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Teaching and Learning - Testing/Assessment » Welcome to Testing and Assessment

Welcome to Testing and Assessment


DIBELS are individually administered measures of student skills in each of the key basic early literacy skills.
The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.
DIBELS are comprised of seven measures to function as indicators of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. DIBELS were designed for use in identifying children experiencing difficulty in the acquisition of basic early literacy skills in order to provide support early and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.


The ELPA21 assessment system measures a student’s proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, listening to, and understanding English. It comprises two assessments: the screener assessment and the summative assessment.

ELPA21’s screener assessment is used to identify students who may qualify as English language learners (ELLs). It is given either at the beginning of the school year or at the time a student arrives at a new school system. Students who qualify as ELLs as a result of the ELPA21 screener assessment are placed into their school’s ELL program and receive supplemental English learning support throughout the school year.

At the end of each school year, all designated ELLs are required to take the ELPA21 summative assessment. Results from that assessment are used to determine whether a student still qualifies as an English language learner or whether a student has achieved a sufficient level of proficiency in English so that he or she no longer needs support and can exit the school’s ELL program.


Creating a personal learning journey

We know that children learn better - and faster - when teachers have a clear picture of what each student knows and what they are ready to learn next. That's why our assessments react to each student's answers. In the testing world, this makes our tests "adaptive" or personalized to measure the needs of every student.
  • If your child answers a question correctly, the test follows up with a more challenging question.
  • If your child answers incorrectly, the test follows up with an easier question.
Adaptive tests make it possible for teachers to pinpoint what each child needs in order to learn best. At NWEA we help teachers understand your student's unique learning needs - because every student matters.

What is MAP Growth?

Map Growth is a computer adaptive test created by NWEA that kids take two to three times per school year. The results provide teachers with information to help them deliver appropriate content for each student and determine each student's academic growth over time.

What's great about MAP Growth Data?

See how your child's teachers are using MAP Growth data to personalize instruction and support your child's learning - right where they are.
Visit the NWEA blog for more information.

Smarter Balanced


A Complete Assessment System

With new state standards, students are working harder, thinking more critically, and applying their learning to the real world. To measure these new standards, educators from states using Smarter tests have worked together to develop new, high-quality tests in English and math for grades 3-8 and high school.

Better Information for Teachers and Parents

Teachers can check students' progress throughout the year, and end-of-year tests measure what students know and how much they've improved.

Customized to Each Student

Using computer adaptive technology, our tests are customized to every student. When a student answers correctly, the next question will be harder, and a wrong answer will lead to an easier question. This format lets students show what they know.

Accessible to All Students

All students, including students with disabilities and English language learners, can take the test. Extra features allow all students to demonstrate what they know.

Relevant for Life after High School

Students take the test online and must research, write, and solve problems. These questions measure the critical thinking skills students need for college and careers.
  • Endorsed by Higher Education More than 220 colleges and universities use Smarter Balanced test scores as evidence that students are prepared for entry-level, credit-bearing coursework.

Useful for Improving Teaching

Our system helps inform teachers' instruction by identifying where students need more support. Teachers also have access to a digital library of resources to help improve their instruction and meet students' individual needs.