Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 7C. Testing Integrity.


§ 38–771.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Authorized personnel” means an individual who has access to Districtwide assessment materials or is directly involved in the administration of a Districtwide assessment.

(2) “Districtwide assessments” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 38-1800.02(13); provided, that for the purposes of this chapter, the term “Districtwide assessment” means assessments used only for accountability purposes.

(3) “IEP” means a student’s individualized education program.

(4) “ELL” means English language learner.

(5) “Local education agency” or “LEA” means the District of Columbia Public Schools system or any individual or group of public charter schools operating under a single charter.

(6) “Test monitor” means an individual designated by a local education agency to be responsible for testing integrity and security at each individual school subject to the LEA’s control during the administration of a Districtwide assessment.

(7) “OSSE” means the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

(8) “Test integrity coordinator” means an individual designated by a LEA to be responsible for testing integrity and security for the LEA in its entirety during the administration of a Districtwide assessment.

(9) “Testing integrity and security notification statement” means a statement developed by OSSE that:

(A) Sets forth requirements for ensuring integrity of Districtwide assessments pursuant to District law and regulation; and

(B) Notifies the recipient that knowingly and willingly violating a District law, regulation, or test security plan could result in civil liability, including the loss of an OSSE-granted certification or license.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 101, 60 DCR 11120; Jan. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-44, § 2(a), 62 DCR 14236.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2602.

Effect of Amendments

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-44 added “provided, that for the purposes of this act, the term ‘Districtwide assessment’ means assessments used only for accountability purposes” in (2); and rewrote (9).


§ 38–771.02. LEA administration of Districtwide assessments.

(a) A LEA responsible for administering a Districtwide assessment shall meet the requirements of § 38-2602(b)(20).

(b) In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, a LEA shall:

(1) File the school test security plan required by § 38-2602(b)(20), with OSSE for each school or campus under the LEA’s control at least 15 days before the administration of the first Districtwide assessment of a school year;

(2) Designate a test integrity coordinator and test monitors;

(3) Immediately report any breach of security, loss of materials, failure to account for materials, or any other deviation from the test security plan to OSSE;

(4) Investigate, document, and report to OSSE any findings and recommendations for the remediation of an allegation of the failure of the test security plan or other testing integrity and security protocol;

(5) Within 10 days after the conclusion of the last Districtwide assessment of the school year, obtain signed, under penalty of law, affidavits from the LEA’s test integrity coordinator and each of the LEA’s test monitors attesting that, to the best of his or her knowledge or belief, the LEA complied with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies, including the test security plan; and

(6) Within 15 days after the conclusion of the last Districtwide assessment of the school year, file with OSSE the affidavits required by paragraph (5) of this subsection.

(c) No employee of a LEA shall retaliate against any other employee, parent, or student solely because that individual reports or participates in an investigation of a potential failure of the test security plan or other testing integrity and security policy or protocol.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 102, 60 DCR 11120; Jan. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-44, § 2(b), 62 DCR 14236.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-44 rewrote (b)(1); substituted “of the last Districtwide assessment of the school year” for “of a Districtwide Assessment” in (b)(5); and rewrote (b)(6).


§ 38–771.03. Authorized personnel; responsibilities.

(a) Authorized personnel shall:

(1) Before the administration of a Districtwide assessment:

(A) Complete testing integrity training, as developed by OSSE; and

(B) Receive the testing integrity and security notification statement distributed by OSSE;

(2) Immediately report any breach of testing security to the school’s test monitor, the LEA’s test integrity coordinator, or OSSE;

(3) Cooperate with OSSE in any investigation concerning the administration of a Districtwide assessment;

(4) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, be prohibited from:

(A) Photocopying, or in any way reproducing, or disclosing secure test items or other materials related to Districtwide assessments;

(B) Reviewing, reading, or looking at test items or student responses before, during, or after administering the Districtwide assessment, unless specifically permitted in the test administrator’s manual;

(C) Assisting students in any way with answers to test questions using verbal or nonverbal cues before, during, or after administering the assessment;

(D) Altering student responses in any manner;

(E) Altering the test procedures stated in the formal instructions accompanying the Districtwide assessments;

(F) Allowing students to use notes, references, or other aids, unless the test administrator’s manual specifically allows;

(G) Having in one’s personal possession secure test materials except during the scheduled testing date;

(H) Allowing students to view or practice secure test items before or after the scheduled testing time;

(I) Making or having in one’s possession answer keys before the administration of that Districtwide assessment; except, that it shall not be prohibited to have an answer key for a Districtwide assessment that has already been administered and released by OSSE;

(J) Leaving secure test materials in a non-secure location or unattended by authorized personnel; and

(K) Using unapproved electronics during the administration of a Districtwide assessment.

