Assessment and Evaluation

ESU 18: Assessment and Evaluation Team...

  • emphasizes sharing knowledge and creating understanding.
  • participates as an integral part of the school improvement process.
  • provides information and services regarding testing and evaluation.
  • supports surveying within LPS.

Lincoln Public Schools uses a variety of assessments to improve student learning. Because assessments serve different purposes, multiple assessment types and formats are used. Assessments can provide information about student understanding, program effectiveness and staff resource needs.

LPS ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

Common Classroom Assessments

What is it: These assessments were developed to evaluate student proficiency toward district standards and objectives. They are generally written by classroom teachers in partnership with district specialists, and designed to provide consistency within the grade level, course, and school. These assessments are administered by classroom teachers when it best fits into their instruction.

Who takes it: Students at all grade levels and subjects take common classroom assessments. 

When are they taken: These assessments are typically taken by students at the end of a unit of instruction, course, or semester. Some common classroom assessments are administered in the middle of a unit or course and used for teachers to provide feedback to students about their progress.

What are the results used for:  Teachers may use results to plan and improve instruction, regroup students, and as part of the final course grade. Students may use the results to set goals for their own learning. Parents may use the results as an indicator of student learning. Schools and the district may use results to evaluate programs, design curriculum, and provide professional learning for teachers. 

  Measures of Academic Progress (MAP Growth)

 What is it:  An online computer-adaptive achievement test that compares student performance with a group of students who took the test nationwide. Students take the Reading and Math subtests.

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may use the MAP Growth results to compare individual student learning with that of other students across the nation. Teachers, schools, and the district use the results to compare the achievement of groups of students with similar groups across the nation and to plan curriculum and instruction. The state of Nebraska reports the results by school on their website for accountability purposes.  

Click icon above to go to a more complete assessment glossary. 

Assessment: Process of collecting information about student learning, understanding and performance. 

Formative: Process used by teachers and students during the learning so adjustments can be made to help students master the content. 

Summative: Assessments used to measure student growth after instruction, typically at the end of a project, unit, semester or course. 

Adaptive: Test that adapts to a student response; the difficulty of each question is based on how well the student answers the previous questions.   

Cognitive Abilities Test (CoGAT)

What is it:  An academic abilities test that contains Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal subtests. 

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students, parents, and teachers may use the results to gain insight into a student’s verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal strengths and weaknesses and get instructional suggestions. This assessment is one piece of information used for decisions about participation in the gifted and Special Education programs. 

  PreACT

What is it:  A national norm-referenced assessment of students’ achievement in English, math, reading, and science reasoning. The PreACT is identical to the ACT in terms of overall format, types of items, and scores. It is a practice opportunity for the ACT.

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may use the PreACT results to help students prepare for the ACT and to compare individual student learning with that of other students across the nation. They may also use results to inform decisions about high school classes and college and career pathways. Teachers, school, and the district use the results to plan curriculum and instruction and compare the achievement of groups of students with that of similar groups across the nation. The state reports the results by school on their website for accountability purposes. 

  ACT

What is it:  A norm-referenced achievement test that has been selected by the Nebraska Department of Education to measure state standards in English language arts, math, and science. 

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may choose to report the ACT results to colleges for use in college admission and scholarship decisions. They may also use the results to inform decisions about high school classes and college and career pathways. Counselors may use the results to advise students on college and scholarship opportunities. Schools and the district use the results to compare the achievement of groups of students with that of similar groups across the nation and to plan curriculum and instruction. The district also uses the results in the evaluation of some grants and to meet the state norm-referenced reporting requirement for high school. The state and federal government use the results for accountability.  

  NSCAS (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System) 

What is it:  Summative assessments developed by the state in core subject areas. The tests are designed to provide a picture of how students are progressing toward meeting academic standards. They provide an indication of whether students are “on grade level” based on state expectations. 

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may use the results as one indicator of whether students are meeting grade level expectations. Teachers, schools, and the district may use the results to monitor achievement for groups of students and to plan curriculum and instruction. The state and federal government use the results for accountability.  

  English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) 

What is it:  A state language proficiency assessment to measure progress toward and attainment of English proficiency. Students who take these assessments qualify for the English Language Learner program, but may or may not participate. 

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may use the results to evaluate students’ English proficiency. Results are also used as one important piece of information to make decisions about if individual students continue to need ELL services. Schools and the district may use results for groups of students to monitor achievement and to plan curriculum and instruction. The state and federal government use the results for accountability.  

  Reading Graduation Demonstration Exam (RGDE)

What is it:  A district-developed reading test designed to meet the reading graduation requirements. In addition to the exam, other options (including additional coursework) exist for students to meet the requirement. 

Who takes it: 

When are they taken:

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may use the results as an indicator of student proficiency on the graduation requirements. Teachers may use the results to support student learning and plan instruction. Schools and the district use the results to monitor achievement for groups of students and to plan curriculum and instruction. GDE results are not reported to the state or federal government.