GRADE 4 ELA 2005


For help with questions not addressed below, please call the Measurement Incorporated Grade 4 ELA Helpline at 877-516-2403. The Helpline is available weekdays February 11 – February 18, and February 28 – March 4 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Helpline will be closed February 21 – February 25, but will accept faxes (919-425-7733) and respond to the faxes the morning of February 28.

Introduction: After the videotaping of the training sessions, the Scoring Leaders participated in Question and Answer sessions. Staff from Measurement, Inc. and the State Education Department (SED) provided responses to participants’ questions.


 Q: Does it matter if the student in the response assigns the wrong gender to the character in the listening passage?

 A: No, this will not be a consideration in scoring the response. Remember that the students do not have the passage to refer to during the test. This is what we refer to as a listening error.

 Q: Should the Graphic Organizer be answered in complete sentences?

 A: This is not necessary. Many students just list the information, and as long as it is accurate that is acceptable.

 Q: What if a student completes the response on the planning page? Can this information be scored?

 A: Only if the student has indicated that this is part of the response. Many students do this by drawing an arrow or writing a note. Remember that extra pages included in the booklet cannot be considered at all.


 Q: How should we look at the Graphic Organizer to score it? The first student paper in the Scoring Guide receives an analytic score of 0 even though the information in the first series of boxes going down is correct.

 A:  This particular graphic organizer asks for who in the first box, and the corresponding why across. In this case you must look at the information in both boxes to evaluate the correctness of the response. In other words, even though the student fills in two boxes across, it is viewed as one answer.

 Q: If the student copies the information verbatim from text, can it still be considered when scoring?

 A: In the case of the graphic organizer and short responses if the information copied is appropriate to answer the question, it’s fine. The extended response does require more independent thinking to be successful, but even here it is fine to use text as support.

 Q: Can’t we infer what a student means when it’s not clear?

 A: This depends on the situation, many times we can add a missing word or decipher handwriting and in the vast majority of cases this is fine. However, we cannot add ideas or make connections that are not clear in the response. This is doing the work for the student. We cannot infer what those connections are, we can only score what is there.

 Q: If the first three responses are completely incorrect can a student still receive an overall score of 3 or 4 based on an exceptional extended response?

 A: We have never run across this scenario. If you find an example please fax it to the Helpline. 

Q: How do we handle a situation where in the extended response the student uses information that is not in the texts, but is connected to the question? Would this be a drift in focus?

 A:  In this case you would evaluate how well the student attended to the task. For example, if the student successfully addresses the task, using information from both texts, and then adds some insight not directly from either text, this is fine, because the student did everything required. However, if the information is not clearly connected to the task, and information from the text is not included then the student has not demonstrated an understanding of the texts.  Please fax the Helpline the entire cluster if you run into any examples of this.

 Q:  Why is Practice Set Paper #2b a score of 2? The student never addresses the How.

 A: The student says Hercules tricked Atlas. That is the How. The support is the explanation of the trick.

 Q: For Condition Code in case of refusal, must the statement of refusal be written by the student, or can we accept the teacher’s written statement?

 A: Any written indication that this is blank because of refusal is acceptable.

Q: Why is the answer to short response #34 in the Scoring Guide on page 3b a score of 0?

A: Although the response does include text from the story, it does not include a comparison that demonstrates that Hercules is smarter than Atlas. They are equally smart in this response (Hercules’ job is to get the golden apples and Atlas knew where they were). If a student uses the text about the golden apples, there must be some explanation that shows Hercules is smarter than Atlas, perhaps by saying Hercules got Atlas to get the apples. Unfortunately, this response does not do this. The part of the text that most strongly supports Hercules as smarter than Atlas is when Hercules tricks Atlas into taking back the sky. Scoring Guide response 1b is an example of appropriate text without sufficient explanation, which receives a score of 1.


 Q: Does a response that is off topic receive a score of “0” even if it is well written, well organized, and well developed?

A:  Yes. According to the rubric, if the response is completely irrelevant to the task, it must receive a score of “0.”

Q: Can you explain the reason why Guide Paper #5 received a score of 2, and Guide Paper #4 received a score of 1?

A: There is a similar amount of writing, but we need to look at the quality of the development. Guide Paper #5 has more development. There is more information here that is focused on the prompt. Guide Paper #4 has an introduction and conclusion that strengthen the organization of the response, but do nothing to add to the development. Although they are similar in the quality of their organizations and focus, Guide Paper #4 is weaker in development and this keeps it at a score of 1.