Assessments provide educators with the information they need to make essential instructional decisions. In the same way that a scientist may collect and analyze water samples to determine the quality of our streams and lakes, teachers and administrators use state tests, performance assessments, and other forms of assessments to measure how well students are learning and determine how best to support them moving forward.
A balanced assessment system employs a variety of measures and types of assessments to provide the most useful information to students, parents, teachers, administrators, legislators, and the public.
- Formative assessment provides immediate usable feedback on student learning.
- Interim (or benchmark) assessments serve as “checkpoints” for longer-term student progress.
- Summative assessments allow a look back at the entirety of the instructional period. They provide valuable information for planning the next instructional year and beyond.
Oregon's Statewide Assessment System (OSAS) currently includes summative assessments administered annually by subject matter and grade. Pursuant to federal and state accountability requirements, Oregon public schools test students in English language arts and math in grades 3 through 8 & 11 and science in grades 5, 8, & 11. Additional required assessments include an English language proficiency assessment for English learners (ELs) and the Oregon Extended Assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities.