Purpose of Assessments

The purpose of assessment is to gather relevant information about student performance or progress. Teachers can reflect on each student’s level of achievement, as well as on specific inclinations of the group, to customize their teaching plans.

Types of Assessments

Summative Assessments are state or district-wide standardized tests that measure grade-level proficiency, and end-of-year subject or course exams. An example of a summative assessment is MEA.

Formative assessment and summative assessment are two overlapping, complementary ways of assessing student progress in schools. While the common goal is to establish the development, strengths and weaknesses of each student, each assessment type provides different insights and actions for educators.

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Formative Assessments are planned classroom practice to elicit evidence of learning minute to minute, day by day in the classroom. They can inform teachers of what students know or do not know, help students understand what it is they are ready to learn next, so teachers can adjust their instruction accordingly for each of their students.

Interim/Benchmark Assessments are administered at different intervals throughout the year to evaluate student knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic goals. Results are used to inform instruction and decision making at the classroom, school and district level, and can be used to measure student growth over time. An example of a benchmark assessment is NWEA.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Signed into law December 2015 by President Obama the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorizes the fifty (50) year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 by replacing key requirements of the outdated No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Beginning in 2016, the U.S. Department of Education took the first steps to implement ESSA. ESSA, a federal education law, creates a long-term stable commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

The new ESSA law provides states additional flexibility and encourages states and schools to innovate and build upon past success while at the same time, being accountable for students. This increased flexibility gives states and school districts an opportunity to tailor strategies and interventions to meet the needs of students and schools.

Click here to learn more about ESSA at Lewiston Public Schools