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"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
~ Winston Churchill

View 2023-24 Assessment Information (English)

View 2023-24 Assessment Information (Spanish)

Balanced Assessment System

Assessments play a critical role in student's learning and growth. Assessments not only measure student achievement and skill mastery, assessments also help students learn through feedback, support teachers in improving instruction, are used by administrators for allocating resources, and provide information for district leaders in evaluating the efficacy of education programs.

Assessment Types

  • Summative Assessments
    • Measures student proficiency toward grade-level standards at the end of instruction
    • Used to evaluate the efficacy of instructional programs
    • State required and State reported
    • Given once a year (Spring)
    • D65 Example: Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)
  • Universal Screener
    •  Identifies where students are in relation to their peers
    • Used to identify students' strengths and needs for intervention, support, or enrichment
    • Used to inform instruction and instructional grouping
    • Measures student growth and attainment
    • D65 Example: NWEA MAP Growth and MAP Fluency
  • Benchmark/Interim
    • Measures student skills, knowledge, and understanding of grade-level standards that have been taught in that period of time
    • Used to inform instruction by identifying what students have masteed andwhat needs to be reviewed
    • Is predictive of perfomance on summative assessments
    • Given at the end of each trimester
    • D65 Example: District Trimester Benchmarks
  • Formative Assessments
    • Assesses student performance during instruction
    • Used to inform instruction
    • Students can process and show their learning in different ways
    • Occurs regularly
    • D65 Example: Exit slips, performance tasks, projects, discussions, labs, quizzes, portfolios, presentations 

All of the different assessment types work together to prove a complete, valid, reliable, and fair picture of student proficiency.

RELIABLE: The stability of a test score.
Can a test be reliably replicated? If given the test again in similar conditions, would the student score be the same?

VALID: The interpretations and use of assessment.
Not all tests have the same purpose or measure the same things. An assessment meant to identify individual student strengths and needs would not be used to measure end-of-year performance.


For assessment-related questions, contact Donna Cross, Executive Director of Research, Accountability, and Data (RAD), at To reach a specific member of the Curriculum & Instruction Team, please visit our staff directory and search 'Curriculum & Instruction Department'.