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Divisions > Accountability, Assessment, and Data Systems > Docs > HSA
CHAPTER 1: HISTORY AND OVERVIEW

The conceptual history of the Maryland High School Assessment Program dates back to 1989, when the Governor’s Commission of School Performance reported on the issues of high-quality assessment. Since that time, the High School Assessment Program has embraced the efforts of thousands of Maryland educators and coalitions, Maryland students, and diverse national assessment vendors in its development and scoring. Chapter 1 of this technical report includes comprehensive documentation of these efforts, especially from the early stages of the program’s development.

1.1 A Report of the High School Assessment Task Force to the Maryland State Board of Education

This document was presented to the Maryland State Board of Education on July 25, 1995. This early comprehensive report includes explanations, recommendations, and lists of the following:
  1. Purpose of the High School Assessment
  2. History of the High School Assessment Deliberations
  3. Membership of High School Assessment Groups
  4. Concept of Partnership
  5. Inputs Received
  6. Context of Task Force Deliberations
  7. Structure of Recommendations
  8. Context of Recommendations
  9. Recommendations Related to Core Learning Goals
  10. Recommendations Related to the Assessment
  11. Recommendations Related to Staff Development
  12. Recommendations Related to Cost
  13. Recommendations Related to Next Steps
Attachments to this report and included in the technical document are the following:
  1. Concept Paper: One Sample of a Modular Approach to Assessment Design
  2. Psychometric Issues Related to Locally Operated Item/Task Bank
  3. Cost Information

1.2 High School Assessment Design: A Report to the Maryland State Board Education

This report was prepared by members of The College Board and of Educational Testing Service and presented to the Maryland BOE in January 1997. Its contents and appendices include the following:

The Report: Strategic Issues in the Design of the High School Assessment Program

  1. Standards and the Uses of the HSA
  2. The Design Options
  3. Implications of End-of-Course Assessments
  4. Feasibility of Accommodating Special Circumstances
  5. Flexibility in Accommodating Variations Among Local Districts
  6. Supporting Students Who do not Demonstrate Competence
Appendix A: Discussion of Major Issues
  • Standards and the Uses of the HSA
  • An Evaluation of Design Options
  • Implications of End-of-Course Assessments
  • Feasibility of Accommodating Special Circumstances
  • Flexibility in Accommodating Variations Among Local Districts
  • Supporting Students Who do not Demonstrate Competence
  • Other Unresolved Issues

Appendix B: Public Engagement 

  • The Plan for Public Engagement and the Presentations and Methods Used
  • The Concerns and Comments of the Several Constituency Groups

Appendix C: Public Engagement Materials

1.3 Designing End-of-Course High School Assessments

This report was also prepared by member of The College Board and of Educational Testing Services and presented to the Maryland BOE in August 1997. Included in the report are recommendations regarding Maryland’s high school assessment program.

Volume I of this document includes 1) Test and Item Specifications, 2) Technical Specifications, and 3) Assessment Program Specifications. Appendices A and B of this document include additional examples of test and item specifications.

Volume II of this document includes five appendices as outlined below:

    Appendix C: Working assumptions about the HSA tests
                       Test specifications for all content areas

    Appendix D: Illustrative test questions for all content areas

    Appendix E: Issues and recommendations from the Program Specification Committee
                       Issues and recommendations from the Test Administration                                  Specifications Committee
                       Rosters of the specifications committees

    Appendix F: Topics for a Maryland booklet on test security
                       Flowchart detailing one way of doing cheating analyses
                       Effects of scorer reliability: Examples from College Board testing programs
                       Why and How Educational Testing Service Questions Test Scores
                       ETS Sensitivity Review Guidelines
                       ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness
                       Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education

    Appendix G: Additional issues concerning the use of calculators on HSA

1.4 Chronology of the Maryland High School Assessment  

This document lists the major decisions and activities concerning the HSA Program from August 1989 through May 2002. It includes additions beyond those of Attachment 10 in Document 1.1 of this technical report

1.5 Planning, Transition, and Implementation Summary

This document summarizes state efforts in Testing and Standards; State Assistance Through Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Development, and Technical Assistance; and Outreach. It is not meant to be an exhaustive history of all efforts; rather, it is a selection of significant activities beginning with related activities in 1993 and continuing to projected activities through 2009.

1.6 Press Release: State Board Launches Regulatory Process That Could Tie the High School Assessment to Graduation 

The Maryland Board of Education issued this press release on December 4, 2003. 

1.7 Memo from Nancy S. Grasmick to Parents and Community Groups

This memo, dated February 25, 2004, answers questions on the status of Maryland’s proposal to link the High School Assessment to the Maryland High School Diploma.


Contact Information
Gary Heath, Assistant State Superintendent

Division of Accountability and Assessment
Maryland State Department of Education

200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
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