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 public schools test students in English language arts and math in grades 3 through 8 and 11, and in science on grades 5, 8, and 11.
Additional assessments include the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) for our English Language Learners (ELL) and the Extended Assessment for our students with special needs.
Oregon students take the Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts and math. In addition to state tests, schools administer local performance assessments to give students feedback on their learning and academic progress, as well as provide opportunities for students in select grades to take national assessments like the NAEP and PSAT.