How We Use Assessments
District 109 uses assessments to gather information about student learning that will inform instructional decisions. We give some assessments frequently to help us decide what comes next within lessons, when to reteach topics, or to diagnose problems. These assessments are called formative assessments; they are formal and informal processes teachers and students use to gather evidence to improving learning.
We give other assessments periodically, and use this information accumulated over time to determine how much learning has occurred. We use the results of these assessments when assigning progress report grades or identifying students for special services. Less frequent assessments, such as state-mandated standardized tests, are used to inform the community about the efficacy of school programs or to decide whether to continue or discontinue a particular program. These are examples of summative assessments, which provide evidence of student achievement for the purpose of making a judgement about student competence or program effectiveness.
The more information we have about individual student learning, the better we can adjust instruction to ensure that all students continue to achieve.
What Is It? Assessments that are created at the classroom or team level, and are the primary source of learning/grading measurements.
Why? Formative and summative assessments at the classroom level inform and measure day-to-day instruction and provide data for achievement reporting. Results of these assessments help teachers differentiate instruction based on student need.
MAP is a computerized achievement assessment that can measure academic learning in mathematics, reading, language arts, and science.One of the many positive features of MAP is that the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions to match the skill level of each student. This adjustment is based on the student's answers. As the test proceeds it is very likely that every student will take a different test. As a result, each student is tested within his or her current instructional level.MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. MAP test is developed by NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association). Our K-1 students take the MAP for Primary Grades test (MPG); 2nd through 8th grade students take the standard MAP test.
Commonly Used TermsRIT - Tests developed NWEA use a scale called RIT to measure student achievement and growth. It is an equal-interval scale, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages. This makes it possible to follow a student's educational growth from year to year.Student Score Range - The middle number is the RIT score your child received. The numbers on either side of the RIT score define the score range.District Average - The average RIT score for students in the school district in the same grade who were tested at the same term as your child.Norm Group Average - The average score of students who were in the same grade and tested in the same term as observed in the latest NWEA norming study.Lexile Range - The difficulty range of text that can be understood by the student 75% of the time.Student Growth - Presents the growth in RIT score your child made from the previous fall to the spring of this year in which growth is reported.
How are the Test Results used?Combined with other assessments and classroom work, MAP results will:
- Be used to tailor instruction to individual learning styles and abilities
- Place students in instructional groups that are appropriate for their skill levels
- Provide increased attention to the needs of individual students
- Help students and teachers work together to set goals for academic progress
Help Understanding PercentilesPercentile - The student scored as well as, or better than, the percent of students taking the test in his/her gradePercentile Range - Percentiles are used to compare one student's performance to that of the norm groupPercentile Rank - A normative statistic that indicates how well a student performed in comparison to the students in the norm group
Will the Results be Shared with Parents?Yes! Each time your child takes the MAP assessment you will receive a progress report. The reports not only provide your child's score but also compare your child's score with other students in the district as well as nationally. Results are also reported in a graph that shows your child's progress over time.
Frequently Asked Questions:When will my child be tested and how often?In District 109 the MAP assessments will be administered three times per year: in fall, winter and spring.How long will it take my child to complete a test?Although tests are not timed, it will usually take your child less than one hour to complete each test.What is different about the MAP test than other assessments given throughout the year?
Why did my child's percentile (or score) go down?
- Computer vs. paper-pencil
- Nationally normed
- Aligned to Common Core State Standards
- Provides detailed, immediate results to teachers; provides same results to parents
The NWEA Research group has identified common behaviors which explain why some students show negative growth scores. Negative growth most commonly appears on reports for two general reasons: either students took too little time to take the test or students were not engaged during the test. If a pattern of negative growth is demonstrated over multiple test cycles, in both standardized tests and classroom performance a more in depth analysis will occur. Parents will be informed and instructional planning would take place.
MAP tests are an important objective measure that provide a snapshot of a child’s learning in a point and time. Although we recognize a score may reflect negative growth in a single administration we know that ongoing classroom observations and daily performance is also an indicator of overall achievement.
What Is It? A state-mandated standardized test that measures readiness for college and careers.
Why? The PARCC assessment is Illinois’ state achievement test. It is crafted to give teachers, schools, students, and parents useful information on how we are preparing our students for their future in comparison to other schools in Illinois.
More About PARCC
For several years, school districts across Illinois, including ours, worked to align the curriculum with the Common Core State Standards. Along with the new standards came new assessments. While students in grades three through eight had typically taken the ISAT, in 2015, school districts in Illinois administered the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Assessment.
There are several states that are members of the PARCC consortium who work together to establish assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do we have to administer these assessments?
A: Federal law, including the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) require that states administer an assessment to all eligible students in grades three through eight. Illinois chose to administer the PARCC Assessment since it is aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core.
Q: What is a good score? Should we expect to see whether our students met or exceeded the State Standard?
A: Score reports show how students performed on each portion of the PARCC assessment as well as their overall score. The student test results enable all of us to know where students currently stand on their path to success in college and career.
- Students scoring a 4 or 5 have demonstrated that they have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework.
- Students receiving a 3 are approaching expectations, but may need additional assistance mastering content.
- Students receiving a 1 or 2 need more assistance in mastering the content and are in need of greater supports.
Q: What do the score reports look like?
A: Sample Score ReportsQ: How will student scores be used?
A: Scores are used in conjunction with our local assessments (MAP and District Common Assessments in ELA, Math and Writing) to identify subjects a child is doing well and how they can be challenged to go deeper into other areas or where he or she needs extra support or practice. Having accurate data is an important part of ensuring that our schools are providing the right supports for students to be successful.Q: Where can I find more information about PARCC?
Learning & Assessment Services
The Deerfield Schools District believes in the practice of differentiation for all students. Differentiation is an instructional philosophy and practice that includes modifying product, process, content, and learning environment based upon student interest, student readiness, and individual student profiles. Some examples of classroom differentiation may include:
- Choice Menus
- Independent Study
- Learning Contracts
- Tiered Assignments/Products
- Guided Reading Groups
- Flexible Grouping
- Literature Circles
- Questioning Techniques
- Socratic Seminars
If you have questions, please contact:
Director for Learning and Assessment Services
(847) 945-1844 x7207
The following resources will help you understand standards-based grading in District 109:
District Academic Events: Speech Tournament & Young Authors
District 109 students have the opportunity to participate in fun learning events throughout the year, including:
- Park Johnson Memorial Speech Tournament: The annual Park Johnson Memorial Speech Tournament is held each year in February. Students in grades 3-5 can sign up to participate. Information is sent out to students and families in January.
- Young Authors: The Young Authors’ Conference, held each year in May at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, is an event sponsored by the Illinois Language and Literacy Council, in conjunction with the Illinois Reading Council. Designed as a celebration to honor exceptional writing by students in grades K through 8, the conference provides an opportunity for these young writers to meet published authors and to hear how the authors themselves create the characters and stories that have become their books. The Illinois Reading Council’s website has details about the statewide conference, which District 109 winners will attend, and the documents section of this page includes a folder with Young Authors documents.
Check back for detailed information here about curriculum and other teaching and learning topics.