The purpose of the South Carolina Arts Assessment Program is to develop and provide technically sound arts assessments aligned to the South Carolina Academic Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts. By using SCAAP assessments, arts educators and school district personnel can measure and evaluate their students' arts achievement. Moreover, because the SCAAP assessments are based on state-wide academic standards, the schools' participation in the assessment offers a glimpse of how well-unified instructional objectives are in arts classrooms from the grant-supported Distinguished Arts Programs throughout the state.
Schools and school districts that apply for Arts Curricular Innovation Grants and receive Distinguished Arts Program status may elect to participate in the South Carolina Arts Assessment Program, in which case the South Carolina Department of Education provides an additional financial provision to pay for their participation in the assessment program.
Once participation in the SCAAP assessment is complete, schools receive a report card that details the group results of students' performance on the assessment. The SCAAP results may be used as one source of evidence in a portfolio of performance data for teacher evaluation; however, it should NOT be used the sole metric of evaluation. Schools and districts that are considering the use of SCAAP results in a teacher evaluation system are urged to contact the SCAAP leadership team to discuss the possibilities and limitations of incorporating this form of students assessment in a teacher evaluation system.
The items and reporting tools for SCAAP have been aligned with the standards and indicators from the South Carolina Academic Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts. However, the items and test forms could be adapted to align with standards from other states. Please contact the SCAAP leadership team if you are interested in contracting with the Office of Program Evaluation at the University of South Carolina to develop an arts assessment aligned with your state's arts standards.
Currently, SCAAP has six different assessments in various stages of development. These include music and visual arts assessments for 4th grade students, music and visual arts assessments for middle school students, and dance and theatre assessments for entry-level students. All SCAAP assessments include a web-based multiple-choice section and a performance task section.
All items and materials included in the SCAAP assessments are secure materials, meaning that they are confidential. Neither test administrators nor any other school personnel may print or otherwise copy test items from the website or from the performance task booklets. Any breach of proper testing protocol may impair a school or district's DAP grant status.
Students eligible for test participation include all 4th grade students. Each teacher is responsible for choosing the students who will take both the multiple-choice and the performance task sections of the SCAAP assessment. Ideally, the participating students would be chosen at random; however, scheduling issues may influence the selection process and dictate which students are selected to participate.
All 4th grade students (or a minimum of 100 students if you have a large 4th grade class) are required to complete the 45-item multiple-choice section of the SCAAP music assessment. Of the 4th grade students who take the multiple-choice section, 40 from each school are required to complete the performance task section of the test.
The SCAAP testing window is usually between March and April every year with a total testing time of 4 to 6 weeks. The assessment administration timetable is flexible. Administration of the assessment begins in early March and ends in April. Each participating school is responsible for designing a testing schedule within that timetable that meets the individual school's needs as well as the administration requirements of the SCAAP assessments. If your school has any special circumstances that make adhering to the SCAAP timetable difficult, please contact our office as soon as possible so that accommodations can be made.
Test administrators from participating schools will receive online test administrator training videos, as well as the SCAAP Test Administration Manual. The manual provides detailed information about navigating the SCAAP website and about the requiredtesting procedures. SCAAP personnel are also available by phone and email to answer any questions you may have regarding test administration.