Build your understanding of key assessment concepts.
CTB's interim and benchmark assessments give teachers the information and tools they need to improve student performance in time to make a difference.
Margaret Heritage, of UCLA / CRESST, states "the purpose of formative assessment is to provide feedback to teachers and students during the course of learning about the gap between students’ current and desired performance so that action can be taken to close the gap." Currently, there is a range of terms and definitions used in the field of educational assessment to describe these types of assessment and instructional learning solutions.
CTB uses the term InFormative Assessment™ to describe the convergence of interim or benchmark assessments providing information to educators to support a process of formative assessment in the classroom. Interim and benchmark assessments give teachers information and tools they need to improve student performance in time to make a difference. Interim and benchmark assessments provide formative tools to support student learning and achievement in the classroom, school, district, and state levels.
CTB's Acuity® is an interim and formative assessment solution that will help you transform teaching, learning, and instructional decision making throughout the year—unlike summative assessments that provide a retrospective view of student achievement.
With interim and benchmark assessments you can track student progress with ease, and understand individual student weaknesses and strengths before it is too late. Other interim and benchmark assessment advantages and features are:
• Predict performance on state exams with predictive assessments that mirror the structure and content of your state exam, so educators can adjust instructional goals and classroom instruction based on student results
• Generate detailed reports that deliver clear, actionable results and insights within minutes. Reports help you apply a data-informed approach to student achievement. Drill-downs allow you to conveniently analyze results, while reporting formats allow you to share information with colleagues, parents or guardians, and students
• Fine-tune instruction after a student's strengths and weaknesses are uncovered through assessment, you can provide targeted instruction to meet each student's needs
• Provide immediate feedback to students and teachers
• Customizable assessments using an innovative custom test builder that allows you to import items from external banks
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Subject areas and grades
CTB offers a complete portfolio of research-based solutions that help you improve student achievement. Each of our assessment solutions is designed to provide you with results and feedback that you need to support learning in your classrooms.
Interim/benchmark assessment for Grades 3–8: the Acuity model for student achievement
Acuity delivers valid, reliable information to help you chart a path to achievement for all students. The Acuity model begins with high-quality student assessment data, then delivers helpful reports to analyze student learning needs, and helps you close learning gaps with instructional resources aligned to student assessment results and state standards.
As all students progress in school from elementary through high school, they need instruction targeted to their individual needs. Acuity Predictive and Diagnostic Assessments give your teachers valuable information about how students are progressing today and how they will perform tomorrow.
Acuity can be used in conjunction with several other solutions to support a continuum of student achievement.
Promote early childhood success in reading and mathematics
First Performances™ helps teachers assess Pre-K through Grade 3 students, provide targeted instruction, and monitor student progress toward standards. Engaging and developmentally appropriate, this suite of observational assessments measures learning milestones in reading and mathematics.
First Performances helps ensure students are tracking toward grade-level success, so performance on Acuity assessments in later grades will indicate achievement.
Advance English language proficiency
In U.S. public schools, one in ten students receives English language services, and that number continues to grow.
CTB provides a comprehensive family of solutions to help you easily place and monitor English language learners (ELLs) throughout the year. When students are accurately placed into bilingual and ELL programs, they can immediately excel and enjoy the learning process.
Using LAS Links® you can accurately and quickly place students into the appropriate bilingual and ELL programs, where they can make progress right away. You can use Acuity assessments in conjunction with LAS Links. Acuity addresses student achievement relative to state standards while LAS Links addresses their linguistic needs. Used together, both provide a complete achievement profile of ELL students. Using Acuity customized assessments, you can further monitor progress relative to student instructional needs, and determine readiness for higher-level curriculum.
Using both LAS Links and Acuity will allow you to address the entire academic picture of your ELL students—achievement and language proficiency simultaneously.
Customer: Janell Uerkwitz, Principal of Murdock Elementary
Customer: Tim Long, Ed.D., Superintendent of Jay School Corporation
Customer: David Brand, District Curriculum Coordinator and Principal of South Amherst Middle School
Customer: Eric Everding, Executive Director of School and Student Success in Jeffco Public Schools' Division of Instruction
Customer: Dr. Shawn Page, Principal of Robinson Intermediate School, Aurora, Missouri
Customer: Dr. David Hunt, Superintendent of the San Bruno Park School District
Customer: Joe O'Reilly, Executive Director of Student Achievement Support
Customer: Truett Abbott, Principal of Warren County Middle School, Warrenton, Georgia
Customer: Donna Eaton, Principal of North Vernon Elementary
Customer: Stephanie True, Literacy Coordinator
Customer: Jeff Klein, Ph.D., Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment
CTB/McGraw-Hill is pleased to provide this eGuide to help you make informed and appropriate choices in assessment. It is meant to help you navigate the kinds of assessments available to you and your colleagues, and understand the important elements of high-quality assessment solutions.
Use this guide to help you select a new assessment solution or supplement materials in your existing assessment program, such as user guides, online help solutions, professional development, and technical specifications.