Office for Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
Gerald E. DeMauro
Phone: (518) 474-5902
Fax: (518) 474-1989

January 2003



District Superintendents of Schools
Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools
Principals of Public Schools
Principals of Nonpublic Schools


Gerald E. DeMauro


January 2003 Grade 8 English Language Arts Test


Except as indicated below, all public and nonpublic schools administering the Grade 8 English Language Arts (ELA) Test are required to administer the Grade 8 ELA mini field test. Schools that have been selected by the United States Department of Education to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and schools that have been selected to administer the constructed-response field test associated with the Grade 8 ELA Test are not expected to administer the mini field test and will not be receiving mini field test materials. Those schools that have been selected for NAEP or for the ELA constructed-response field tests have already been notified.


This memorandum supplements the information concerning the administration of the January 2003 Grade 8 ELA Test included in the enclosed School Administratorís Manual. If you have questions about the information in this memorandum or the manual, please call 518-474-8220. The opening pages of the School Administrator's Manual contain the Deputy and Proctor Certificate and the Examination Storage Certificate, both of which must be completed by each school administering this test and retained in the school's files.


You must administer the Grade 8 ELA test on two days between January 14 and 17, 2003. Schedule Sessions One and Two in sequence on separate days. Schedule makeups on any days that remain in the period of January 14-17 following the regular administration of Sessions One and Two as well as during the January 21-22 makeup period. Whenever possible, maintain the testing sequence, i.e., administer Session One first, then Session Two.

The mini field test is to be administered on any single day the school or district selects between Monday, January 13, 2003, and Wednesday, January 22, 2003. It must be administered either before or after the administration of Sessions One and Two, but not on the same day. Students who are absent on the single day on which the mini field test administration takes place in the school should not be asked to make up the mini field test.




Delivery Date

Machine-Scorable Answer Sheets for Public Schools (for Book 1)

Regional Information Centers/

Large-City School

District Offices

No Later than January 9

Machine-Scorable Answer Sheets for

Nonpublic Schools (for Book 1)

State Education Department, Office of Information and Reporting Services

January 8-10

Nonsecure Field Test Materials

CTB/McGraw Hill

January 8-10

Secure Field Test Materials

CTB/McGraw Hill

January 8-10

Secure Grade 8 English Language Arts

Listening Selections (for use with Book 2); Regular, Braille, and Large-Type Editions of

Books 1 and 2; Nonsecure Teacherís Directions

State Education Department,

Test Distribution Unit

January 8-10

Secure Scoring Materials for Schools

(for use in scoring Book 2)

State Education Department, Test Distribution Unit

January 21-22

Secure Scorer Videotapes for BOCES, School District Offices, and Nonpublic Schools in Packages Labeled "NYSTP ELA Grade 8/

Time-Sensitive Materials/Open Jan. 21-22"

(for use in scoring Book 2)

Measurement, Inc.

January 21-22

Test and Scoring Materials

United Parcel Service (UPS) will deliver all field test materials sent to schools by CTB/McGraw Hill as well as all test materials sent to schools by the Department. Deliveries may occur at any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Schools that do not receive their shipments of test materials by 12:00 p.m. on the last dates indicated above should track the shipments of test materials on the Internet as follows:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click the Reference Number tab.
  3. In the Reference Number field, type the BEDS code of the school where you indicated you wanted your tests to be shipped.
  4. If you are unable to track your shipment or notice some other irregularity, contact the Office of State Assessment via fax at 518-474-1989.

Schools that do not receive the answer sheets by 12:00 noon on January 9, 2003, should contact, as appropriate, their regional information center/large-city school district office or the Office of Information and Reporting Services at 518-474-7965.

As soon as each shipment of test and scoring materials arrives at your school or other approved location, check it to verify that you have received all materials indicated on the shipping notice. Count the secure test booklets and listening selections through their sealed packages without opening them. Report all discrepancies in the shipment of secure field test materials to CTB/McGraw Hill via fax at 1-888-282-1106. If the sealed package has not been opened but a discrepancy of more than five exists in the number of Book 1s or 2s, write the exact number received on the shipping notice and contact the Department via fax at 518-474-1989. (It is not necessary to contact the Department about discrepancies of less than five as long as the sealed package has not been opened.) Do not open shrink-wrapped secure test materials until the day that the test is scheduled to be administered. You must store the test and scoring materials in a safe or vault, except while they are being inventoried.

If your school determines that tests are missing from shipments from the Department, you may obtain copies of the regular editions of the test materials, except field tests, from the nearest regional center on the day of the test. Braille and large-type editions of these tests are not ordinarily available at most regional centers, nor are scoring materials. For additional supplies of these materials, contact the Office of State Assessment via fax at 518-474-1989. Schools that will be asking the regional center to supply 25 or more copies of any one test book must complete the Grade 8 ELA Test Materials Fax Form in Appendix I of the enclosed School Administratorís Manual and fax it to the Department at 518-474-1989. (This is to ensure that the regional centers will have adequate supplies to accommodate all schools.)

Appendix C of the School Administratorís Manual contains a list of the regional centers. You may pick up test materials from the regional centers only on the scheduled date for the administration of that part of the test. Contact the official in charge of the regional center before sending a representative to pick up test materials. Please give the regional center as much advance notice of your schoolís need as possible. The person sent to pick up an emergency supply of test materials from a regional center must present authorization written on school letterhead stationery and signed by the principal that lists the materials to be picked up and authorizes the person to pick up those materials. The person obtaining test materials must provide picture identification and must countersign the authorization letter and leave it with the official in charge of the regional center.

Additional Field Test Book As will not be available from CTB/McGraw Hill or the Department. The quantities of these sent to your school are based upon the numbers of test booklets you originally ordered from the Department this fall. If you do not have a sufficient quantity of field test materials for all classes of 8th graders, include in the field test as many classes of students as your supply of materials permits.

Videotapes for Scoring Book 2

Measurement, Inc. will ship scoring videotapes by Federal Express for delivery on January 21 or 22. Videotapes will be shipped only to public school district offices, BOCES, and nonpublic schools. Videotapes will not be available at any of the regional centers. Public school district offices, BOCES, and nonpublic schools that have not received their videotapes by January 22 should call Measurement, Inc. at 877-516-2403. If you have difficulty getting through, you may fax them at 919-425-7733, attention Roxanna Terz. You must keep videotapes in a secure location until the makeup testing period is over.


The principal of each school ordering tests is responsible for making the necessary arrangements to safeguard all test materials, including Field Test Book As, by taking the following actions:


You must return all field test materials, including all used and unused field test books and Teacher Directions directly to CTB/McGraw-Hill by January 23, 2003. You may not keep any copies, notes, or information of any kind pertaining to the field tests. Schools should use the Prepaid UPS Authorized Return Service labels provided with the shipment of field test materials and should follow the instructions in the School Administratorís Manual for return of these materials.

Return all field test materials to:

Scoring Operations
6901 N. Michigan Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46268