Assessment and Evaluation

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Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) offers a wide variety of district and state assessment opportunities for students. Click the headings below for further information.

Vision Statement

The Assessment and Evaluation team believes that quality assessment (classroom and district-wide) and evaluation can be a powerful part of the learning process. We advocate practices that ensure quality assessment and evaluation, including strategic thinking about the purpose... (click heading for more).

ACT Test Prep

Many high school students and families are thinking ahead to preparation for the ACT, the nation’s most popular college entrance exam. All LPS students take the ACT exam at no charge as a junior in high school as part of statewide testing. Students also can pay a fee (or see their high school counselor to apply for a fee waiver) to take the test additional times if they choose.


DCAs are developed to assess student achievement according to curriculum standards. Since these tests are aligned to district criteria, the scores represent student achievement. The results typically describe whether a student is proficient or is not yet proficient in a specific curriculum standard. 

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are given under “standardized” conditions, meaning that all students take the same test in the same setting, are given the same instructions, and their responses are scored in the same ways. The purpose of standardization is to try to ensure that students’ scores can be compared across contexts and are not influenced by testing conditions. Most assessments LPS students take will be non-standardized classroom assessments (teacher designed) tests that aren’t standardized in this way. Classroom teachers can make assessments that best match classroom instruction.

Graduation Demonstration Exams

Students in LPS are required to pass Reading and Writing Graduation Demonstration Exams (GDEs) before they graduate. These exams are given in the Fall and Spring of each year. 

State Assessments (NeSA)

Students in grades 3-8 participate in NeSA testing in English Language Arts and math. Students in grades 5 and 8 also take NeSA science tests. Students in grade 11 participate in a college entrance exam as part of state testing. English Learners in grades K-12 participate in the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21).

Nebraska Department of Education useful links:  

Assessment Glossary

Glossary of common assessment terms used by LPS personnel.

Community Resources 

Slides and handouts that provide information about the assessments LPS students take. 

Published: September 24, 2010, Updated: October 30, 2017