The No Child Left Behind Act, 20 U.S.C.A. § 6311 (b)(1)(C), requires assessments in science by 2007-2008. Benchmark Science Exams at Grade 5 and Grade 7 will become operational in April 2007. In Addition, an End-of-Course Biology Exam is currently under development. By the spring of 2007, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will be ready to field test a potential pool of items for use in the 2008 End-of-Course Biology Examination.
The purpose of a field test is to conduct a trial of items; no scores are reported to districts. In order to prepare items for both a mid-year exam and a spring exam, a large number of items must be administered during the field test. Total testing time will be approximately two and one-half hours, including time to complete student demographic information. This field test does not represent a complete test; however, the operational exam will be similar in format to other End-of-Course Exams and will be comprised of both multiple-choice and open-response items.
All students enrolled in biology, in the spring of 2007, shall participate in the End-of-Course Biology Field Test. The test will be administered in all districts on Monday, April 23, 2007.