Why assess students? Because the scores help us
understand how much progress students are making individually and as a group. As
we identify these strengths and weaknesses, we can make better decisions to
improve our teaching practices, programs, and curriculum. Teachers and
administrators analyze assessment scores to assign specific services to
students; to cover a concept in a new way if students do not understand; to create
and monitor academic goals; to provide targeted training for all staff; to
ensure no demographic of students is being left behind; and much more.
In other words, assessments
improve teaching and learning for all students.
Smarter Balanced Assessments: Given to every student in grades 3-8 and 11 in the spring to assess progress in English-language arts and math. These assessments align with the state's new learning standards and are meant to test student's critical thinking and problem solving at a deeper level.
Inventory of Developing Skills(WaKIDS: Given to every kindergartner in
September, this measures the social/emotional, physical, cognitive, language,
literacy, and mathematic preparedness of students. Teachers
use this information to tailor their instruction to the individual needs of
of Student Progress (MSP):Students in grades 5 and 8 take
the science MSP. The format is a mix of
multiple choice, short answer, and fill-in responses. Student performance is measured
against a state standard. Students who score a 400 and above have met standard;
scores below 400 have not met standard. Schools track
overall progress and student’s individual progress through their MSP scores;
they also use them to assign services and interventions to students.
End-of-Course Exams (EOCs): These measure students’
knowledge in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Biology when they complete each course
(grades 7-12; students can retest until they meet standard). Student
performance is measured against a state standard. Students who score a 400 and
above have met standard; scores below 400 have not met standard. Students must pass at least one math EOC to graduate.
Beginning with the Class of 2015, students must pass all three EOCs to
Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA):This annually assesses growth
in English language development through reading, writing, listening, and
speaking tests. State law requires that all students who are identified for ELL
(English Language Learner) services through placement testing must take the
WELPA each year, regardless of whether or not they receive services. Annual WELPA scores
help determine services provided to students who qualify for ELL. Students who
score in the Transitional range are considered exited but qualify for two
additional years of progress monitoring and support in achieving grade-level
proficiency in core academic areas.
Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam
(DAPE): Available for
special-education students in grades 11 or 12 who were not successful on the
HSPE or EOC and whose IEP teams have determined that regular high-school exams
are not appropriate toward meeting state graduation requirements.