From coast to coast, states have assessments that students must perform to. Whether it be the state reading and math exams in New York, MCAS in Massachusetts, the Georgia State Assessments, FCAT in Florida, CST in California, or the OAKS in Oregon. At Gateway to 21, we view state assessments as autopsy style assessments. That is, they constitute one shot, a hit or miss event, either the student performs well or they do not. In short, it is an ending or a terminus. We believe assessments should guide instruction and help educators in creating learning experiences to develop deeper student understanding. We created a line of Interim Assessments that are rigorous, aligned to the Common Core Standards and in the form of many state testing programs as well as PARCC and Smarter Balanced Consortiums. Our Interim Assessments are designed to help educators make informed decisions and guide instruction.
Interim Assessments are a line of assessments that fall somewhere between formative assessments and summative assessments. They reflect the summative end of year assessments, but can be implemented every six to eight weeks as a check in to student performance on the standards. Targeted instruction can then be implemented to support or enrich students based on their performance. A full report regarding Interim Assessments can be obtained from achieve.org, “The Role of Interim Assessments in a Comprehensive Assessment System.”
Each Interim Assessment has a total of 30 questions consisting of multiple choice, short and extended response. The questions connect to fiction, including poetry, non-fiction as well as paired passages and are all aligned to the Common Core Standards. Each assessment has an answer key that identifies the correct response, Lexile level of the text, correlated Common Core Standard, cognitive domain level as identified by Bloom’s Taxonomy and a link to grading rubrics for the short and extended response questions. Our Interim Assessments are not the terminus, rather a beginning!