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: Several grade levels and courses use 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. 

  The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act

What is it:  In April of 2018 LB1081 was passed by Nebraska Legislature. This law requires kindergarten – third grade students to be tested three times a year to ensure high quality reading instruction and intervention. DIBELS is the assessment Lincoln Public Schools has chosen to give to K-2nd grade students. Grade three students take MAP Growth and NSCAS to meet this requirement. 

Go to the Nebraska Department of Education website to learn more information about the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act, or to see the policy. 

What are the results used for: DIBELS is used with other information about students to develop Individual Reading Improvement Plans under the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act.

  MAP Growth

What is it:  The MAP Growth tests are norm-referenced reading and math achievement tests used in LPS.

What are the results used for: MAP Growth is one of the pieces of evidence teachers and administrators use to plan instruction and monitor student growth. Parents and students can use the results to understand students’ achievement and growth. MAP Growth information is also used to help evaluate the effectiveness of instruction, curricular materials, and programs. Teachers also use these results for students in grades 3 to develop Individual Reading Improvement Plans under the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act.

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 Screener (CoGAT Screener)

What is it:  The CogAT screener is a nationally-normed measure of students’ learned reasoning abilities developed through in-school and out-of-school experiences. The test consists of verbal, quantitative (numbers), and non-verbal reasoning and problem solving items.

What are the results used for: CogAT Screener results are one of the pieces of evidence used to identify students for the gifted program.

  NSCAS Growth ACT/PreACT

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. 

What are the results used for:  Students and parents may choose to report the 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 Growth (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System) 

What is it:  Interim/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. 

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. 

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.