Parents in various areas of North Carolina will have children facing the CASE 21 test in the coming weeks. My own child, a second grader, will be required to take this ‘benchmarking’ test.
I was unaware up until I saw a small comment on my child’s homework that CASE 21 was given to my child’s class the following week. State Board of Education members I spoke with about the test were also surprised this was being given in second grade.
Being the busy-body I am, I emailed our school with a list of questions and concerns. My child’s teacher was quite prompt in replying and noted to me that, “The Second-grade CASE 21 assessments are basically mid-year benchmark assessments; they are used to help identify those students who may at risk next year in Third grade in Reading or Math.”
I wanted to share the other information I received from my inquiry for other parents to see. The following is the questions I asked followed by the answer in blue from our school’s testing coordinator:
Are these required tests? (Do the kids have to take them?) CASE21 assessments are required per the school district at mid and end of year for 2nd grade studentsIs any personal information requested to be given in these tests beyond his name or NCWISE number? Each student’s answer sheet contains the student’s name, NCWISE number, grade, teacher and birthdate. This information is only used to make sure we identify students correctly and is not used for additional purposes.Are these taken online? These are multiple choice pencil and paper tests with answers recorded on a bubble sheet.Typically how long are these tests? How many questions? These tests are not timed and typically require 60-90 minutes to complete. There are approximately 30 questions for English Language Arts and an additional 30 questions for Mathematics. One subject is assessed each day over 2 days.
Are they multiple choice as the samples I have looked at seem to be? The instruction and practice activities provided by classroom teachers closely align to the format of the actual assessment items.
Who gets the scores and data? (HRES? WCPSS? Other entities?) Each teacher receives scores for his/her students. More holistic data which groups scores by class, grade, and school, without use of student names, is used at the school and district level to gauge effectiveness of instruction.I assume parents be given the results? When does that typically happen? Results are sent to parents via a form letter from the classroom teacher approximately two weeks after testing is complete.Can parents see/view the full tests after they are given? Parents may view the tests within a parent conference setting, however for security and standardization reasons, the actual tests remain within the school building in a secure location and are released to classroom teachers after testing to be used for instructional purposes.
Note: I will be making an appointment to view the test per the last question above.
About CASE 21
CASE 21 tests are created by CASE Assessments in Durham, North Carolina. CASE Assessments is an arm of TE21 (Training and Education in the 21st Century), which is a for profit company located in Charleston, South Carolina.
The CASE site also states results come back in 48 hours, according to the Teacher FAQ. That Teacher FAQ also states this about what is captured:
CASE Assessments’ reports provide class, school, and district data on overall projected achievement level and scale score, suggested grades for students (100 pt. scale), thinking skills, curriculum units or standards, percent correct, and reading standards and genres.
CASE ‘READY’ Assessment (ACT related)
Information on Opting Out of testing in North Carolina