ADE/SUSD Civics Test Procedures for 2020-2021
In 2015, the Arizona legislature passed the American Civics Act (House Bill 2064) which required that all students, beginning with the graduating class of 2017, pass a 100 item civics test based on the United States Immigration and Naturalization civics questions. Students will be required to score 60% or higher in order to graduate from high school or obtain a high school equivalency certificate.
Although the state of Arizona allowed a waiver for students graduating in 2020 due to school closures impacted by COVID-19, this exemption DOES NOT currently extend to students graduating in 2021 and beyond. For this reason, all staff administering the Civics test for the 2020-2021 school year should follow these testing procedures.
Which Grades Take the Test in SUSD?
The Civics Test will be administered to 8th grade middle school students at the end of Q2/S1. High Schools will provide multiple opportunities each semester for seniors who have not yet passed the test to meet this graduation requirement.
Can Students Working Remotely Take the Civics Test?
Yes. Whether they are attending school full time, remotely, or in a hybrid model, all students should be provided with equal opportunities to pass the civics exam prior to graduation.
Students testing in person should follow all of the accommodation and security provisions outlined below.
Students testing in a remote environment should also follow these provisions IN ADDITION TO joining a monitored Google Meet Session with the test proctor prior to the testing session. Prior to testing, the student camera must be on to allow the test proctor should observe both the student and their surrounding testing environment to ensure that all accommodations and test security measures are being met.
If the student’s Chromebook camera is not working or if the student is unable to join the Google Meet Session for any reason, the Civics test must be rescheduled to allow these problems to be addressed so that the student might take the test at a later date.
Test Administration Schedule
Grade 8 students will be provided with an opportunity to test at some point between the end of the Thanksgiving break and the start of the Winter Break. Specific testing schedules will be left up to the discretion of site leadership. ELD students in the 4-hour block will prepare and test during their ELA period and other students will test in social studies classes. Testing codes for the week will be sent out to teachers via email at lest two days prior to first day of the week. Test codes should NEVER be shared with students prior to the day of testing.
High School students will may test at any time during the course of the academic year according to the schedule which best fits staff and student schedules.
Test Administration Method
The ADE versions of the 100 Civics Test items should be delivered using the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™ and will be archived and duplicated each time the test is administered. The online test consists of 99 multiple choice questions and one open ended response. All testing sessions will be set at the DISTRICT LEVEL and secure passwords will be shared to the teachers/test proctors via email prior to the start of the testing session.
Teachers and test proctors should NEVER share out a testing code to any student unless they have confirmed that the student is present in a security testing environment (either in person or testing remotely).
Preparing for Testing
The official list of 100 civics questions included on the naturalization test and free study materials are posted on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website:
SUSD Instructional Technology Coaches have created a civics course for student review in Sunnyside LEARN which can be accessed via the link below.
A quiet and comfortable testing environment, with as few distractions as possible, is ideal for the administration of this test. Students should be seated so that they cannot easily see the responses of other students. Visual aids displayed in the testing room that could assist students while testing should be removed or covered completely.
Students testing in a remote environment must have their Chromebook camera on in the Google Meet Session prior to testing. This should allow the test proctor to observe the student testing environment to conform to these measures.
Students who use accommodations in classroom assessments should be offered the same or similar accommodations for the Civics Test. Contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for any questions regarding testing accommodations.
All civics testing must be delivered using the Illuminate Secure Browser on the student Chromebook (see directions below). Sites will be provided with the name of the test and the unique daily password before the start of the testing window. Passwords are not to be given to students prior to the day of testing.
- Students should LOG OUT of their local Google account on their Chromebook.
- From the main screen, have students click on the APPS button along the bottom of the page and then select the “Illuminate Lockdown Browser” menu option (see below).
3. Students should now be able to enter their district username and the test code which the teacher/test administrator provided for them to enter the Civics Exam.
It is expected that ethics and professionalism regarding test administration shall be upheld by test administrators at all times. During the session, test administrators may answer student questions regarding the test directions, but may not answer questions about test content.
Test administrators may not influence students’ responses by any method including making any kind of gestures (for example, pointing to items, holding up fingers to signify item numbers or answer options). Test administrators may not instruct students to go back and reread/redo responses after they have completed testing.
During the administration of the Civics Test, test administrators must actively monitor the room or student cameras at all times. Test administrators should move unobtrusively about the room to ensure that students are using only appropriate testing materials and to check that students are progressing through the test. Students may not use the computer for non-testing activities or have access to their cell phones or other electronic devices until the end of the test session.
At the end of the testing session, the test administrator is to ensure that each student has submitted the test and logged out the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™. In the event a student is unable to complete the Civics Test during the assigned period, the test administrator must ensure that the student pauses the test and logs out so the student may continue testing at the soonest available opportunity.
In the event of a testing incident, test administrators should immediately report the event to their site’s instructional admin (eg. coach, principal…etc.). Testing incidents include, but are not limited to, technical difficulties, improper test administration, improper test accommodations, or cheating. Site testing admins will then contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for procedural incidents or Frank McCormick, Instructional Technologies Coordinator, for technical issues.
To receive a passing score, students must correctly answer at least 60 of the 100 questions on the Civics Test. A report of students who score 59% will be generated in order to review the constructed response question for scoring and point assignment. A correct response will then be applied to the student’s overall total score to provide for a passing grade.
Student who do not score 60% or higher will be required to retest. Students receiving special education services are exempt from obtaining a passing score unless otherwise required by an IEP.
Each student may retake the test as many times as necessary to ensure a passing score. Eighth grade students are not required to retest until they are in high school.
HS students who do not meet a score of at least 60% may be moved into civics specific CCP classes for review. New testing windows will be established quarterly and students will have the opportunity to test at least during each nine-week quarter of the school year.
Civics Test results will be available in the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™ immediately upon test completion and will be available to any staff member with system access to the student(s).
Final results will be posted to PowerSchool the week following the close of the assessment window and will permit reporting of students who have not met the Civics Test graduation requirement.
Beginning the 2015-2016 school year, high school transcripts will list the date and passing grade for students who have met the Civics Test Graduation Requirement. Students who pass the Civics Test in 8th grade will have results posted on their high school transcripts beginning their freshman year.
School personnel should first contact their site testing coordinators with any questions regarding the Civics Test. Site testing coordinators may contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for procedural questions or Frank McCormick, Instructional Technologies Coordinator, for technical questions.