Portland Public Schools utilize a variety of assessment tools to evaluate student growth and achievement. A brief discription of each is provided below with links for additional information provided when applicable. Please see the K-12 Assessments document listed in the Related Documents for information on which assessments are used in each grade.
The AIMSweb® Curriculum Based Measures (CBM) are used to support best practice in Response to Intervention (RtI) through Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring. Data from these assessments are used to establish local skill acquisition norms for each of our student population sub-groups. These assessments are also used for program evaluation at the school and district levels.
Writing Prompts are used to assess student writing skills and to drive grade-level team discussions on writing instruction.
High Frequency Wordsassessment is used to determine the number of high-frequency words that students know. Automatic recognition of high frequency words is part of reading automaticity. As these words are instantly recognized, the short-term memory is freed to focus on comprehension rather than decoding.
North West Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAPs) are computerized adaptive tests that assess reading, language usage and mathematics. These assessments are used to gauge student growth year-to-year via a RIT score (an equal-interval scale). These assessments also help teachers identify strengths and weaknesses of students and adjust their instruction accordingly.
ACCESS for ELLs® (Assessing Comprehension and Communications in English State to State for English Language Learners) is an English language proficiency test administered annually in Maine to all English language learners (ELLs) in kindergarten through grade 12 who have been identified as being limited English proficient (federally referred to as limited English proficient [LEP] students). ACCESS for ELLs® meets the federal requirements of assessing ELLs’ proficiency levels in the domains of speaking, listening, comprehension, reading, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs® provides reliable, valid, and useful information on the proficiency levels and progress of ELLs in acquiring academic English. ACCESS for ELLs® English language proficiency standards are aligned to Maine’s Learning Results academic content standards.
The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) is used by Maine to meet No Child Left Behind Act requirements for testing reading and mathematics once each year from grade 3 through grade 8. It also includes a writing assessment administered at grades 5 and 8. NECAP assesses the learning of NECAP Grade Level Expectations (GLEs). NECAP is designed to assess learning from the prior year (teaching year) at the beginning of the next school year (testing year). Therefore, grades 2-7 reading and mathematics are assessed at the beginning of grades 3-8. Fourth and 7th grade writing is assessed at the beginning of grades 5 and 8. The NECAP testing window begins on October 1st or the first school day following October 1st each year and is approximately 3 weeks long. Assessment reports are released during the fourth week of the following January.
The College Board Pre-SAT (PSAT), administered to all students in Maine in their second year of high school, is intended to help prepare students for the SAT, while also serving as the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship (NMSQT) program. While scores from the assessment are not reported for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data, information gleaned from PSAT provides information about student learning, and informs teaching and instruction in reading, writing and math.
The College Board ACCUPLACER is a suite of computer-adaptive placement tests that quickly, accurately, and efficiently assess reading, writing, and math skills. The results of the assessment, in conjunction with a student's academic background, goals, and interests, are used by academic advisors and counselors to aid in course selection.
The Maine High School Assessment (MHSA) is a test taken by all Maine high school juniors (3rd year of high school). It incorporates the College Board SAT tests in critical reading, writing, and mathematics with a State developed science assessment. The SAT tests provide a fair reflection of students’ achievement of Maine’s rigorous Learning Results expectations and the science test is a continuation of the former MEA grade 11 science tests.