Many Lenses Help Measure Student Growth

Student Growth Measured Through Many Lenses

There are six types of standardized assessments given throughout the year in District 28. The assessments provide helpful data to measure success and areas for improvement.

“It is important to us that our curriculum throughout every grade is aligned to state learning standards. This is data we use to determine that,” said Dr. Kris Raitzer, Assistant Superintendent.

Standardized assessments are common assessments across the district and state. Some are nationally normed as well.  The district uses the following state-required assessments:

  • PARCC,  a state-mandated test that assesses proficiency levels in English language arts and math of students in grades three through eight;
  • Illinois Science Assessment in Grade 5 and Grade 8
  • Kindergarten Individual Development Survey during the first 40 days of the school year, and
  • ACCESS, which assesses speaking, listening, reading and writing for English language learners; 

In addition, the district also uses:

  • Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a computer adaptive test which teachers use to monitor student progress in math in grades 3 through 8;
  • Fountas and Pinnell,  a one-on-one assessment in which teachers measure students’ literacy skills, strategies and comprehension in grades 1 - 5.

On the state’s PARCC assessments in English Language Arts and Math, overall student performance scores by grade are all more than 20 points higher than state averages. In English language arts, fourth grade has the highest percent of students meeting or exceeding standards at 71%. In math, 80% of third-graders met or exceeded standards.

The Illinois Science Assessment is given to fifth- and eighth-grade students. Scores have remained steady for the past three years, with the district average in fifth grade 21 points above the state average. The district average in eighth grade is 12 points above the state average. The state, however, does not provide a break down of the scores so they can be analyzed.

MAP average scores are also well above national norms. In math, 74% of third-grade students scored in the top 40% nationally, and 77% of eighth-grade students scored in the top 40% nationally.

While all of these assessments have some merit, the most effective assessments are those created by classroom teachers, measuring the learning of students today that teachers can act on to adjust instruction for tomorrow, said Superintendent Larry Hewitt.

View the full assessment report here.