Purpose of Assessment and Grading
ISY has clearly articulated practices and beliefs for assessment and grading. Framing these beliefs, are defined purposes for assessment and grading:
- The purpose of assessment at ISY is to improve student learning and to inform teachers’ instructional practices.
- The purpose of grades is to communicate student achievement of standards and the ISY Expected Schoolwide Learner Results (ESLRs), including the IB aims and objectives and the IB Learner Profile, to students, parents, school administrators, other institutions and employers.
Assessment and Practices
Classroom assessments at ISY are based on the knowledge, skills, and learning targets derived from the ISY adopted standards. Students are given formative assessments, or assessments for learning, which provide them with valuable feedback. For teachers, formative assessments provide information to help inform instructional decision-making as learning occurs. Students use feedback on formative assessments to improve and revise their work and learning. Summative assessments typically occur at the end of an instructional unit and provide evidence of student achievement for the purpose of making a judgment about student proficiency.
In a standards-based system, behaviors that support learning, such as work habits, effort, responsibility, and attitudes are judged separately so that academic grades are accurate and reflect how a student performs and achieves in relation to the knowledge, skills, and understandings set forward by the standards. Such nonacademic factors are of equal importance to the development, success, and achievement of students and their learning, thus, performance in these areas of student learning are assessed, tracked, and reported distinctly from academic achievement.
Follow the link, Assessment Guide, for more details about ISY’s assessment and grading practices.
External Schoolwide Assessments
ISY utilizes internal and external assessment data to assist in monitoring student learning, student progress and schoolwide programs. Longitudinal trends that mark areas of strength and areas to improve are identified to guide schoolwide action planning for ongoing, continuous improvement.
When using assessment results to evaluate student learning, ISY considers several reference or data points that, together, provide a complete profile of a student's skills, abilities, and knowledge.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth
What is the MAP Growth test?
The MAP Growth test is a computerized adaptive assessment that measures individual student growth and progress from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. It assesses students in the areas of math, reading, language, and science and is aligned to ISY adopted standards. Each student takes an assessment that targets his/her individual achievement level.
MAP Growth assessment results provide valuable information for teachers and parents. Teachers use testing data for instructional purposes: to identify individual student strengths and areas to improve; to identify specific areas of the curriculum that may need more emphasis; and to track student growth. Parents can also monitor their children’s growth from September to February, February to May, and from year to year in relation to achievement in math, reading, language, and/or science.
Who takes the MAP Growth assessment at ISY?
Grade 1: Students in these grades take the ‘MAP Growth for Primary Grades’ assessment that includes reading and math. Headphones and audio accompany the test, and the testing format is visual and interactive.
Grades 2 - 3: Grades 2 and 3 students take the MAP Growth assessment in math, reading, and language.
Grades 4 - 9: Grades 4 through 9 students take the MAP assessments in math, reading, language, and science.
What information do parents receive about their children’s performance on the MAP Growth assessment?
Parents receive individual student MAP Growth progress reports in September, February, and the end of May. These reports provide information about progress students make in each subject area from one test administration to the next, and they show how a student performs compared to ISY peers and to a 2015 normed sample group of students. The reports also provide specific subject area performance and Lexile reading levels.
What are students assessed on within each MAP Growth subject?
The table below shows a breakdown of the topics/content of each MAP Growth assessment subject.
MAP Growth Test Categories
Grades 1 – 5
Algebraic Thinking; Number and Operations; Fractions: Measurement and Data; and Geometry
Grades 6 - 9
Algebraic Thinking; Real and Complex Number Systems; Geometry; Statistics and Probability
Foundational Skills; Language and Writing; Literature and Information Texts; Vocabulary Use and Functions
Grades 1 - 9
Literature; Information Texts; and Vocabulary
Grades 2 – 9
Plan/Organize/Research (Writing); Understand Grammar and Usage; Punctuate and Spell Correctly
Grades 4 – 9
Physical Science; Earth and Space Science; Life Science
What is a RIT?
MAP Growth results are reported in RIT scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. It is also different from many tests that provide results based on a child’s score compared to others in his or her grade. Instead, the RIT score is an equal-interval scale that is independent of grade level. As a result, we can easily measure growth in learning. This type of score increases the value of the assessments as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for each child's learning.
How does the MAP measure growth over time?
