RCSD Foreign Language teachers participate in a FLACS test question writing workshop.
September 20, 2012 | Riverhead, NY
“With the loss of a regents level test, our District wants to ensure that our foreign language curriculum is rigorous and comparable,” states RCSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Lois Etzel. “We were happy to host this workshop. This effort was one of three test question writing workshops on Long Island coordinated by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS). Riverhead's collaboration with FLACS allows us to administer the Checkpoint A and B exams in French and Spanish created at the workshops.”
Carmen Campos, immediate past president of FLACS who teaches Spanish in Cold Spring Harbor Junior/Senior High School, and Lillian Carey, president of FLACS who also supervises Hauppauge schools' foreign language department, coordinated and led the question writing process. For the last two years, this test has filled the gap left by the loss of the Second Language Proficiency Exam and the Regents exam for many school districts.
“When the state Education Department eliminated both of its foreign language exams, it still expected students to reach the same goals as they did previously and expected each district to create its own exam to measure achievement,” Campos said. “But many districts don't have the resources to create their own student assessments.”
So, two years ago, FLACS created a substitute for the Second Language Proficiency Test that is usually given in eighth grade or at the end of Level 1 French, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese. Last year, FLACS added a Regents-level exam, also in those five languages, which was typically given at the end of 10th grade or Level 3.
To create the exams at minimal cost, FLACS asked each of the 226 participating districts in New York to submit a question for inclusion. About half of the schools are from districts on Long Island, including Riverhead, Huntington, Cold Spring Harbor, Comsewogue, Middle Country and Kings Park. This exam writing workshop was part of that effort.