3301-7-01 Standards for the ethical use of tests.

(A) These standards of ethical assessment practice shall be used in determining whether or not a practice related to assessment is consistent with the principles of performing one's duties with honesty, integrity, due care, and fairness to all and ensuring the integrity of the assessment process and the reliability and validity of any inference made from any result of an assessment. Except as otherwise specified, the following definitions shall be used in this rule:

(1) "Assessment" shall include secure and non-secure standardized achievement tests, the Ohio graduation tests, state proficiency tests, the English language proficiency test, diagnostic tests as required by section 3301.0715 of the Revised Code, and secure alternate measurement instruments provided by the department of education. Assessment shall also include district and school-wide standardized assessment including norm referenced tests. Assessment shall include the test instrument itself and any part of the process of assessing or testing a student;

(2) "Participating school" shall mean any city, exempted village, local, cooperative education, or joint vocational school districts any community or any chartered nonpublic school which participates in assessment; the state school for the blind; the state school for the deaf; or any school operated by the departments of youth services or rehabilitation and corrections; or any entity that tests its students with the statewide assessments;

(3) "Appropriate staff" shall include any designated certificated or non-certificated employee of a participating school who has direct access to an assessment or participates in any activity related to preparing a student for an assessment, administering or scoring an assessment, and/or interpreting or using any result of an assessment;

(4) "Secure assessment" shall include any assessment, whether state or national, that is administered to the entire or a portion of the entire state student population and/or that is provided by the state, the results of which are included in Ohio's accountability system, are included as part of a student's course, are part of the pre-college admission process, or are required by state and/or federal law. Secure assessments shall be treated as secure materials until released by the test developer and/or the department of education. They do not include any diagnostic assessment required to be administered pursuant to section 3301.0715 of the Revised Code, any practice Ohio graduation test required to be prescribed by the state board of education pursuant to section 3301.0710 of the Revised Code, any practice achievement test, or any assessment that already has been released to the public by the test developer or by the department of education as a public record following the school year that the assessment actually was administered; and

(5) "Statewide tests" means any assessment that is provided by the department of education for use in all participating schools in the state.

(B) Each participating school and district shall ensure that all appropriate staff have knowledge of these standards of ethical assessment practice and shall monitor the practices of all appropriate staff to ensure compliance with these standards. Each participating school's and district's duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Communicate in writing to all appropriate staff at least once annually the standards defining what is an unethical and/or inappropriate practice that are contained in paragraphs (C) to (E) of this rule as well as any additional standards of ethical assessment practice adopted by a participating school and district;

(2) Clearly define and communicate in writing at least once annually to all appropriate staff how the standards shall be monitored and what sanctions shall apply for any violations of the standards and under what circumstances such sanctions will apply;

(3) Clearly define and communicate to all appropriate staff prior to each assessment the purpose(s) for each assessment;

(4) Clearly define and communicate in writing to all appropriate staff at least once annually all security procedures established by a participating school for each type of secure assessment identified in paragraph (A) of this rule, which shall include, but not be limited to, the test security provisions required by rule 3301-13-05 of the Administrative Code;

(5) Provide any other information and training as may be necessary to ensure that all appropriate staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to make ethical decisions related to preparing students for an assessment, administering and/or scoring an assessment, and/or interpreting and/or using any result of an assessment;

(6) Establish written procedures for reviewing what materials and practices shall be used in a participating school to prepare students for an assessment, and clearly communicate in writing these procedures, materials, and practices at least once annually to all appropriate staff;

(7) Periodically review materials and practices related to preparing students for an assessment, administering and/or scoring an assessment, and/or interpreting and/or using any result of an assessment in order to ensure that the materials and practices are up-to-date, and clearly communicate in writing any additions or changes at least once annually to all appropriate staff;

(8) Provide channels of communication that allow teachers, other educators, students, parents, and/or other members of the community to voice any concern about any practice they consider unethical and/or inappropriate; and

(9) Establish written procedures for investigating any complaint, allegation, and/or concern about an unethical and/or inappropriate practice, ensuring protection of the rights of an individual, the integrity of an assessment, and any result of an assessment.

