Current benchmark basics:
Right now the system consists of three benchmark assessments designed around specific paced standards and periods and then the blueprint assessment that consists of all standards in the same weight as the state test, given about 4 weeks prior to state testing. As districts pace the CCSS, we are also developing 'Illuminate Formatives', which are mini assessments that address 2 or 3 Common Core Standards that tend to always be paced together. They have 7-12 items and are designed to be short quizzes that teachers can use in their classrooms (recommended on a weekly basis). KDS is also developing Performance Tasks that we recommend teachers work into their instruction on a periodic basis, in place of the Illuminate Formatives - so 3 weeks of short Formatives and the fourth week is a Performance Task.
How are the bands set for the benchmarks?
It is a similar method to what Tom Barrett set up, but just a little more precise. It is a correlation between the current benchmark and three previous years of CST. Because the INSPECT items are tightly aligned to the CST questions, the percents correct for each proficiency band is very close to those on the state tests - not exact but very close. That is, advanced is typically in the mid-to-low 80s, proficient in the mid-to-low 60s, Basic around half, etc. There are some exceptions depending on the difficulty of the standards on a specific benchmark but that is the general trend.
The proficiency band calculations and concept apply to any standards aligned assessments - not just those that originated in LEUSD.
The main things to understand with the cut scores are:
1. In most cases, the cut scores will not be on the "old-school" 90-80-70, etc. scoring.
2. The cut scores will change from one assessment to the next and from grade level to grade level, based on the rigor and complexity of the standards addressed on the different assessments. To be accurate in determining student achievement levels, there should not be a static set of cut scores applied to all assessments throughout a school year and across grade levels.
3. #1 and #2 are especially true if students are receiving grades for the assessments. Using the 90-80-70 or a static set of cut scores can lead to a mismatch between student learning and achievement on standardized tests and grading marks received.
The Early Assessment Program is part of the STAR for 11th graders. The program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.