Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions and responses related
to implementing and reporting on the OSPI-Developed Assessments or other
strategies in Social Studies, The Arts, Health and Fitness, and Educational
In response to requirements in
RCW 28A.230.095, districts will report their administration of assessments or other strategies in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, and Fitness through The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) iGrants system. In addition,
RCW 28A.655.075 requires districts that use the state’s assessments for Educational Technology to notify OSPI.
School districts are required to annually submit an implementation verification
report to OSPI via iGrants for Social Studies, The Arts, Health, and Fitness.
This report requires districts to indicate whether or not assessments were
administered in these subjects at the elementary, middle, and high school
levels. An optional component of the report requests that districts share what
types of assessments were used and how many students were assessed. Starting
with the 2011-12 year, if schools use OSPI-developed Educational Technology
assessments, districts must notify OSPI of this use. For ease of reporting, OSPI
has combined reporting requirements for all four areas through iGrants form
School districts are required to complete their implementation report in iGrants no later than June
In response to the 2004 HB2195, OSPI has developed assessments that can be used
in the classroom and throughout the school year by classroom teachers to gauge
student understanding of the learning standards (EALRs/GLEs). These assessments
are commonly referred to as the Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) and
Classroom-Based Performance Assessments (CBPAs).
The assessments are multi-stepped tasks or projects aligned to specific state standards which target subject area skills and knowledge. Completing an assessment at a proficient level requires students to demonstrate that they have met specific grade level expectations by applying their understanding of content knowledge, concepts, and skills.
In addition, as a response to Senate Bill 1906 in 2007, OSPI has developed assessments that can be used to determine student progress toward Washington’s standards for Educational Technology. Designed for the elementary, middle and high school grades, these assessments integrate science, math, health, English language arts, social studies and the arts.
Validity: Given the broad, conceptual nature of the standards, the assessments are a valid way to assess the learning of these standards and to help students gain the knowledge and skills.
Coherence: District programs will have a greater coherence if assessments are included in course units. The common rubrics ensure that students will be asked to meet rigorous expectations as they move from elementary school to middle school to high school as well as from district to district.
Balance: The assessments are designed to ensure accountability to the state’s standards while still maintaining a local district’s control over specific content.
Integration: The assessments are another way teachers can target other important standards in their instruction.
Accountability: The assessments and the reporting on the use of these assessments are one way the state is asking districts to ensure that all students have opportunities to meet the standards.
Summative. While the assessments can be used as both summative and formative within the class, the assessment that is reported to the district and eventually to OSPI should be used as a summative assessment.
OSPI-developed assessments are now being used to make sure students are getting key skills and knowledge in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology.
OSPI-Developed Assessments are built from the state’s learning standards. Committees of full-time, practicing Washington state teachers, in conjunction with state curriculum specialists, create tasks and questions that model good assessments and provide these to local school districts.
These assessments are given in the classroom by a teacher.
The four State Learning Goals articulated in the state’s Basic Education Act provide a foundation by which our state has developed learning standards and assessments to support school districts and student learning in the Goals. To provide students an opportunity to learn in Social Studies (including civics), The Arts, Health, and Fitness (State Learning Goal Two), school districts are required to have in place in elementary, middle, and high schools assessments or other strategies to assure that students have an opportunity to learn the standards in these areas. Additionally, to support student learning and application in the area of educational technology (State Learning Goal Three), school districts that use any of the OSPI-Developed Educational Technology assessments must notify OSPI of this use.
Participation means that students have had adequate time to engage in responding
to one of the OSPI-Developed Assessments or other strategies in the given
subject area. The purpose of this law is to ensure that all students have
opportunities to learn the standards in Social Studies, The Arts, Health,
Fitness, and Educational Technology. Therefore, participation should, at a
minimum, include time for students to have these opportunities. Preferably,
students will have enough time to demonstrate that they have met the relevant
state standards when responding to a particular assessment or other strategy but
RCWs 28A.230.095 and 28A.655.075 do not require students to reach proficiency.
While districts are required to ensure all students have an opportunity to learn the State Learning Standards in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology, the requirements related to assessments are not considered “graduation requirements”. In other words, the state is not requiring individual students to pass an OSPI-developed assessment in order to graduate. The
State Board of Education’s Web site provides the most current information about the state’s graduation requirements.
Currently, student scores and student samples are not collected at the state level. OSPI has developed an online reporting form to assist districts with the required submission of the implementation verification report. Districts must report if they completed or did not complete assessments or other strategies to assure that students had the opportunity to learn the state’s standards in Social Studies, the Arts, Health, and Fitness. Additionally, if districts use Educational Technology assessments then they must notify OSPI of their use.
The law does not require districts to store assessments or other strategies. Instead, districts must submit an implementation verification report through iGrants in order to meet the requirements of the law. Some districts may choose to retain copies of the assessment documentation to meet the requirements of the school district (such as rubrics, lesson plans, student scores, and number of students assessed). Assessments are subject to audit. For more information including management of districts records, visit
Throughout the school year, school districts are encouraged to develop a system to support the implementation of assessments in these areas, as well as the collection and retention of assessment data. Sample actions include:
- Establish an assessment system, including schedules, training plans, and
data collection for each school building.
- Encourage consistency when scoring students’ assessments.
- Ensure all appropriate accommodations are provided for
eligible students engaging in assessments in accordance with
state and federal regulations.
- Implement appropriate quality control measures in accordance
with the directions for administration for any assessment used.
- Encourage professional development in scoring training,
instructional strategies, state standards, and best practices.
- Develop a policy to include reporting of assessments on
individual student report cards.
One iGrants report should be submitted by each school district. As mentioned above, it is recommended that the district designate a staff member to complete the iGrants reporting form related to RCWs 28A.230.095 and 28A.655.075. To collect school-level data, OSPI suggests downloading the teacher worksheet forms found on the OSPI-developed assessment
Web site, emailing these forms to participating teachers, having these teachers complete and return the forms, and then using the information gathered to fill in the iGrants report. The teacher worksheets are also available on the individual assessment Web sites for each content area.
While the flexibility of the OSPI-developed assessments already enables accommodations to be made without any formal guidelines, OSPI does have some recommendations on how to help all students reach proficiency on the assessments. First, all students are eligible for certain accommodations. For example, students may have as much time as they need to complete the task. In addition, students with limited writing skills may type their responses, and students with limited English-language skills may have the prompts read aloud to them. Such assistance should not include suggested responses. All students who remain productively engaged in the task should be allowed to finish their work. In some cases, a few students may require considerably more time to complete the task than most students; therefore, you may wish to move these students to a new location to finish. In other cases, the teacher’s knowledge of some students’ work habits or special needs may suggest that students who work very slowly should be tested separately or grouped with similar students for the test.
Second, a comprehensive list of possible accommodations for students participating in assessments is located at OSPI’s “Washington State’s Accommodations Guidelines for Students with Disabilities.”
Finally, WAC 392.172A.03090 provides additional guidelines related to individualized education programs and assessment procedures for students in special education.
If a student is participating in Running Start or an online education course, it is presumed that the district has ensured that the courses taken allow them to meet the State Learning Standards in these subject areas, consistent with the State Learning Goals. Should the district decide to complete the optional reporting section of the iGrant 408, the assessments used to measure the learning of these students in these subject areas would be reported there.
Assessments can inform instruction to improve teaching and learning. Questions might include: What did the teacher learn from the student responses? How can this be used to improve future classroom instruction? The information that is acquired through classroom assessment should be actively used to improve future instruction and assessment.