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March 14, 2008

PSAE Modification

In order to comply with the recommendations of the third peer review, it is necessary to modify the scoring methodology of the PSAE beginning with the April, 2008 test administration. The components of the PSAE, including the ACT, WorkKeys, and state specific Science questions will remain exactly the same. There will be no change in the number of test items or the cut scores used to determine individual student progress toward meeting state standards.

Since 2001, when we first administered the PSAE, some items on the test counted more than others when calculating a PSAE student score. In an effort to better align the test scores to the Illinois Assessment Framework for Math, Reading and Science the federal peer review team recommended that we modify the calculation process so that every item tested has equal weight when figuring an individual student's PSAE score.

For example, for Math, the normalized score on the 60-item ACT Math test and the normalized score on the 30-item WorkKeys Applied Math test, each counted for half of the overall score, giving greater weight to the WorkKeys items.

Starting with the 2008 test, each of the 90 items will contribute equally to the overall score. A psychometric process was used to equate the 2007 results from the old methodology to the new methodology. This minimizes the impact on the percentage of students meeting standards.

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