Why do we need to build an effective assessment system and what are its core components?

Assessment is a process of evaluating student performance to determine what content and skills they mastered. It enables educators to make informed decisions about instructional practices and effective pedagogical approaches to maximize student achievement levels. Good assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process, and well-designed assessments can give valuable information to teachers and students
An assessment system is a group of policies (state or district mandated tests at various grade levels and in content areas), structures (schedule of assessments), practices (classroom assessments), and tools (tests, publisher developed, state standardized, district assessment and/or teacher constructed) for generating and using data on student learning. An assignment system supports a variety of district and building level information needs. Student assessment data informs learning and instruction, determines progress, measures achievement and provides partial accountability information. 
In our District there are currently the following multiple assessments: 


  • DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is an individually administered benchmark test that assesses student’s mastery of early literacy skills. The data that is provided allows for early identification of students who might be at risk. Additionally, it provides assessment information that helps teachers focus classroom instruction to improve reading outcomes for all students. 
  • DRA s (Diagnostic Reading Assessment) provides a method for assessing and documenting over time primary students’ development as readers. The individually administered assessment allows teachers to determine the independent reading level of students. This data is used to plan classroom instruction and to differentiate instruction when working with students in small groups. 
  • CDTs 
  • Quarterlies
  • Elementary District Writing Assessments           
  • Measures of Academic Progress
  • Quarterly Benchmarks
  • Final Exams
  • PSSAs
  • Keystone Exams
For the Assessment Schedule for All Schools, please click on Assessment Testing Schedule on left.