Assessments in the MPSD

Assessment in the MPSD

In the MPSD, the term assessment refers to the wide variety of methods that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition of students from preschool through high school.  Below is a brief description of the assessments administered in the Manitowoc Public Schools, with guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

Required Statewide Assessments

ACCESS for ELLs

Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services.

ACCESS for ELLs is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a largeĀ­ scale assessment that is based on the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing ELs.

ACT Plus Writing

The ACT assesses students' academic readiness for college. The assessment tests five subject areas – English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing. The composite score is the whole number average of the subject area scores not including writing. The highest composite score is 36. Scores from the administration of the ACT Plus Writing can be used by students for a variety of purposes including college admission, scholarships, course placement, and NCAA eligibility.

DLM

The DLM assessment measures the academic progress of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the subject areas of ELA and Mathematics at grades 3-11, Science at grades 4 and 8-11, and in Social Studies at grades 4, 8, and 10.  This is an online assessment delivered either via the computer; however for some students, the teacher presents the items to them. Instruction for the students who participate in the DLM assessment is based upon the Wisconsin Essential Elements and aligns with the Wisconsin Academic Standards. 

Forward

The Forward Exam is designed to gauge how well students are doing in relation to the Wisconsin Academic Standards.  These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be college and career ready. The Forward Exam is administered online in the spring of each school year at:

  • grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics,
  • grades 4 and 8 in Science and,
  • grades 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies.

ACT Aspire

The ACT Aspire Early High School is an online summative assessment that measures what students have learned in the areas of: English, Reading, Math, Science, and Writing. It  is an online assessment. Scores predict how a student will perform on the ACT when they reach 11th grade. Students who need academic interventions or challenges can be identified earlier in their high school careers.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) 

The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) provides a comprehensive assessment of young children’s knowledge of the important literacy fundamentals that are predictive of future reading success. PALS consists of three instruments, PALS-PreK (for preschool students), PALS-K (for kindergartners), and PALS 1-3 (for students in Grades 1-3). PALS assessments are designed to identify students in need of additional reading instruction beyond that provided to typically developing readers. PALS also informs teachers’ instruction by providing them with explicit information about their students’ knowledge of literacy fundamentals. Mid-year assessment and PALS Quick Checks allow for ongoing student progress monitoring throughout the year.

Districtwide Assessments

STAR Math & Reading 

STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests designed to provide accurate, reliable, and valid data quickly to support decisions related to instruction.  These benchmark assessments should be utilized at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to establish baseline and measure progress towards standards/targets.

Assessing Mathematical Understanding (AMU) 

Assessing Mathematical Understanding is a set of mathematics assessments for kindergarten and first-grade students that provides both cumulative data about students’ progress over time and in-depth diagnostic information. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, it is intended as a tool to help teachers track student progress, identify particular difficulties, and generally inform instructional planning.

Fountas & Pinnell (F&P)

The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems is a resource used by teachers identify a student’s instructional and independent reading levels according to the F&P Text Gradient, A-Z and to document their progress through one-on-one formative and summative assessments. The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems provide teachers with precise tools and texts to observe and quantify specific reading behaviors, and then interpret and use that data to plan meaningful instruction.

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