Definitions of Common Assessment Terms
Academic Student Improvement Plan
This is a plan that will be developed for each student not performing at the proficient level on every portion of the criterion-referenced tests. The plan will contain a detailed description of supplemental and/or intervention and remedial instruction used in addressing the student's areas of deficiency. (See Director's Memo SI-00-055, December 21, 1999)
The Arkansas Consolidated School Improvement Planning (ACSIP) model is designed to insure academic improvement of all students. ACSIP documents are submitted electronically to the Arkansas Department of Education, annually, by each Arkansas public school. Approved school improvement plans focus on priority areas selected for gains within a particular length of time. Through the plan (ACSIP), a school organization will direct its efforts, resources, and human energy toward focused goals. School improvement plans include a consideration of curriculum and policy alignment, technology inclusion, Special Education, parental engagement, professional development, equity, and collaboration of stakeholders. Each plan must be based on scientific research.
This term refers to any test instrument or other student achievement evaluation method used to measure student learning and performance.
This is a term used to describe the standard for judging a performance. Teachers and students can use benchmarks to determine the quality of a student's work. Benchmarks can be used to tell what students should know by a particular stage of their schooling; for example, "by the end of the sixth grade, a student should be able to locate major cities and other geographical features on each of the continents."
Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT)
These documents outline the broad goals and standards of an entire system of education, while giving the local school district the freedom to develop a specific program to address the frameworks.
This type of study refers to the examination of data over a substantial amount of time to determine patterns and trends.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NAEP is also known as The Nation's Report Card. It is a federally funded program that provides information about the achievement of U. S. students nationally and state-by-state. NAEP tests a representative sample of students in Grades 4, 8 and 12 each year and reports the results to the public.
Norm-Referenced Test (NRT)
A performance assessment requires the students to use knowledge and skills to act directly in a way that reveals the student's level of accomplishment and expertise. This type of assessment differs from a conventional paper-and-pencil test in the same way that a driving test for one's license differs from the written test. In the former case, the test is meant to realistically simulate driving "performance" - to replicate some typical "tests" that arise in daily driving. In the latter case, the learner is tested for knowledge of driving facts and rules, not whether the student knows how to employ them in performing the act of driving.
This term is used to refer to the four levels of student achievement on the state’s criterion-referenced exams. The four levels are advanced, proficient (grade level), basic and below basic. A description of each level is as follows:
- Advanced: Advanced students demonstrate superior performance well beyond proficient grade-level performance. They can apply established reading, writing and mathematics skills to solve complex problems and complete demanding tasks on their own. They can make insightful connections between abstract and concrete ideas and provide well-supported explanations and arguments.
- Proficient: Proficient students demonstrate solid academic performance for the grade tested and are well prepared for the next level of schooling. They can use established reading, writing and mathematics skills and knowledge to solve problems and complete tasks on their own. Students can tie ideas together and explain the ways their ideas are connected.
- Basic: Basic students show substantial skills in reading, writing and mathematics; however, they only partially demonstrate the abilities to apply these skills.
- Below Basic: Below basic students fail to show sufficient mastering of skills in reading, writing and mathematics to attain the basic level.
A statement that tells what students are expected to know and be able to do within a content strand.
A general category of learning standards in a content area.