About test results in Oklahoma

Although test results are only one measure of student achievement, they have become increasingly important in assessing student learning. In 2005-2006 Oklahoma used the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) to assess students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math. Students in grade 5 were also tested in writing, science and social studies, and students in grade 8 were tested in writing, science and U.S. history/ Constitution Government. Grade 7 students were tested in geography. High school students were required to take the OCCT End-of Instruction (EOI) tests in Algebra I, Biology I, English II and U.S. history in order to graduate. The OCCT is a standards-based test that measures how well students are meeting the state's grade-level expectations.

How are the tests scored?
OCCT results show the level of proficiency a student demonstrates in each of the subject areas tested. Students are rated at one of four levels: unsatisfactory, limited knowledge, satisfactory or advanced. The goal is for all students to score at the level of satisfactory or above.

Which results are included on GreatSchools profiles?
Although Oklahoma tests cover a variety of subjects, only the scores for reading and math are included on GreatSchools profiles. For each subject, the combined percentage of students scoring at and above the satisfactory level is displayed.

GreatSchools also displays subgroup results to show how different groups of students are scoring in comparison to the overall student population in a given grade and subject. These subgroups are identified by the Oklahoma State Department of Education; if there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group in a school, data is not reported for that group.

Why do the tests matter?
While OCCT results are not used alone to determine whether students will be promoted from one grade to the next or whether they will graduate from high school, the state does use OCCT results to identify low-performing schools.

It is important to be aware of both your child's score on the assessments and the overall score for her school. If your child scores below the standards, contact the teacher to discuss getting additional assistance, and to find out how you can support your child's learning at home.

If the school's overall results are low, ask what steps the school is taking to raise achievement levels for all students, and what you can do to help. If your child is in a failing school, ask what your options are for transferring and obtaining supplemental services.

A few parting words
Even though test results can be an indicator of what's happening in the classroom, they don't tell you everything about the quality of a particular school. Always look at more than one measure when judging school quality and visit in person before making any final assessment.

Source: OK SDE, 2005-2006

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