Formative Assessments

  • Building a Comprehensive Assessment System

    To help educators transform teaching and to ensure students are on track to succeed, every district needs a clear, coherent, and aligned system of high-quality assessments. A comprehensive assessment system has the fewest assessments possible, but still has multiple assessments, each with a clearly defined and understood purpose. Depending on the time of administration and intention of the teacher, assessments can serve different purposes.

    The primary emphasis should be on utilizing assessments in a formative manner. Formative assessment is assessment for student learning, rather than assessment of student learning. Assessments that are used for formative purposes are intended to help students and teachers make adjustments during the lesson cycle to increase student learning. Ultimately, assessments that are used formatively are "no stakes" assessments that are intended to facilitate continued learning and growth.

    BPS Interim Assessments

    Interim assessments are formative assessments that are standards-aligned, rigorous, and paced throughout a given grade level or course curriculum. An interim is a standardized, fixed-form assessment that measures what a student knows relative to a specific set of academic goals, and what concepts teachers should focus on to ensure grade-level performance. Interim assessment data provides insight as to how a student is progressing toward end-of-year mastery and guides the teacher's plan for instruction for an entire class as well as individual students. BPS interim assessments are intended as "no stakes" assessments that may be utilized to help students and teachers make adjustments during the lesson cycle.

    BPS has partnered with Measured Progress and BPS teachers to design our interim assessments. BPS interims are available in ELA and Math for grades 2–11 and in Science for grades 3–8 as well as HS Physics and HS Biology. Check out the case study published by Measured Progress on the BPS partnership here

    BPS interim assessments are administered using the Illuminate Education online platform for easy administration and immediate access to data reports. Teachers and students can access Illuminate through the Clever Digital Backpack.

    Reading Screen Assessments

    This school year the district is partnering with NWEA to offer the MAP Reading Fluency and MAP Reading Growth assessments for grades K2–12. The purpose of a reading screen assessment is to identify a student’s individual reading abilities—in oral reading and comprehension—to provide personalized support that meets each student’s unique needs. Both MAP Reading assessments are administered online, typically three times per year (Fall, Winter, and Spring). Assessments are computer adaptive, meaning the item difficulty adjusts based on the student’s responses in order to precisely measure individual abilities. Additional information about each assessment is listed below:

    MAP Fluency is a computer adaptive assessment that measures oral reading fluency, foundational literacy skills such as phonological awareness and word recognition, and basic reading comprehension. It is available for grades K–3. MAP Reading Fluency is administered in Fall, Winter, and Spring. Schools may also choose to administer monthly Fluency progress monitoring assessments for students receiving supplemental or intensive reading support.

    MAP Growth is a computer adaptive assessment that thoroughly measures reading comprehension. It assesses where a student is on a long-term trajectory of growth in reading achievement and provides learning statements on what a student is ready to learn next. It is available for grades K–12. MAP Reading Growth is administered in Fall, Winter, and Spring. Schools may also choose to administer MAP Growth Skills Checklist assessments to progress monitor foundational literacy skills aligned to the Reading Foundational standards.

    Early Childhood Assessments

    • Learning Accomplishment Profile Diagnostic (LAP-D)
    • Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)
    • Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT)
    • Work Sampling System

    For more information about the above assessments, please visit the BPS Early Childhood Education Assessment Site.