(C) In monitoring practices related to preparing students for a state-wide assessment, each participating school shall use, but not be limited to, the following standards that define the types of practices that are unethical and/or inappropriate:

(1) Any preparation activity that undermines the reliability and/or validity of an inference made from any result of an assessment;

(2) Any preparation practice that results solely in raising scores or performance levels on a specific assessment without simultaneously increasing a student's achievement level as measured by other tasks and/or assessments designed to assess the same content domain;

(3) Any practice involving the reproduction of any secure assessment materials, through any medium, for use in preparing a student for an assessment;

(4) Any preparation activity that includes a question, task, graph, chart, passage, or other material included in an assessment, and/or material that is a paraphrase or highly similar in content to what is in an assessment;

(5) Preparation for an assessment that focuses primarily on the assessment, including its format, rather than on the objectives being assessed;

(6) Any preparation practice that does not comply with, or has the appearance of not complying with any statutory and/or regulatory provision related to security of an assessment; and

(7) Any practice that supports or assists others in conducting unethical or inappropriate preparation activities.

(D) Except as specifically permitted by written instructions provided by the developer of an assessment, by the department of education, or by Chapter 3301-13 of the Administrative Code pertaining to accommodations and/or alternate assessment, each participating school shall use, but not be limited to, the following standards that define the types of practices related to administering and/or scoring assessments that are unethical and/or inappropriate:

(1) Any assessment used for purposes other than that for which it was intended;

(2) Any practice that results in a potential conflict of interest or one that exerts undue influence on a person administering and/or scoring an assessment, either making or appearing to make an assessment process unfair to some examinees;

(3) Except for accommodations and/or alternate assessments expressly permitted under Chapter 3301-13 of the Administrative Code, any change in procedures for administering and/or scoring an assessment that results in a nonstandard condition for one or more students;

(4) Any practice that allows a person without sufficient and appropriate knowledge, skills, and/or training to administer and/or score an assessment;

(5) Any administration and/or scoring practice that may produce a result contaminated by a factor not relevant to the purpose(s) of an assessment;

(6) Any practice of excluding one or more students from an assessment solely because a student has not performed well, or may not perform well, on the assessment and/or because the aggregate performance of a group may be affected;

(7) Any practice immediately preceding and/or during an assessment including, but not limited to, the use a gesture, facial expression, body language, language, or any other action and/or sound that may guide a students' response;

(8) Except for the directions for administration as prescribed by the test developer and/or by the department of education, any practice such as providing to a student, immediately preceding and/or during administration of an assessment, any definition and/or clarification of the meaning of a word or term contained in an assessment;

(9) Any practice that corrects or alters any student's response to an assessment either during and/or following the administration and/or scoring of an assessment; and

(10) Any practice that supports or assists any person in unethical and/or inappropriate practices during administration and/or scoring of an assessment.

(E) In monitoring practices related to interpreting and/or using any result of an assessment, each participating school shall use, but not be limited to, the following standards that define the types of practices that are unethical and/or inappropriate:

(1) Providing interpretations of and/or using any result of an assessment in a manner and/or for a purpose that was not intended;

(2) Making false, misleading, or inappropriate statements and/or unsubstantiated claims that may lead to false and/or misleading conclusions about any result of an assessment;

(3) Any practice that permits appropriate staff without the necessary knowledge and skills to interpret and/or use any result of an assessment;

(4) Any practice that violates, or places at risk, the confidentiality of personally identifiable information pursuant to section 3319.321 of the Revised Code;

(5) Any practice that provides an interpretation or suggests a use of any result of an assessment without due consideration of the purpose(s) for the assessment, the limitations of the assessment, an examinee's characteristics, any irregularities in administering and/or scoring the assessment, and/or other factors that may affect any result; and

(6) Any practice that supports or leads any person to interpret and/or use any result of an assessment in unethical and/or inappropriate ways.

(F) Each participating school shall cooperate with the state board of education in conducting an investigation of any alleged unethical and/or inappropriate assessment practice as defined in this rule.

Replaces: 3301-7-01

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/05/2012 and 09/05/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3301.07 , 3301.0710 , 3301.0711
Rule Amplifies: 3301.0711
Prior Effective Dates: 2/1/95, 12/1/07