(b) The failure to comply with the prohibitions set forth in subsection (a)(4) of this section shall not be considered a violation of a test security plan if the action is:

(1) Necessary to provide for an accommodation that is explicitly identified in a student’s IEP or an approved accommodation plan for a ELL student; provided, that any accommodation shall be limited to the eligible student or students; or

(2) Limited to supporting students to stay on task and focused, as defined and described as an acceptable action under OSSE regulations or guidance, and does not impact the content of students’ answers.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 103, 60 DCR 11120; Jan. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-44, § 2(c), 62 DCR 14236.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-771.02.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21- (Act 21-193) rewrote (a)(1)(B); added “and released by OSSE” in (a)(4)(I); substituted “unapproved electronics” for “cell phones, unapproved electronics, or computer devices” in (a)(4)(K); and rewrote (b).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-44 rewrote (a)(1)(B); added “and released by OSSE” in (a)(4)(I); substituted “unapproved electronics” for “cell phones, unapproved electronics, or computer devices” in (a)(4)(K); and rewrote (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Testing Integrity Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-34, Mar. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 4544, 21 DCSTAT 873).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Testing Integrity Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-9, June 4, 2015, 62 DCR 4572).


§ 38–771.04. Test integrity; sanctions.

(a) A LEA, or school subject to the LEA’s control, that is determined by OSSE to have violated this chapter, regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, or a test security plan shall be subject to sanctions, which shall include:

(1) The payment of any expenses incurred by OSSE as a result of the violation, including the costs associated with developing, in whole or in part, a new assessment;

(2) An administrative fine of not more than $10,000 for each violation; and

(3) The invalidation of test scores.

(b) A person who knowingly and willfully violates, assists in the violation of, solicits another to violate or assist in the violation of the provisions of this chapter, regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, or test security plan, or fails to report such a violation, shall be subject to sanctions, which shall include:

(1) Denial, suspension, revocation, or cancellation of, or restrictions on the issuance or renewal of a teaching or administrative credential or teaching certificate issued by OSSE, or both, for a period of not less than one year;

(2) Payment of expenses incurred by the LEA or OSSE as a result of the violation; or

(3) An administrative fine, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

(c) When determining sanctions, OSSE may take into account:

(1) The seriousness of the violation;

(2) The extent of the violation;

(3) The role the individual played in the violation;

(4) The LEA leadership’s involvement;

(5) How and when the violation was reported to OSSE; and

(6) The actions taken by the LEA since the violation was reported to OSSE.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 104, 60 DCR 11120.)


§ 38–771.05. Right to administrative review.

Any person aggrieved by a final decision or order of OSSE imposing sanctions following a determination by OSSE that a violation of this chapter has occurred may obtain a review of the final decision or order in accordance with regulations issued by the Mayor pursuant to § 38-771.06 or the process set forth in § 38-771.07, whichever is applicable; provided, that if the aggrieved party is a member of a collective bargaining unit, he or she may choose between the negotiated grievance process set forth in a collective bargaining agreement and the grievance process set forth in § 38-771.07 or in regulations issued by the Mayor pursuant to § 38-771.06, whichever is applicable.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 105, 60 DCR 11120.)


§ 38–771.06. Rulemaking.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement this chapter.

(b) The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 14-day period of review. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, by resolution, within the 14-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 106, 60 DCR 11120; Jan. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-44, § 2(d), 62 DCR 14236.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-771.05 and § 38-771.07.

Effect of Amendments

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-44 substituted “14-day” for “45-day” twice in (b).


§ 38–771.07. Due process.

(a) Until rules are issued pursuant to § 38-771.06, any party aggrieved by a final decision or order of OSSE imposing sanctions following a determination by OSSE that a violation of this chapter has occurred may obtain a review of the final decision or order by filing a written notice of appeal to the Mayor within 10 calendar days from the date on which OSSE imposed the sanction being contested.

(b) The written notice of appeal shall contain the following information:

(1) The type and the effective date of the sanction imposed;

(2) The name, address, and telephone number of the aggrieved party or the aggrieved party’s representative, if any;

(3) A copy of OSSE’s notice of final decision;

(4) A statement as to whether the aggrieved party or anyone acting on his or her behalf has filed an appeal under any negotiated review procedure pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, or has filed a complaint with any other agency regarding this matter;

(5) The identity of the collective bargaining unit, if any, of which the aggrieved party is a member;

(6) A statement as to whether the aggrieved party requests a hearing;

(7) A concise statement of the facts giving rise to the appeal;

(8) An explanation as to why the aggrieved party believes OSSE’s action was unwarranted and any supporting documentation;

(9) A statement of the specific relief the aggrieved party is requesting; and

(10) The signature of the aggrieved party and his or her representative, if any.

(c) If a hearing is requested, the Mayor shall hold a hearing within 30 calendar days after the receipt of the notice of appeal and hearing request and shall issue a written ruling no later than 10 calendar days after the hearing. If no hearing is requested, the Mayor shall issue a written ruling within 30 days of receipt of the notice of appeal.

(d) Appeals filed pursuant to this section, and any hearings held, shall be administered in accordance with § 2-501 et seq.

(e) For the purposes of this section, a notice of appeal is considered received on the date it was postmarked.


(Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-27, § 107, 60 DCR 11120.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-771.05.