Assessment and Evaluation


ACT – Published at American College Testing (ACT), designed to measure achievement, administered in the spring in grade 11, subscales in Reading, Math, English, and Science Reasoning. The Nebraska Department of Education adopted the ACT as the state assessment for high school.

Assessment – The systematic gathering of information.   In education, typically we are gathering information about what students know and are able to do.  Sometimes we also gather information about student dispositions (attitudes, beliefs about themselves as learners, etc.).

Classroom Assessment – Assessments developed and used by classroom teachers.  Assessments may be developed and implemented by members of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) or individual teachers and may be used for both summative and formative purposes.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) – Published by Riverside, designed to measure developed abilities, administered in the fall in grades 3 and 5, subscales for Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal.

Criterion-Referenced Testing/Assessment (CRT or CRA) – Assigning meaning to a student’s performance by comparing this performance to a predetermined set of criteria.  Performance levels are typically used for reporting (met vs. not met; beginning, progressing, proficient, and advanced; below standards, meets standards, and exceeds standards).

District Common Assessments (DCAs) – Developed by LPS staff to measure outcomes associated with LPS curricula, administered in various grades and typically embedded in courses.  Assessments in Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, PE, Health, Art, etc.

Evaluation – A systematic determination of merit, worth, or significance of something or someone.  When we are assigning grades we are engaging in evaluation.

Formative Assessment Processes (Assessment FOR Learning)– When assessments are used by teachers and their students to gather information to be used as feedback: to adjust instruction to support additional learning, to guide and support student learning, and to support the closing of gaps in learning.

Iowa Assessments – Published by Riverside, designed to measure achievement, administered in the fall in grades 3, 5, and 7, subscales for Reading, English Language Arts, and Math.

Graduation Demonstration Exams (GDEs) – Developed by LPS staff, designed to measure proficiency, administered in high school beginning in grade 9.  Reading (RGDE) and Writing (WGDE).

Nebraska State Accountability (NeSAs) – Statewide assessments, designed to measure proficiency, administered in grades 3 through 8.  English Language Arts (NeSA-ELA), Math (NeSA-M), and Science (NeSA-S). Alternate Assessments in the same content areas measure proficiency of students with the most severe disabilities on the Nebraska Extended Indicators in grades 3-8 and 11.

Norm-Referenced Testing/Assessment (NRT or NRA) – Assigning meaning to a student’s performance by comparing this performance to other students who took the same test under the same testing conditions.  Percentile Ranks, Stanines, and Standard Scores are typically used for reporting.

Standardized Assessment/Testing – Gathering information under a standardized set of conditions (items/tasks, administration, and scoring).  This allows us to make comparisons between test scores.

Summative Assessment Processes (Assessment OF Learning)– When assessment results are used to determine how much students have learned at a particular point in time in order to report achievement status.

Published: October 30, 2013, Updated: June 20, 2017