Assessment and Evaluation

ASSESSMENT GLOSSARY FOR PARENTS

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.).

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.

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 the typically used for reporting.

Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) – Published by Riverside, designed to measure achievement, administered in the fall in grades 3, 5, and 8, subscales for Reading, Language and Math.

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.

PLAN/ACT – Published at American College Testing (ACT), designed to measure achievement, administered in the fall in grade 10/spring in grade 11, subscales in Reading, Math, English, and Science Reasoning.

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

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 and 11.  Reading (NeSA-R), Math (NeSA-M), Writing (NeSA-W), and Science (NeSA-SC).

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

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.

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.

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.

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


Published: October 30, 2013, Updated: January 24, 2014