Assessing Student Progress

Assessing Student Progress

Teachers are continuously assessing student achievement to guide them in developing appropriate teaching strategies. Both formal and informal assessments are used to assess student achievement. Each assessment services a purpose and includes unique information about student progress. Beech Grove City Schools has selected assessment instruments that complement ISTEP+ and provide valuable information to help understand what is necessary for the student to be more successful. A review of ISTEP+, NWEA, ACUITY, mCLASS, Fountas Pinnell, and Accelerated Reader is presented to give an understanding of what each assessment contributes and the purposes they serve.

ISTEP+ (State Required Test)

During the spring, grades 3-8 students participate in the administration of the ISTEP+. It is considered a criterion-referenced test that was specifically designed to evaluate Indiana’s curriculum as defined by the English/Language Arts and Mathematics standards. In grades 5, 7, 9 science standards are also assessed. They measure material that Indiana students should have been taught and should have mastered by the end of each grade. Results are reported in scale scores with the labels of Pass+, Pass, and Did Not Pass. The percent of students in each category is further disaggregated by Special Education, Limited English Proficiency, Gender, Social Economic, and Ethnicity. Each standard is analyzed using the average Indiana Performance Index (IPI). Strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum can be evaluated by comparing the Corporation mean IPI to the Indiana IPI. The purpose of the ISTEP+ is to determine the mastery level of Indiana standards for students, schools, and corporations. It is used to compare Indiana schools and determine their status for No Child Left Behind and Public Law 221. Grade 9 Algebra students and grade 10 English students must pass the ECA, to receive a high school diploma without a waiver.

NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

The Northwest Evaluation Association and the Beech Grove City Schools have entered into a collaborative agreement to collect data designed to measure achievement level growth. A series of three computerized leveled tests are given two or three times a year in grades 1-3 for reading, language, and math. The test questions are selected to match the ISTEP+ and are grouped for each Indiana standard. The series of tests are nationally normed using over 1.05 million students from 323 school districts in 24 states. The district and teacher reports show two kinds of scores, percentile scores, and RIT scale scores. Percentile scores are used to compare students to other students across the nation of similar age and grade. The RIT scale score shows a student’s current achievement level and compares it to previous testing season allowing for measurement of their growth. Individual growth profiles are constructed to ensure that continuous academic progress is on target. Growth not only compares to national standards for each grade but within the various achievement ranges throughout the learning continuum. Growth data is calculated for the student, class, grade, and school to determine that the growth is adequate to pass the ISTEP+ and is comparable to other schools across the nation. The NWEA tests are given to make sure each student is progressing at their proper individual rate, give teachers information on strengths and weakness within the classroom, and examine the effectiveness of the curriculum for each Indiana standard. This is the only nationally normed tested given at these grade levels.


The purpose of the Acuity assessments is to provide diagnostic measures for grade 3-8 students in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Assessment reports provide standards-aligned performance data, which support an educator's ability to inform instruction at the student-, class-, school-, and corporation-level. There are four types of assessments available in the online Acuity assessment system including Predictive, Standard Diagnostic, Curriculum Map-Aligned, and Tailored Diagnostic.


The purpose of the mCLASS assessments is to provide diagnostic measures for K-2 students in literacy and numeracy. mCLASS: Reading 3D and mCLASS: Math help identify students' foundational skills and provide teachers with instructional suggestions based on student performance on benchmark assessments and regular progress monitoring.

Fountas Pinnell

A one-on-one, comprehensive assessment to determine instructional and independent reading levels and reliably place students at an appropriate level from A–N, based on the Fountas and Pinnell Text Level Gradient™

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is an assessment that primarily determines whether or not a child has read a book. The software provides additional information to students regarding reading rates, amount of reading, and other variables related to reading.