NWEA provides growth projections for students, which represent the median amount of growth typically observed for students with the same starting RIT score, in the same grade, and in the same subject area. Parents should understand that individuals grow at different rates, and that anticipated growth rates based on norms should be viewed as “typical” growth, not “expected” growth. Sometimes RIT scores may decrease from one test to the next, which is not cause for immediate concern—students may have had a bad day or may have been tired which could affect performance. Decreases are most often seen in the September testing session after the summer holiday, which may reflect a break in learning.
What does Lexile mean?
The 150-point Lexile range is included on NWEA’s Individual Student Progress Report. The Lexile Framework for Reading is a scientific approach to reading and text measurement. There are two Lexile measures: the Lexile reader measure and the Lexile text measure. A Lexile reader measure represents a person’s reading level on the Lexile scale. A Lexile text measure represents a text’s difficulty level on the Lexile scale. When used together, they can help a reader choose a book or other reading material that is at an appropriate difficulty level. The Lexile reader measure can also be used to monitor a reader’s growth in reading over time.
A Lexile measures a text’s syntactic complexity—the number of words per sentence. We know that longer sentences are more complex and require more short-term memory to process. A Lexile also measures semantic difficulty—a measure of vocabulary. This measure looks at the frequency of words in a text compared to a body of over 400 million words.
It is very important for parents to keep in mind that Lexile does not evaluate genre, theme, content, or interest. Even though a student might be able to read at a certain Lexile, the content or theme of the text may not be appropriate for that particular student because of his or her age or developmental level. Also, a student may be able to read more difficult text if it is an area of interest for that child since he or she may already be familiar with some of the vocabulary necessary to comprehend the text.
For more information about your child’s Lexile reading score indicated on your child’s MAP progress report, please see the following website: www.lexile.com/using-lexile/lexile-at-home/. To view typical reader measures by grade based on normative data, you may wish to visit the following: www.lexile.com/about-lexile/grade-equivalent/grade-equivalent-chart/. A list of books and their Lexile measures can be found at www.lexile.com/findabook and a link to a Lexile Level Guide is below.
How can I learn more about the MAP test?
ACTFL Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL)
During two class sessions in March and April, students in grades 5 through 10 participate in the AAPPL, a language assessment that aims to monitor the progress of students’ learning in French and Mandarin as well as the progress of the world languages program.
AAPPL stands for the “ACTFL Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency in Languages” and is a web-based test that assesses language performance within four modes of communication: interpretive reading, interpretive listening, presentational writing, and interpersonal listening and speaking. The results of this assessment inform students and educators about learning progress and program effectiveness. AAPPL assessment items are based on real-world, every-day situations and incorporate the use of video in the interpersonal listening and speaking portion of the assessment to simulate an authentic interactive speaking environment. The AAPPL measures a student’s language ability according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, which are aligned to the ISY’s language standards (ACTFL Can-Do Statements). Assessment results indicate the level of performance achieved for each section of the test (interpretive reading, interpretive listening, presentational writing, and interpersonal listening and speaking).
Parents receive their children’s AAPPL assessment reports in May.
For more information about the AAPPL language assessment, follow this link.
To see a sample AAPPL student report, click here.
All Grade 10 students participate in the Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) to help prepare for the SAT and to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Students are assessed on reading, writing and language, and mathematics skills. All questions are in the multiple-choice format.
The reading test measures the following skills:
- Citing evidence to support a conclusion
- Identifying how authors use evidence to support their claims
- Using context clues to determine meanings of words
- Determining how an author’s word choice affects the meaning, style, or tone of a text
- Analyzing history, social studies, and science texts (to examine claims, interpret data, and make inferences)
The writing and language test measures the following skills:
- Supporting arguments with relevant information and ideas
- Developing a claim for an argument
- Revising text for improved word choice, sentence fluency, organization, and optimal impact and expression of ideas
- Using knowledge of English language conventions to edit text for correct punctuation, subject-verb agreement, parallelism, comma usage, sentence structure, and correct verb tense
The mathematics test measures the following areas and skills in math:
- Mastery of linear equations and systems
- Problem solving and data analysis
- Procedural flexibility and accuracy
For more information about the PSAT, click here.
FitnessGram is a non-competitive health-related fitness assessment based on fitness standards that aims to improve overall health and fitness in students.
FitnessGram is administered through a series of age-appropriate assessments. Upon completion of these assessments, students, parents, and teachers are provided with a comprehensive report that shows which areas of fitness are healthy and which need improvement in order to maintain or improve health and fitness. The report provides an overview of students’ levels of fitness according to the following areas:
- Aerobic Capacity
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
For more information about FitnessGram, please follow this link.