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Assessments

By Phillips, Sherry

Assessment Descriptions and Purpose

Advanced Placement (AP) Tests: 

These tests are developed by the College Board and cost approximately $86 per test.  Danbury High School pays the examination fee for all AP students taking the exam.  Only AP tests are administered for which a course is offered.  Teachers who teach AP courses attend specialized training.  Students who score a three (3) or better can usually receive college credit for the course.  Students should check with their counselor to see if the college or university they plan to attend will accept AP scores for college credit.  An annual report of AP testing is provided to each campus that participates.  

American College Test (ACT): 

This is one of two nationally accepted college admissions test.  Students should check with their counselor to make sure the college or university they plan on attending does accept this test for admissions.  Students must register for this test and pay a fee.  Danbury High School is not a testing site, so students must register to test at another site as listed in the ACT Registration materials.  Registration deadlines must be met and no refunds are available.  Individual and campus reports are provided and national, state, and regional comparisons are available.  Students’ annual performance on this test is figured in the supplemental indicator on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) and on the School Report Card. To receive acknowledgement fifty percent of the students taking a college admissions test must score at least 24.  Students’ scores on this test do not effect a campus’s rating. 

Credit by Exam (CBE):

Students enrolled in grades K – 12 with previous instruction in the course requested are eligible to gain credit by such examination if they received at least a full semester of instruction in that course and score at least 80% on the exam.  Written parent/guardian approval and school district representative recommendation are also required.  On approval of the Attendance Review Committee (ARC), a student who has excessive absences may be permitted to earn or regain course credit lost due to absenteeism.  Credit by Examination shall not be used to gain eligibility for participation in extracurricular activities but the grade does figure into grade point average (GPA).  Exams are ordered through Texas Tech University or The University of Texas. Further information is available through campus counselors.

Dyslexia Screening: 

The decision to complete a Dyslexia Screening is made by the Student Assistance Team and Dyslexia Interventionist when there are concerns about a student's progress in reading when they have not responded to other forms of classroom intervention.  The screening includes the following:*   

  • Phonological Awareness Test (PAT-2) *      
  • Slosson Oral Reading Test (SORT)*      
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Second Ed. (KTEA-II)*      
  • Gray Oral Reading Test, Fourth Ed.  (GORT-4) *      
  • Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (C-ToPP)

Results of the screening are shared with the Student Assistance Team.   

End of Course Exams: 

In 2007, Senate Bill 1031 was passed, which called for the development of “end-of-course assessment instruments for secondary-level courses in Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, English I, English II, English III, world geography, world history and United States history.” The purpose of the end-of-course (EOC) assessments is to measure students’ academic performance in core high school courses and to become part of the graduation requirements beginning with the freshman class of 2011–2012. 

In 2013, House Bill 5, changed the requirement for End of Course Exams, effective in the 2013-2014 school year.  The End of Course required assessment instruments for secondary-level courses are Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and US History.

In spring 2012, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).

The STAAR program includes annual assessments for

  • Reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
  • Writing at grades 4 and 7
  • Science at grades 5 and 8
  • Social studies at grade 8
  • End-of-course assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S history.

Beginning in 2016, TEA will voluntarily administer STAAR EOC assessments for English III and Algebra II.

Examination for Acceleration: 

Districts are required by state law to provide this testing.  Students enrolled in grades K-12 with no previous instruction in the courses requested are eligible.  A minimum score of 90% is required for passing.  Additionally, written parental approval and school district recommendation is required.  Costs associated with this testing are a district expense even though parents are required to make a refundable deposit prior to ordering the tests.  If a student fails to show up for the testing, the deposit is not refunded.  Any score for which credit is awarded will be recorded on the academic achievement record but no grade points will be awarded.  Examinations are secured through Texas Tech University or The University of Texas, which also provides study guides.  These guides can be obtained from Texas Tech University web site at http://www.dce.ttu.edu. or by phone 1-800-MY-COURSE (800-692-6877); study guides are also available at The University of Texas web site at http://www.utexas.edu/ce/k16/cbe-ea/study-guides/ for tests purchased from that agency .  If no credit is awarded, nothing will be recorded.  More information regarding this testing is available in the DISD Credit By Exam Handbook found in each counselor's office, at the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the DISD Central Office, or on the district web site.    

Field Testing: 

Texas Education Agency (TEA) student assessment division annually conducts field tests on required State assessments.  Districts and classes are randomly selected and participation is mandatory.  Scores for participating districts, schools, or students are not reported. 

