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Interim & Formative

CTB's interim and benchmark assessments give teachers the information and tools they need to improve student performance in time to make a difference.


Information and Tools Teachers Need to Improve Student Performance

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®, Writing Roadmap™, Yearly ProgressPro™, and Classroom Manager are interim and formative assessment solutions that 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

Our Products


CTB offers comprehensive Acuity Assessment solutions to support data-informed teaching. Learn more about the Acuity Tests from CTB. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

Writing Roadmap

Looking for an online writing assessment for K-12? Learn more about the Writing Roadmap Assessments from CTB/McGraw-Hill. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

  • Writing (Grades 3–12, college, and adult learning)
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The CTB Approach to Student Achievement: A Continuum of Solutions for Early to Adult Learners

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.

Writing Roadmap™, for example, is an effective online assessment system for developing writing skills. Yearly ProgressPro™ is an online Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) solution that offers highly individualized assessment support and progress monitoring. These and our other CTB assessment and instruction solutions can be used with Acuity to support a continuum of student achievement 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.

Monitor student writing performance in real time
Writing Roadmap can be coupled with Acuity to provide teachers with instant feedback on writing assignments, including automatic scoring, instructional guidance, and robust reporting. Innovative instructional tools provide students with continuous support throughout the writing process, so they can immediately improve their writing. Teachers spend less time grading and more time teaching.

Writing Roadmap is available for Grades 3–12 and includes easy-to-read reports and scores. Scoring rubrics measure the traits that are most accepted within state and national standards.

Progress monitoring for higher achievement
With Yearly ProgressPro, you can deliver a powerful progress monitoring tool for struggling learners. When used as a standalone product or with Acuity, you receive a complete Response to Intervention (RtI) solution based on 25 years of research in Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM), a methodology that has proven to improve student learning outcomes.

Results Our Customers Have Achieved With CTB's Interim & Benchmark Solutions


Murdock Elementary School, Lafayette, Indiana

"I think that as a school we're more focused on where we are and where we need to go. Students have become more aware of their progress and what they need to do to achieve their goals, which has helped to foster independence."
Customer: Janell Uerkwitz, Principal of Murdock Elementary

Jay School Corporation, Portland, Indiana

"I've been an educator for 30 years and Acuity is the best program I've seen. It can improve performance, accountability, and the culture of a school district. We firmly believe in data-driven instruction and, thanks to Acuity, we now live it."
Customer: Tim Long, Ed.D., Superintendent of Jay School Corporation

Firelands Local Schools, Oberlin Ohio

"Through the use of Acuity and its resources, not only has student achievement improved dramatically at Firelands Local Schools but the culture has greatly improved, too. The culture of our district has become that of striving for excellence and professional collaboration. It's been only two years but the growth we’ve seen is significant."
Customer: David Brand, District Curriculum Coordinator and Principal of South Amherst Middle School

Jefferson County Public Schools, Golden, Colorado

"Acuity has proven to be highly predictive of our state assessment. As a result, we no longer have to wait to get our state test results back to determine student strengths or areas of need, or to plan professional development."
Customer: Eric Everding, Executive Director of School and Student Success in Jeffco Public Schools' Division of Instruction

Robinson Intermediate School, Aurora, Missouri

"We like to say here at Robinson Intermediate, 'Without data, all you have is an opinion.' Acuity provides us with the data we need to make a difference in our school. It tells us what students know and what they need to know, so we don't waste time covering skills they already have. This translates into huge dividends in student achievement."
Customer: Dr. Shawn Page, Principal of Robinson Intermediate School, Aurora, Missouri

San Bruno Park School District, San Bruno, California

"Acuity is one of our most valued tools. It provides student-specific data to ensure that we do the right thing for each child. While we use a suite of measures to inform our instructional practices, Acuity has proven to be instrumental towards the development of worthwhile learning opportunities for every student."
Customer: Dr. David Hunt, Superintendent of the San Bruno Park School District

Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, Arizona

"Acuity allows teachers to spend more time focusing on their students."
Customer: Joe O'Reilly, Executive Director of Student Achievement Support

Warren County Middle School, Warrenton, Georgia

"Our goal is to increase the number of students who pass our state test each year. We've achieved that both years we've had Yearly ProgressPro."
Customer: Truett Abbott, Principal of Warren County Middle School, Warrenton, Georgia

Jennings County School Corporation, North Vernon, Indiana

"Acuity has made it easier to track students and see what's going on across a school or the entire school corporation. It is also beneficial in determining which students require more specialized assistance in their academics and in their preparation for the ISTEP+ assessments."
Customer: Donna Eaton, Principal of North Vernon Elementary

Bayless School District, St. Louis, Missouri

"When we saw CTB's Acuity online assessment system, it met our needs perfectly. The price was right and it did exactly what we wanted it to do."
Customer: Stephanie True, Literacy Coordinator

Park Hill School District, Kansas City, Missouri

"Overall, Acuity has helped Park Hill take the next step into the world of standards-based education. It has helped teachers move from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning."
Customer: Jeff Klein, Ph.D., Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment


Federal Funding For CTB Interim & Benchmark Solutions

IDEAIDEA was first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized in 2004 to ensure that children with disabilities are given access to an education that maximizes their unique abilities and provides them with the tools to be successful, productive members of our communities. IDEA governs how states and public educational agencies provide special education. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), makes formula grant funding available to State Education Agencies (SEAs), then to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), to provide financial assistance to a large group of children with diverse disabilities–more than 6.5 million students from birth to age 21.Download .pdf
ESEA Title VIThe Rural and Low-Income School program provides financial assistance to rural districts to assist them in meeting their state's definition of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).Download .pdf
Race to the Top (RTTT)The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law February 17, 2009, provided $4 billion for the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive grant program designed to encourage and reward states and school districts to create the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieve significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement; close achievement gaps; improve high school graduation rates; and ensure student preparation for success in college and careers. The U.S. Department of Education (ED), awarded grants in two phases in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.Download .pdf
ESEA Title IThis program, currently known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, Title I, Part A , provides financial assistance to LEAs and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of students from low- income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school. The U.S. Department of Education has proposed changing the name of Title I to College- and Career-Ready Students.Download .pdf
ESEA Title I School ImprovementThe School Improvement Grants (SIG) program is authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. SIG provides federal funding to improve student achievement in Title I schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. The funding enables those schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), under NCLB, and exit improvement status.Download .pdf


A Guide to Interim and Formative 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.

Download CTB/McGraw-Hill's eGuide to Interim & Formative Assessment »

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