P-12

Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education


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RFP #20-004

Continuation of the Development of the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests, computer-based and paper-based, and Provision of a Computer-based Testing Platform for the Grades 5 & 8 Science Tests


RFP Documents

Application in PDF Adobe PDF | Application in Word Word document
Cost Proposal Forms Excel
Attachment L: Print Quantities Excel
Submission Documents Adobe PDF

Overview

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of State Assessment is seeking proposals from highly qualified respondents with expertise in the development and administration of Statewide tests in both paper- and computer-based testing platforms. Services required by this RFP include ongoing development and administration of tests, both computer- and paper-based, in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (3-8) for multiple school years, as defined in this RFP. The requested services include conducting field testing using both stand-alone field tests and items embedded within the operational tests; scoring the field tests; developing all operational and field test items and forms, ancillary materials, and scoring materials; and performing all analysis and research. Proposals must include the printing, shipping, collection, and return of the paper-based ELA and Mathematics Tests, as well as the provision of a computer-based testing platform which includes the administration and test delivery systems and a scoring platform. Test development for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics Tests will start in July 2020 with the creation of field tests for administration in Spring 2021 and operational tests beginning in the 2020–21 school year. Bidders must bid on both content areas, ELA and Mathematics, and all requested grade levels.

Additionally, proposals must include the provision of the same computer-based testing platform for the administration of the Grades 5 and 8 Science Written Tests. Note that the development, printing, and shipping of the Grades 5 and 8 Science Written Tests will continue to be done exclusively by NYSED and is, therefore, not part of this RFP. Use of the computer-based testing platform for the Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests will begin with administration of computer-based field tests beginning in Spring of 2021 and the first administration of computer-based operational tests occurring in Spring of 2022.

RFP Components

The services described in this RFP are divided into two components, with Component 1 being divided into 1a, 1b, and 1c for services required for development and administration of the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests. Component 2 covers the request for services for the provision of a computer-based testing platform for Grades 5 and 8 Science. Bidders are required to submit a technical proposal that clearly delineates the contractor’s plan for providing the services required in Component 1a, 1b, and 1c separately from its plan for providing the additional services required in Component 2. Bidders are also required to submit costs for Component 1a, 1b, and 1c and Component 2, as shown in the schedules of deliverables in the Bid Form Cost Proposal (separate attachment). Following the scoring of the technical and cost proposals submitted for all four components, NYSED will make a determination whether, based on available funding, to award a contract that includes Component 2 to the bidder who received the highest total score. If it is determined that the cost of the highest ranked proposal with the inclusion of Component 2 is above the amount of funding available, then a second ranking will be completed using the technical and cost proposals submitted for Component 1a, 1b, and 1c only. Please see Section 3 on Method of Award for additional information.

Component 1 services cover the development and administration of computer- and paper-based Grades 3–8 ELA and Mathematics Tests and is divided into three sections. Component 1a services are for the development of an operational test item bank and construction of stand-alone field tests and operational test forms. Component 1b services are for computer-based delivery of the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math tests. Component 1c services are for the printing, shipping, collection, and return of printed test forms for those schools that continue to administer the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests on paper rather than computer. As part of services required by Component 1, the contractor will provide accommodated versions for students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELLs/MLLs) as part of both the computer-based and paper-based tests.

Component 2 services are for the provision of the computer-based testing platform for the Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests. Because these tests will continue to be developed exclusively by NYSED, this component requires only the provision of a computer-based testing platform for the Grades 5 and 8 Science Written Tests. Embedding of field test items on the operational tests will necessitate the administration of multiple forms via computer-based testing (CBT) enabling New York State to eliminate the need for stand-alone field tests. Services required for the provision of a computer-based testing platform for Grades 5 and 8 Science Written Tests includes a scoring platform.

New York State’s Transition from Paper-based Tests (PBT) to Computer-based Tests (CBT)

New York State’s (NYS) transition to CBT began with the 2016 stand-alone field tests in ELA and Math. In the most recent year, approximately 35% of NYS schools participated in the NYS Grades 3-8 ELA and Math field tests or operational tests on computer. One intent of this project is to continue the shift from PBT to CBT administration in Statewide large-scale operational testing and may include Grades 5 and 8 science in computer-based testing should it be part of the contract as awarded.

The contractor must provide the technical specifications for a multi-faceted electronic assessment technical solution that includes, at minimum, an online test delivery system, online test administration system, and online scoring platform. Proposals must also include a detailed plan for the transition to NYS school use of the contractor’s solution for computer-based testing. Technical specifications must include the following:

  • Minimum specifications for all devices on which the test is delivered;
  • Minimum specifications for any administrative computer associated with the devices on which the test is delivered (if applicable);
  • Minimum specifications for the networking associated with any devices involved in the delivery of tests (if applicable);
  • Minimum infrastructure specifications for Internet, printing, and any other applicable requirements involved in the delivery of the tests; and
  • Minimum infrastructure specifications for contractor-based distributed scoring platform.

