The writing COE
The writing COE is a legislatively-approved option to the state high school writing assessment, the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). The COE can be used to meet the requirements for graduation and earn the Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA). It is designed for students who likely possess the writing skills and knowledge assessed on the state high school writing assessment, but who have not successfully demonstrated writing proficiency under large-scale testing conditions. Eligibility requirements to work on a writing COE
A student must have taken the writing HSPE at least two times without passing before they are eligible to access the writing COE.Required components of a writing COE
A sufficient collection must include:
• A minimum of six and a maximum of eight work samples
• Three or four expository samples
• Three or four persuasive samples
• All prompts must come from the COE writing inclusion bank
When choosing expository and persuasive prompts, students and teachers must make certain all of the sufficiency requirements have been met in order for the collection to be sufficient and scorable. The online COE system checks for sufficiency at the time of submission. Teachers and students should monitor the collection for sufficiency requirements throughout the process of creating the collection.
Districts with significant concerns regarding their ability to access the online COE system may submit a request for an exemption for one submission window only. The exemption form can be found at: www.coe.k12.wa.us/Page/109. A COE prompt
COE writing tasks and prompts pose questions or address authentic topics or issues, providing students with opportunities to demonstrate their best writing skills. The prompts and tasks allow students to respond to classroom-based or student-centered topics, questions, or issues; to write for authentic, appropriate audiences; to direct their writing toward a specific, identifiable purpose (to explain or to persuade); and to frame their responses within a specific form (a letter or an essay).Content, Organization and Style (COS) and Conventions (CONV) for the writing COE
Content, organization and style (COS) refers to the level of detail and elaboration, organizational pattern or sequence, word choice, sentence fluency, and voice/audience awareness of any work sample. Conventions (CONV) refers to the degree to which each work sample follows the rules of Standard English for grammar & usage, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence completeness, and paragraph indications.COE writing prompt Topic — audience — purpose — formOn-demand work samples
The writing COE must include at least one expository on-demand work sample and at least one persuasive on-demand work sample. An “on-demand” prompt is one that students complete independently in a single, continuous session while supervised by a teacher or other educational professional. Students should not be allowed to leave and then return to complete the prompt later in the day or on another day. Students may not review on-demand prompts prior to receiving the prompt. These on-demand work samples serve as touchstones in the collection for comparison to other work samples.“Extended time” work samples
An “extended time” work sample is one that students may complete over more than one class period while still supervised by a teacher or education professional. The work sample allows students multiple opportunities for editing and revising prior to submitting their final work sample to the collection. All extended time work samples must be done under the supervision of the teacher or school staff and are not to be taken home. While there is some opportunity for appropriate teacher assistance, all work on the extended time work samples will be the sole work of the student.Writing inclusion bank
All educators working with a COE student are required to select writing prompts from the OSPI inclusion bank. The prompts are typical of prompts commonly assigned in high school. These prompts have been created by trained teachers and OSPI staff. The prompt subjects are authentic, relevant to students’ lives, and culturally diverse. The use of the inclusion bank prompts is required for submission in writing COEs. Teacher assistance
Once a student has begun work on a writing COE work sample, teacher assistance must be limited to general advice and reminders (e.g., ‘Don’t forget to check your work for sentence completeness.’). Appropriate teacher assistance supports and clarifies the student’s writing process. No direct, explicit assistance that changes the outcome of student work is permitted.
Prior to permitting students to begin work on a writing COE, however, teachers should help students use strategies and tools to develop ideas; provide suggestions for revising, clarifying, and supporting those ideas; and teach revising strategies such as graphic organizers, content generators, and editing techniques in support of the requirements for expository and persuasive writing.Scoring
Each work sample in the student’s collection is scored individually for Content, Organization, and Style (COS) and Conventions (CONV). COE scorers use the same scoring guides and support materials used to assess the state high school writing assessment. Each work sample is scored twice; if the scores are non-adjacent, the work sample is scored a third time to reconcile the score. Each scorer awards up to 4 points for COS and up to 2 points for CONV.Proficiency on the writing COE
Sufficient (eligible to be scored) collections are deemed to be proficient if they meet or exceed the performance standard established for the writing COE. A writing collection is worth a maximum of 72 points. When the final score is tallied, it is divided by 3 to place it on the 24-point scale for the writing state high school assessment. If a student earns 17 out of 24 points, he or she meets standard and is considered proficient.Augmentation
Students whose writing COEs earn 15 or 16 points are eligible to submit an augmented collection in a subsequent submission window. For writing, an augmented collection consists of four new work samples in response to two new expository tasks/prompts and two new persuasive tasks/prompts. There are no requirements for on-demand work samples in augmentation collections There are no requirements for on-demand work samples in augmentation collections, although on-demand work samples may be included and could replace the original on-demand work samples.Testing Irregularities
A testing irregularity is evidence of inauthentic student work discovered in a student’s COE during scoring. COE testing irregularities are defined as a Level 1or Level 2 alert.
• A Level 1 alert is labeled as “highly likely inauthentic student work” due to the fact that one or more work sample(s) is a copy of another student’s work or a retrievable copy of material from the Internet.
• Level 2 is labeled as “suspected inauthentic student work” because one or more work sample(s) in question is quite different and unusually strong as compared to the other work samples in the collectionReading and Writing Moodle
OSPI maintains a Moodle server where teachers are encouraged to share ideas about the COE. You will need to create an account in order to log in to the Moodle. The link: http://moodle.ospi.k12.wa.us/course/view.php?id=83
The Moodle serves two main functions:
• Offers educators the opportunity to participate in the creation of new passages, tasks, and prompts that may be included in the reading and writing inclusion banks. The inclusion bank development process requires participation in all stages of the work. In order to earn clock hours, educators must develop original passages, write tasks questions, and prompts, pilot passages, tasks, and prompts, and participate in a content review of their own work and the worth of others.
• Provides up-to-date information on policy changes in the content areas, announcements of training webinars, and an ever-growing list of resources from the state and the nation.