Support - Frequently Asked Questions

General:

What is the purpose of SCAAP?

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.

Who participates in SCAAP?

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.

Is SCAAP a suitable tool for teacher evaluation?

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.

I am from a state other than South Carolina. Can we adapt SCAAP for our own purposes?

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.

For which grade levels have SCAAP assessments been developed?

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.

What does "test security" mean?

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.

Test Administrators:

Which students should participate in the SCAAP assessment?

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.

How many students should take the assessment?

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.

What is the testing schedule?

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.

Am I going to receive training to participate in SCAAP?

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.