OCTE Technical Skills Assessments Technical Assistance Document - Updated February 2015

Appropriate Use

The purpose of CTE Assessments used by the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) is to measure student attainment of career and technical skill proficiencies as part of an accountability system designed to assess the effectiveness of Michigan Secondary Career and Technical Education programs.

Results of these assessments are reported, in aggregate, to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) to meet requirements under the Carl D. Perkins Act of 2006 (Perkins IV).  Perkins IV requires states to report on student attainment of career and technical skill proficiencies, including student achievement on technical assessments that are aligned with industry-recognized standards, if available and appropriate.

Assessments Have Not Been Validated for Measuring Student Progress or Outcomes

Because these assessments were identified solely for the purpose of assessing CTE program effectiveness, their use for measuring student progress or outcomes has not been evaluated and no assumptions should be made regarding their appropriateness for this purpose.  The results of these assessments may be used as one among several sources of information about individual student knowledge, skills or progress but should not be used as the sole or determining factor to evaluate individual student progress or skill attainment.  OCTE does not recommend using the results of these assessments as the sole element in determining program advancement, final examination scores, or as the determining factor in employment, or admission to postsecondary education decisions.

Assessments Have Not Been Validated for Measuring Student Growth or for Teacher Evaluation

Likewise, none of the secondary CTE assessments currently identified in Michigan for federal reporting of CTE program effectiveness have been validated for measuring growth and should not be used as the sole element in educator evaluations at this point.

Retakes

Retakes should only be given under exceptional circumstances, such as illness, technological difficulties or other unavoidable situations.  In order to maintain consistency in assessment practice across CTE programs, districts may administer the OCTE assessment:

  • A maximum of two times

  • With at least three days between administrations

  • Only after a student has reached concentrator status.

Test Forms Used As Post-Tests for State Reporting Not to Be Administered As Pre-Tests

Districts are not to administer the OCTE assessments to students as pre-tests or before a student has reached concentrator status. This is to ensure districts an opportunity to re-test students, if needed and desired, to obtain a more accurate score.

Use of Nationally-Recognized Industry Certification or Licensure Tests In Place of OCTE Technical Skill Assessments

The requirement to take the OCTE technical skill assessment for a given CIP code is waived for students who obtain a nationally-recognized industry certification or licensure, where OCTE is provided with an official score reported from the licensing or certification entity.  Students who obtain a nationally-recognized industry certification or licensure will be identified as having passed the OCTE technical skill assessment for the specified CIP Code and will be identified as a program completer as long as other completion criteria have been met. Districts wishing to utilize a nationally-recognized industry certification or licensure in place of the required technical skill assessment must request approval from OCTE.  Requests may be submitted to Jackie Martinez at martinezj9@michigan.gov.