The DoDEA Assessment Program
The mission of DoDEA is "to educate, engage, and empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world." One of the best ways of monitoring student progress and helping our students succeed is through standardized tests.
The term, "standardized tests," means that these tests are always administered with the same directions and time limits, and are always scored the same way, to ensure fairness for all students.
The Purpose of System Assessments
System Assessments are designed to fairly measure student achievement in different academic subjects. This information is used:
- To help teachers determine the strengths and needs of students in order to work with them to improve their individual academic skills.
- To let parents know how their children scored in different academic subjects.
- To provide accountability for DoDEA schools.
The testing information is used to help determine how successful DoDEA schools are and includes norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests. Norm-referenced tests provide a comparison of the basic skills of DoDEA students with the achievements of students in non-DoDEA stateside schools. Criterion-referenced tests provide a measure of how well DoDEA students are performing on specific content area standards.
Selection and Use of System Assessments
It is DoDEA policy that all system assessments administered in DoDEA measure student performance so that inferences can be made about student achievement in basic skill areas as well as provide a source of information for decision-makers concerning programs and services.
System assessments used in DoDEA must satisfy rigorous technical standards. The assessments selected for use within DoDEA must:
- Positively affect instruction and student learning
- Be one of several criterion used for major decisions about student performance/achievement
- Align to clearly defined standards and objectives within the content domain tested
- Be valid and reliable, and
- Control for bias
The results of each system assessment identified to measure the achievement of students in DoDEA will be used as one component of an assessment system for major decisions concerning the student's future learning activities.
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reference (a), all DoDEA students in the grades identified for system assessments will be included in the program. Those students who have been identified as having disabilities or are Limited English Proficient will participate, using either the standard DoDEA assessments, with or without reasonable and appropriate accommodations, or through the use of the DoDEA Alternate Assessment. The Alternate Assessment is comprised of evidence of the student's achievement, including but not limited to student work products, interviews, photographs, videos, etc.
Home-schooled students, who are otherwise eligible to attend DoD schools on a tuition-free, space required basis, may participate in system assessments at the request of their DOD sponsor. Home-schooled students choosing to participate in the system assessments will be tested in a classroom with their age-peers at the time normally scheduled for that classroom's assessment. The DOD sponsor of each home-schooled student will receive individual score reports on the student's performance on the assessment. Scores earned by home-schooled students will not be reflected in the school's summary scores. Transportation costs associated with a home-schooled child participating in the system assessments, if any, will be the responsibility of the child's sponsor, not the local school.