Final Exams (for high school credit courses): 

Final exams are required for all high school credit courses.  Exams are usually developed by departments or individual teachers.  An exam exemption policy does exist for high school students.  Semester and final exams count as 20% of the semester average. 

FITNESSGRAM:  

FITNESSGRAM is a health-related fitness assessment tool for grades K-12. It uses criterion-referenced standards called the Healthy Fitness Zones which are based on age and gender and represent the basic levels for good health and fitness in children ages 5 - 17 years.  Students are tested in grades 3-12 using FITNESSGRAM. 

IDEA Proficiency Test (IPT): 

This diagnostic test is used for identification, placement, program design and program exit for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students.  The IDEA Proficiency Tests were designed to evaluate proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in English.  These tests are used in determining placement in limited English proficient programs. 

Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS): 

This assessment is a normed referenced achievement test that provides a comprehensive assessment of students progress in all basic educational skills.  The primary reason for using this assessment is to gather information to help improve instruction.  Danbury Elementary School administers this test to all students in grades one and two.  

Math and Science Placement Tests

These district developed tests are administered to determine student placement in accelerated courses in math and science in grades six, seven, and eight.    

National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP): 

This annual test sponsored by the federal Department of Education selects schools throughout the country for selected sample testing.  States first have to agree annually to participate in the NAEP testing.  The results are used to measure student performance in reading, math, science, and social studies.  The Department of Education annually publishes NAEP results in a report.  There are no district financial costs associated with this test.    

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT): 

This test is administered to all grade 10 students and the top ten grade 11 students at Danbury High School expense.  The test is developed by the College Board and is considered to be a practice test for the SAT.  National merit scholars in grade 11 are identified using the PSAT scores.  Individual student and campus reports are provided.    

 

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): 

This is one of two nationally accepted college admissions test and is published and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Students should check with their counselor to make sure the college or university they plan on attending accepts this test for admissions.  Students must register for this test and pay a fee.  Danbury High School is not a testing site, so students must register to test at another site as listed in the College Board SAT Registration materials.  Registration deadlines must be met and no refunds are available.  Individual and campus reports are provided and national, state, and regional comparisons are available.  Students’ annual performance on this test is figured in the supplemental indicator on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) and on the School Report Card.  To receive acknowledgement fifty percent of the students taking a college admissions test must score 1110.  Students’ scores on this test do not affect a campus rating.

Steps to Access Your Child's State Test Results

Student Technology Proficiency Evaluation: 

This district-developed assessment is administered at every grade level and is used to measure the district’s progress toward reaching DISD Goal #1 Objective 3: All DISD staff and students will demonstrate proficiency in the use of technology.  The annual assessment includes performance assessment measures (i.e. products produced utilizing technology).    

Teacher/Administrator Technology Proficiency Survey: 

This district-developed assessment is administered annually and is used to measure the district’s progress toward reaching DISD Goal #1 Objective 3: All DISD staff and students will demonstrate proficiency in the use of technology.  The assessment includes objective measures as well as performance measures (i.e. products produced utilizing technology).  All teachers and administrators will be expected to demonstrate mastery.  The district will provide training for employees who need it.  

These required state assessments at grades 3-11 for reading (3-9), English Language Arts (ELA)(10&11),Math(3-12),Writing(4 and 7), Science (5,10-11) and Social Studies(8,10-11) are administered annually.  TAKS is based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum.  Individual student and campus reports are available.  Students must pass all four grade 11 TAKS tests to graduate from a Texas High School.  Students who complete the course work but fail to pass one or more sections of the TAKS are not allowed to walk at graduation and do not receive a diploma.  Out-of-school students are able to register to retake any section of the TAKS at any high school in Texas until they are successful.  TAKS scores are reported on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) and are used to establish school ratings on the school report card.    

Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS):  

This system is used for every English Language Learner (ELL student) in Texas as a method to gauge their English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

Texas Middle School Fluency Assessment:  

This is an instrument designed to identify the instructional needs in reading for students in grade 6-8.  The assessment monitors growth in word reading efficiency and fluency for connected text.  Connected to the assessment is a progress monitoring system that measures growth in the ability to identify words and improvement in fluency that indicates overall reading proficiency. 

Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI):  

The TPRI is an early reading instrument designed to identify the reading and comprehension development of students in grades K-3.  Students are assessed 3 times per year.  Testing windows are determined at the state level.

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