A Framework for Considering Interim Assessments
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for evaluating mid-level assessments, which the authors call interim assessments, to help state and district leaders thoughtfully examine commercially available products or develop strong specifications. Additionally, the guidelines provided are intended for states or districts who want to develop their own interim assessments. The authors define and use the term “interim assessments” broadly to include assessments that can be called “benchmark,” “diagnostic,” “formative,” and/or “predictive,” but their primary focus is on how these assessments are used, so that the use of interim assessments is always contextualized within specific purposes. The paper includes discussions on how interim assessments fit into a comprehensive system and what unique purpose(s) the interim assessment serves.
The content of this resource is excellent. In particular, the authors differentiate between summative, interim, and formative assessment, and then produce an exceptional article on the topic of interim assessment. This is both a thoughtful and highly useful piece that can help school districts and schools make good decisions about the interim assessments they buy or develop, and most especially how they use the results. The article is written very well. Although some might find that it offers more details than they require, the content they need is here. The authors provide a fair, balanced discussion about how some interim assessment developers make extreme promises about both the quality and potential use of their assessments. Evidence of the article’s effectiveness should be very high, considering its high quality. Although written a number of years ago, it should be as useful now as it was when it was first published, especially as districts and schools implement new accountability systems.