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Assessing student achievement

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Assessment refers to the continuing process setting appropriate outcomes for learning and determining how well student performance matches those outcomes.

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Smarter Balanced scale implemented by 2015 - Aligned Oregon's goals for students with the Smarter Balanced scale begins in the 2014-15 year with final adoption by the State Board of Education expected in summer 2015.

ODE Communications reported, that in the spring (mid-March to early June) of 2014, Smarter Balanced will conduct the Field Test of its innovative next-generation assessments. (ODE Communications email to Superintendents -- October 2, 2013)

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Goals of Oregon's assessment system from the Oregon Department of Education are to:

  • Provide information on individual student achievement on performance standards set by the State Board of Education at grade and benchmark levels;
  • Provide information for federal ESEA requirements and for policy decisions by the legislature, the governor, the State Board of Education and local school districts;
  • Support instructional program improvement efforts;
  • Inform the public about student achievement in Oregon schools.

Oregon's assessment tools include:

Assessment and standards are intertwined - Standards are the goals set for student learning outcomes while assessments document a student's actual abilities, knowledge and skills. As education standards change, assessment tools and strategies must also change. As Oregon adopts the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for math and English language arts (ELA), it is also transitioning to the Smarter Balanced Assessment aligned with those standards.

Summative and formative assessments provide important feedback for understanding student progress and helping students learn.

  • Summative assessments measure student learning at a specific point in time to determine if learning goals have been met. It is generally used to provide external accountability.
  • Formative assessments are procedures used to modify teaching activities to help students learn.

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The following resources provide more detailed information on educational assessment:

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Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS)

Oregon's report card

Smarter Balanced Assessment