LAUSD Periodic Assessments: Science
Grade Level(s): 4 – 5, 8 – 12
Measures Growth: Yes
The LAUSD Periodic Assessments are designed to measure student progress at intervals throughout the year, and are aligned to the California Standards Test. Periodic Assessments in science are administered in grades 4, 5 and 8, and in Biology and Chemistry.
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Aligned to My Instruction
Pros: Aligned to the standards I teach • Takes students a reasonable amount of time to complete
Cons: Misses growth of some students, such as those far below and/or far above grade level
Usefulness for Improving My Practice
Pros: Easy to administer • Results returned quickly • Data is presented clearly • Data I receive helps me understand where I am teaching well and where I need to improve
Cons: Doesn't help me track my students' learning gains over time
The assessment is aligned with content standards but does not assess higher level thinking skills. Even the response question is geared towards student knowledge of the facts but does little to assess their ability to apply what they've learned to different situations. There are some laboratory skill based questions.
It has been helpful to give students similarly worded questions throughout the semester so that a greater range of students become comfortable with how the assessment is written. Because 7th grade science is a single semester course, there is no opportunity to use the data to re-teach, but data is useful in adjusting instruction for incoming 7th graders.
Submitted by Valerie in California on January 28, 2012