Current Assessments

Formative Assessments

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve teaching and learning.


  • Homework
  • Draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • Submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
  • Turn in a research proposal for early feedback

Summative Assessments

A summative assessment differs from a formative assessment in that it is designedto evaluate learning that has taken place. Teachers frequently meet as grade level or department groups to create these assessments specific to content area units. These common assessments are a best practice to ensure that the content of instruction in Mrs. Jones’ room is the same as that of the instruction in Mr. Smith’s room.

Types of Common Assessments:

  • Quizzes
  • Unit tests
  • Grade Level Projects

Standardized Assesments

Standardized testing provides the district with a snapshot of student performance at a certain point in time, compared to state or national groups.

Types of Standardized Assessments used in DCRSD:

  • MCAS (Gr. 3,4,5,6,7,8,10)

Benchmark Assessments

Benchmark assessments are a type of standardized assessment that are completed at regular intervals. In our district, this occurs three times per year. The purpose of these assessments is to monitor student progress, using the same instrument, so that instruction can be tailored to remediation or challenge work.

Types of Common Assessments used in DCRSD

GOLD- Is an assessment used in Kindergarten to assess the following developmental domains (1) Social-Emotional, (2) Physical, (3) Language, (4) Cognition, (5) Literacy, (6) Mathematics, (7) Science and Technology, (8) Social Studies, (9) The Arts, and (10) English Language Acquisition.

DIBELS NEXT Is a reading assessment used to identify students who may be at risk for reading difficulties. It includes several sub-tests such as first sound fluency, letter naming fluency, phoneme segmentations, nonsense word fluency & oral reading fluency, depending on the child’s grade level.

STAR Reading & Math- are computer based, multiple choice assessments that provide diagnostic information for teachers to target areas of strength & weakness in student performance.

MFAS- Is a timed assessment for student math facts fluency. Students are tested in basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Each grade level has benchmark targets that promote high academic standards.

MCAS is designed to meet the requirements of the Education Reform Law, requiring 1) testing of all public school students in Massachusetts 2) measured performance based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework learning standards 3) reporting on the performance of individual students, schools, and districts. Students must pass the grade 10 English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and one of the four high school Science and Technology Engineering tests as one condition of eligibility for a high school diploma.

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