March 07, 2019
CAL’s Assessment System
In any curriculum, it is important to have a valid way to measure student attainment of the intended outcomes. We use a variety of small-scale and large-scale assessment tools in order to learn more about our students and their achievement. Here is a brief summary of some of the assessments we use.
Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP)
This is our new state assessment, replacing the Iowa Assessment/Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and it will be fully online. This is the end-of-year assessment in reading and math in grades 3-6 and science additionally in grade 5. The results of this test are used locally to measure student learning from year to year and also used at the state level to measure school accountability. It is given in the spring.
English Language Proficiency Assessment
This assessment is used for students who are served in our English Language Learner program to measure their growth toward mastering the English Language Proficiency Standards. It is given in the spring.
FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) FAST is a computer adaptive-assessment that is curriculum based. Teachers measure and monitor student progress in reading and math. Our district assesses 3 times per year using the following assessments:
aReading: aReading is a simple and efficient procedure for screening K-12 students' broad reading abilities. The assessment is based on research and each question is aligned with the National Common Core State Standards (2010). aReading is a computer-adaptive test and students respond to between 30 and 60 questions on each testing occasion.
earlyReading: The assessments of earlyReading measures allows you to screen and monitor a student's progress in developing reading skills such as letter names, letter sounds, and sight word recognition. Teachers work with a student individually to complete each assessment. These measures are designed for students in the early primary grades and are typically used in kindergarten and first grade.
CBM (Curriculum Based Measurement for Reading): CBM is an efficient and effective way to screen and monitor student reading progress. A teacher listens to a student read aloud from a grade-level passage for 1 minute while recording student errors. Passages are available for 1st through 8th grades.
earlyMath: The assessments of earlyMath measures allows you to screen and monitor a student's progress in developing math skills such as numeral identification, number matching, and number decomposition. Teachers work with a student individually to complete each assessment. These measures are designed for students in the early primary grades and are typically used in kindergarten and first grade.
aMath: aMath is a simple and efficient procedure for screening K-8 students' broad math abilities. The assessment is based on expert recommendations and each question is aligned with the National Common Core State Standards (2010). aMath is a computer-adaptive test and students respond to between 30 and 60 questions on each testing occasion.
MAP (Measure of Academic Progress): All of our students take the MAP assessment two times per year. In grades K-2, students take the reading and math portions. In grades 3-6, students take reading, math, and science. Each test consists of 40-53 questions and students are not timed on the tests. The assessment measures growth from one testing period to the next. School staff can use the data to guide further instruction, inform parents on how they can help at home, and to determine if strategies or skills are being used by the students.
Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System: The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems is used to determine student’s independent and instructional reading levels, teachers are able to observe student reading behaviors one-on-one, engage in comprehension conversations that go beyond retelling, and make informed decisions that connect assessment to instruction. All of our students are given this assessment twice a year.
Quick Write: Three times a year our students produce a quick write narrative piece. This writing is done over three days in 20-30 minute time periods. The first day is used for planning, the second is for actual writing, and the third day is used for editing. Students work independently on their pieces. Once finished, teachers use two assessment pieces to evaluate student work. The first is a Common CORE aligned grade-level rubric. The second is a checklist of grade-level writing skills that are to be visible during each of the different assessment periods.