Grades 3-8 ELA and Math — It is currently at the discretion of each school and revisable annually, as to whether they will administer the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math tests by paper or computer, so the contractor must be prepared to provide CBT to schools within every local school district. Approximately 35% of schools administer either the operational or stand-alone field tests for Grades 3-8 ELA and Math using the CBT delivery system. However, it is anticipated that the percentage of schools and test-takers within those schools taking CBT will increase each school year of this contract. Some schools and individual test-takers may continue to use PBT, due to lack of school capacity or individual student needs. The contractor must be flexible and must be prepared for the tests to be administered via both PBT and CBT in unknown proportions by schools throughout the state.

Grades 5 and 8 Science — With this contract, NYSED will initiate the transition from PBT to CBT for the Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests. It will be at the discretion of each school and revisable annually, as to whether they will administer the Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests by paper or computer or both. For Spring 2021, schools will have the option of administering the stand-alone field tests (SAFTs) by CBT or PBT, but all administrations of the operational tests will be by PBT. For all subsequent school years of this contract, schools will have the option of administering the operational tests as well as the SAFTs by either CBT or PBT. Included in the services required for a computer-based testing platform for the Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests is the provision of a computer-delivered scoring platform.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) and Subcontracting

The contractor may choose to subcontract for the provision of a computer-based testing platform for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests and Grades 5 and 8 Science Tests. For tests administered by computer, the contractor and its subcontractor, if there is one, must ensure that the test administration and test delivery systems and scoring platform are compatible with the existing devices and infrastructure most often available in New York State’s schools. See Attachment A for details on the minimum technical specifications for devices to be used for CBT.

See number 1. in the Mandatory Requirements section, for a description of the eligible applicants.

Subcontracting will be limited to thirty percent (30%) of the total contract budget. A higher subcontracting limit will be allowed only when a bidder is proposing to subcontract for the provision of the computer-based testing platform. In this case, the subcontracting limit will be increased to fifty percent (50%) of the total contract budget. In all other cases, the subcontracting limit will be 30%. NYSED reserves the right to approve all subcontractors. Subcontracting is defined as non-employee, direct, personal services and related incidental expenses, including travel. For purposes of this RFP, the subcontracting limit does not include expenses related to printing, shipping, or the purchase of equipment, supplies, and materials.

Bidders are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) participation goals for this RFP through one of three methods. Compliance methods are discussed in detail in the Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Participation Goals section.

Terms of Contract

The contract resulting from this RFP will be for a single award with a term of five years and five months. The contract is anticipated to begin on July 1, 2020 and end on November 30, 2025. Bidders should refer to the Mandatory Requirements section of this RFP and to the Schedule of Deliverables when preparing their proposals. Bidders must adhere to all Mandatory Requirements and perform all required deliverables.

Service Area

Statewide

Mandatory Requirements

See Mandatory Requirements section of the RFP.

RFP Components

Components contained in RFP Proposal #20-004 are as follows:

  1. Description of Services To Be Performed
  2. Submission
  3. Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award
  4. Assurances
  5. Attachments
  6. Submission Documents (separate document)

Mandatory Demonstration

Each bidder will be scheduled for a mandatory demonstration of the online delivery system it proposes. The demonstration will be scheduled in consultation with the contractor. It is anticipated that all demonstrations will be scheduled for one hour on a date mutually agreed upon by NYSED and the bidder. Demonstrations will be conducted either in person at NYSED’s Albany, NY office or by webinar. This demonstration must take place between 2/10/2020 and 2/14/2020. To schedule the demonstration, bidders may contact Victoria Mahar via email at AssessmentRFP@nysed.gov prior to the deadline for submitting proposals. Bidders who have not scheduled a demonstration time in advance will be provided a time once bids are received. See RFP section “Component 1b: Computer-Based Testing and Scoring for Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics and the “Computer-Based Testing Demonstration” for additional information.

Questions and Answers

Questions regarding the request must be submitted by E-mail to AssessmentRFP@nysed.gov no later than the close of business December 18, 2019. Questions regarding this request should be identified as Program, Fiscal or M/WBE. A Questions and Answers Summary will be posted here no later than January 2, 2020.

Contact Information for Questions
Program Matters
Fiscal Matters
M/WBE Matters

Victoria Mahar

Jessica Hartjen

Brian Hackett

Submission Instructions and Due Date

The following documents must be submitted in separately sealed envelopes, as detailed in the Submission section of the RFP, and be received at NYSED no later than January 23, 2020 by 3:00 PM:

  1. Submission Documents labeled Submission Documents - RFP #20-004 Do Not Open
  2. Technical Proposal labeled Technical Proposal - RFP #20-004 Do Not Open
  3. Cost Proposal labeled Cost Proposal – RFP #20-004 Do Not Open
  4. M/WBE Documents labeled M/WBE Documents—RFP #20-004 Do Not Open
  5. CD-ROMs or Flash Drive containing the technical/cost proposal, M/WBE and Submission Documents labeled CD-ROM/Flash Drive-RFP#20-004 Do Not Open.

The mailing address for all the above documentation is:

NYS Education Department
Bureau of Fiscal Management
Attn: Jessica Hartjen, RFP# 20-004
Contract Administration Unit
89 Washington Avenue, Room 501W EB
Albany, NY 12234

RFP Documents

Application in PDF Adobe PDF | Application in Word Word document
Cost Proposal Forms Excel
Attachment L: Print Quantities Excel
Submission Documents Adobe PDF

Last Updated: November 27, 2019