Elementary, Middle School, and High School
Assessment is a fundamental part of the learning cycle. The primary purpose of assessment is not to measure, but to further learning. Students are more likely to reach their full potential in an environment where there are frequent loops of assessment and informed instruction.
District Literacy Assessments
Running Records: Running Records assessments are administered to all kindergarten through 2nd grade students. Students not meeting the district standard will continue performing Running Records assessment. Running Records provide an assessment of text reading and are designed to be taken as a child reads orally from any text. The assessor is able to find an accuracy rate (number of words read correctly) as well as a comprehension score and a fluency rate as measured in “words correct per minute.” A deeper analysis of a Running Record also informs the assessor as to the strategies a reader is and is not using when interacting with text. This analysis provides valuable information for matching the reader to appropriate text.
Degrees of Reading Power (DRP): DRP are administered beginning in 5th grade, once a student has met or exceeded the Running Record standard. This standardized test that equates with national norms is given to all students 5th through 7th grade using forms with a progression of difficulty. Students take this test independently and answer numerous multiple-choice questions. The standard form of DRP assesses the ability to comprehend the surface meaning of increasingly more difficult textual material, while the advanced form assesses the ability to reason with – that is, analyze, evaluate, and extend the ideas that are presented with increasingly more difficult textual material. DRP assessments provide valuable information for matching the reader to appropriate text.
Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI): Scholastic Reading Inventory is a way to assess student reading levels and monitor reading progress. SRI identifies struggling readers in grades 4th – 12th. The SRI assists teachers in planning for instruction, and gauges the effectiveness of TCAPS’ curriculum. Currently, all students are administered the SRI assessment in the spring of 6th grade, prior to 7th grade enrollment. Identified students are enrolled in the READ 180 program the following fall and continue in the program until grade level reading scores are attained. In addition, all secondary schools and most of TCAPS’ elementary schools have READ 180 programs available to any student struggling with reading.
Michigan’s Alternative Assessment Program (MI-Access): The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all students with disabilities be assessed at the state level. In response to this legislation, the Michigan State Board of Education approved the Michigan Educational Assessment System (MEAS). It has three components, Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) or Michigan Merit Exam (MME), MI-Access, and English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). MI-Access is designed for students for whom the IEP Team has determined that the MEAP or MME assessments, even with assessment accommodations, are not appropriate.
English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA): The implementation of the ELPA is federally mandated as part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. It is an assessment to assist schools in determining proficiency of English Language Learners (ELLs). For qualifying students this assessment can be used in place of MEAP English Language Arts. These students take the MEAP mathematics and science or social studies assessments with the appropriate accommodations.