Students in a Test
Session Created for a Different Test
The Test Monitor instructs all
students in the group to log
into the test session without
verifying the tests that each
student should take.
MDE Policy – Verifying Materials
Allowed during Test Administration
• Know which materials are allowed during test
administration, including materials displayed on the testing
room walls and student desks.
• Ensure that only allowable materials are provided to or
used by students.
MDE Policy – Verifying Materials
Allowed during Test Administration
• Know when a calculator may be used for math
– MCA online administrations: know which tests allow handheld
– MCA paper accommodations: know the segments where
calculators are allowed
• Memory-enabled graphing calculators must have memory
cleared before and after testing.
Examples: Prohibited Materials
During Testing
The Test Monitor allows the
students to use a dictionary on
a reading test.
The Test Monitor allows
the students to use handheld
calculators on the grade 5
Mathematics MCA.
MDE Policy – Actively Monitoring the
Test Session
• Ensure that you are actively engaged in observing
student behavior from multiple vantage points at all
times during testing.
– Amount of movement needed will depend on the testing
location and environment.
• Stay engaged even when interrupted by another testrelated activity.
Video Example: Leaving the Room
Unmonitored During Testing
Play Video
MDE Policy – Actively Monitoring the
Test Session (continued)
• Only participate in test monitoring activities while students
are testing.
– Do not text, email, read, work on the computer or on lesson
plans, or grade papers once the students have started testing.
• Know your district's policy for ensuring that cell phones or
other electronic devices are not accessible during test
Video Example: Not Actively
Monitoring a Test Session
Play Video
MDE Policy – Preparing for Breaks or
Interruptions During Testing
• Prepare in advance for planned and unplanned breaks
or emergencies.
• Know your district's policy regarding these potential breaks.
• Monitor students during breaks and location changes in
order to be aware of conversations and behavior.
Example: Not Monitoring
Students During a Break
The Test Monitor
does not actively
monitor students
during a lunch
break, and a
group of students
discuss the test
they are in the
middle of taking.
MDE Policy – Understanding What Help
Test Monitors Can Give to Students
• Understand how to address
students who request
assistance and what kind of
help can be provided.
• Be familiar with the
instructions in the Test Monitor
and Student Directions and
follow scripted instructions
exactly during test
Video Example: Providing Assistance
During Test Administration
Play Video
MDE Policy – Assisting Students with
Responses (Directly or Indirectly)
• Ensure that students understand how to indicate responses
prior to test administration.
– Item samplers are available for online assessments and
accommodated test materials.
– Online student tutorials are available for online assessments.
• Test Monitors cannot provide assistance with answering test
items during administration.
Video Example: Assisting Students
Directly with Responses
Play Video
MDE Policy – Recognizing Unauthorized
Viewing of Secure Test Content
Know the difference between active monitoring and
unauthorized viewing of test content.
– Viewing the test content long enough to determine the essence of
a secure test item is considered unauthorized viewing.
MDE Policy – Recognizing Unauthorized
Viewing of Secure Test Content
• Understand your responsibility in ensuring the validity of
each student’s test results.
• Do not review, score, or change student responses:
– on an answer document
– in an online assessment
– through online data entry
Video Example: Unauthorized Viewing
of Secure Test Items
Play Video
Changing Student Responses
The Test Monitor changes student responses to
improve performance.
MDE Policy – Discussing Secure
Test Content and Test Items
Understand that secure test
content and test items should
not be discussed:
• in the classroom
with students
• with other staff or as
part of a team meeting
Video Example: Discussing Secure
Test Content or Student Responses
Play Video
MDE Policy – Sharing, Copying,
or Capturing Secure Test Content
and Test Items
• Ensure that secure test content or test items are not
captured or shared electronically.
– Know how to report a test item that a student believes has
an error.
• Use the academic standards (not secure test content) to
instruct students, align curricula, and prepare students
for testing.
Video Example: Copying,
Recording, or Capturing Electronically
Secure Test Content
Play Video
MDE Policy – Reporting Security
• Understand your role in:
– protecting the confidentiality of state assessments
– ensuring the validity of students' tests and test results
• Share the responsibility of enforcing proper test
administration policies and procedures.
Examples: Participating in,
Assisting, Encouraging, or Failing to
Report Security Issues
• A staff member observes a Test Monitor erasing student
responses following test administration.
• A Test Monitor does not inform the School or District
Assessment Coordinator that another Test Monitor had
secure test materials out in the classroom when testing was
not in session.
• A staff member walking past the computer lab where
testing is taking place notices that students appear to be
working together on the test.
How to Report a Test Security Breach
or Misadministration
Be aware of your district policy for reporting
misadministrations and security breaches to the School or
District Assessment Coordinator.
• There is a formal process in place for District Assessment
Coordinators to report misadministrations and security
breaches to MDE.
Possible Consequences of
Security Issues
• invalidation of test scores for a student, class, school,
or district
• requirement for additional staff training
• recommendation that staff involved do not participate in
future test administrations
• withholding of state educational aids
• referral to the Board of Teaching for possible licensure
• referral to the Minnesota Department of Administration for
violations of data practices
When testing is over, a Test Monitor or Test Administrator
should be able to say “Yes” to:
• Were the test materials secure at all times?
• Did I carefully read and follow all of the Test Monitor and
Student Directions?
• Did my students arrive at their answers independently?
• Did I account for and return all the secure test materials?

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