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Contact: Peter Peretzman
For Release: January 21, 2000

Department of Education Provides Sample ESPA and GEPA Tests to the Public

The Department of Education has released to the public complete sample copies of the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) and the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA). The tests have been posted on the department's website,, and will be sent to all school districts in electronic form within the next two weeks.

The department is releasing complete copies of the ESPA language arts literacy, math and science tests as well as the GEPA language arts literacy and math exams. In the current school year, the ESPA test will be administered from May 1-5 and the GEPA will be administered from March 6-9. Students will not be tested for more than two hours on any date.

"We are releasing sample copies of these tests as a result of the feedback I received from teachers, administrators, children and parents," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "These practice tests will better prepare children for our state assessments. They will allow for the appropriate level of professional development for teachers who must administer the tests, and they will inform the public about the content of the exams and their relationship with our rigorous academic standards.

"I have received hundreds of letters from educators, parents and children asking for copies of the tests, and I felt it important that we respond. When the school districts receive their copies of the practice tests in the next couple of weeks, they will be able to copy them and distribute them to members of their staff, the parents and the children. Until that time, everyone will be able to take a look at the practice tests on our website.

"I truly believe that these tests will provide vital information to the stakeholders in the process. They will provide the necessary background to understand the basis of our testing program and to prepare for their actual administration."