USD 232 Assessment Alignment
FastBridge (Grades K-12) FastBridge (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) is a suite of assessment progress monitoring tools in reading, math, and behavior designed to help educators screen, monitor student progress, and analyze skills in grades K-12. These screeners are administered three times a year; fall, winter, and spring.
Kansas Assessment Program (KAP) (Grades 3-8, 10-11) The Kansas Assessment Program, commonly referred to as the state assessment, includes a variety of tests aligned to Kansas’ content standards, which help educators and policymakers evaluate student learning and meet the requirements for federal and state accountability. Students in grades 3 - 8, and 10 test in the spring on reading and math; students in grades 5, 8, and 11 test in the spring on science, and students in grades 4, 7, and 11 test each spring in social studies.
Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) (Grades 3-8, 10-11) The DLM Alternate Assessment System assists students with significant cognitive disabilities in demonstrating what they know in ways that traditional multiple-choice tests cannot. The DLM system is designed to map a student’s learning throughout the year. The system will use items and tasks that are embedded in day-to-day instruction. In this way, testing happens as part of instruction, which both informs teaching and benefits students. The subjects tested are English language arts, Mathematics, Science
Pre-ACT (Grades 9-10) PreACT simulates the ACT testing experience within a shorter test window on all four ACT test subjects: English, math, reading and science. Results predict future success on the ACT test, and provide both current achievement and projected future ACT test scores on the familiar 1-36 ACT score scale. Pre-ACT will be administered October 20-21, 2021. Please contact your student's high school counselor for further information.
ACT (Grade 11) The ACT is a standardized test produced by ACT, Inc. Colleges and universities use students' scores on the ACT in the admissions process as a measure of college readiness, and, in some cases, for course placement purposes. ACT sets national test dates. Each spring, the state of Kansas funds and offers ACT testing free to all juniors. ACT will be administered March 1, 2022. Please contact your student's high school counselor for further information.
WorkKeys (Grade 11) ACT WorkKeys determines workplace skill assessments: (1) Applied Math – applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems, (2) Workplace Documents – comprehending work-related reading materials such as memos, bulletins, policy manuals, and governmental regulations, and (3) Graphic Literacy – using information from sources such as diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms, graphs, and charts ACT sets national test dates. The state of Kansas offers a state-funded opportunity for all juniors to take the WorkKeys test. This is offered one time at no cost to the student. WorkKeys will be administered October 6, 2021. Please contact your student's high school counselor for further information.
College Board PSAT/NMSQT (Grades 9-11) The PSAT is the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. It measures critical reading, math problem solving skills, and writing skills. The test is offered for 10th graders as a practice test and for 11th graders for consideration for the National Merit Program. By taking the PSAT/National Merit exam, students can practice for the actual SAT college entrance exam, get information from colleges by participating in the Student Search Service, and enter scholarship programs. You will also be able to use the College Board QuickStart program to access free resources and information about college and career planning.
Advanced Placement (AP) Assessments (Optional, High School) Advanced Placement (AP) is a program created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study. For a high school course to have the AP designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain that it satisfies the AP curriculum. Students may opt to take the AP examinations for various courses in May. American colleges and universities often grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations which are scored using a 1-5-point system. AP Exam dates are set by the College Board.
Formal and Informal Assessment
Formal assessments are systematic, data-based tests that measure what students have learned. Formal assessments determine student proficiency or mastery of content, and can be used for comparisons against certain standards.
Informal assessments are spontaneous forms of assessment that can easily be incorporated in day-to-day classroom activities and measure student performance and progress. Informal assessments are content and performance-driven.
Informal assessment cannot replace formal assessment. We need both, as one complements the other, depicting accurate pictures of students. We can use either type to improve teaching and learning. The type of assessment we use should match the intended purpose of the assessment. For example, if we want to assess academic achievement and compare it with other students, we use formal assessment. If we want to use assessment to monitor student progress or use assessment to improve instruction, we use informal assessment.
How Results Are Used by Teachers
Using Assessment Results to Plan for Instruction
If assessments benefit the child, then testing should be linked to learning experiences and instruction. If they are to be fair and authentic, they include all types of strategies that provide a comprehensive picture of each child’s progress and needs. The teacher selects the assessment methods that are relevant to the information needed and uses the results in planning for curriculum and instruction. This assumes the teacher is concerned with individual rates of learning and is prepared to address individual differences. The learning activities that are available in the classroom and through teacher instruction reflect not only curriculum goals established by the school, but also how each child can best achieve these goals.
Using Assessment Results to Report Progress
Just as we need multiple assessment strategies to assess students, these assessment strategies should be used to report how the student has developed and learned. If the assessment system is comprehensive, the method to report the child’s progress should also be comprehensive and provide many examples of how the child demonstrated growth and achievement. Parents receive limited information from reports that rate a child average, above average, or below average. Likewise, a report that indicates progress is satisfactory or unsatisfactory tells little about the student’s learning experiences and accomplishments. Rather than a snapshot of progress, a comprehensive picture should be conveyed.
Using Assessment Results to Evaluate the Instructional Program
The assessment process includes evaluation of the effectiveness of the teacher’s instruction and the activities and materials used in the classroom. The teacher uses assessment information to determine whether instructional strategies were successful for students to learn new concepts and skills or whether new approaches are needed.
With this type of evaluative reflection, the teacher demonstrates that assessment should focus not on student achievement, but rather on how well students progress and the role that the quality of instruction has on growth. If some students need additional opportunities to learn information and skills, the teacher considers how more varied activities might accomplish the goal. Should the concepts be incorporated into different types of activities, or should they become a part of a continuum that includes a new direction or focus? Students need many opportunities to learn new skills, and encountering concepts in new contexts provides meaningful routes to understanding and the ability to use what is being learned.