Appendix C. Definition of Reporting Terms

Achievement Levels and Proficiency

Achievement levels are defined and described by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Defining these levels of achievement is a reporting feature that is federally required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Smarter Balanced has also developed a set of initial policy achievement-level descriptors (ALDs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment claims. The purpose of these descriptors is to specify, in content terms, the knowledge and skills that students display at the four levels of achievement for the Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs) (i.e., Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4). Table C.1 shows the interim assessment achievement levels and their corresponding achievement levels on the summative assessments.

Table C.1. Crosswalk of Achievement Levels—ICAs to the Summative Assessments

Interim Assessment Achievement LevelSummative Assessment Achievement Level
Level 1 Standard Not Met
Level 2 Standard Nearly Met
Level 3 Standard Met
Level 4 Standard Exceeded

Although the ALDs are intended to aid interpretation of achievement levels, they will be less precise than scale scores for describing student gains over time or changes in achievement gaps among groups because they do not reveal changes of student scores within the bands defined by the achievement levels. Furthermore, there is not a critical shift in student knowledge or understanding that occurs at a single cut-score point. Therefore, the achievement levels should be understood as representing approximations of levels at which students demonstrate mastery of a set of concepts and skills as well as the concepts and skills in the scale scores just above and below the score received. An achievement level should be understood as a general band of performance.

A student is considered proficient if test results place the score received in Levels 3 or 4. Therefore, the Level 3 cut score is somewhat analogous to a proficiency line.

Claims Reporting

Smarter Balanced has identified the following claims that support the overall subject (also known as “composite”) scores (refer to table C.2).

Table C.2. Claims List

MathematicsELA
  • Concepts and Procedures
  • Problem Solving, and Modeling and Data Analysis
  • Communicating Reasoning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Research and Inquiry

Reporting provides claim-level insights for individual students but claim-level aggregations are not supported.

Claim Calculation Details and Levels Determination

The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments Interpretive Guide provides detailed claim calculation and level information on pages 8 through 12.

Single Sign-On and Access to Student Data

  • All users must have Single Sign-On (SSO) logon credentials and must log on to view reports. There is no anonymous public user support (i.e., unregistered users, logged-off users).
  • Access to reports and PII are managed by the state to provide access to local educational agency (LEA) California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) coordinators. Access to CERS is managed by LEA CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators via TOMS (SSO) roles.
  • Educators may have access to student PII for their associated entities (schools and LEAs), which can be controlled within CERS at the school level. The educator’s LEA CAASPP or ELPAC coordinator is to provide this access.

Error Bands and Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)

  • SEM is accounted for in the reports by the error bands that are displayed in the Student Score Report and the List of Students in a Grade Report for overall scores. SEMs are also included on claim scores in the Student Assessment Results downloads.
  • The error band meaning is explained in the legend of each report that displays them.
  • Smarter Balanced tests provide the most precise scores possible within a reasonable time limit, but no test can be 100 percent accurate. The error band indicates the range of scores that students would very likely achieve if the students were to take the test multiple times. It is similar to the “margin of error” that newspapers report for public opinion surveys.

Interim Assessment Block (IAB) Reporting

The IABs focus on a smaller set of skills and are designed to provide targeted information for educators about student performance. Educators may use the IAB results to focus classroom instruction on certain areas where a student or group of students needs improvement. Results will be reported at the block level. Further details of the Block Level Descriptors are found in table C.3. The second time a student takes the same interim assessment, the results are sent in with the same name and date, but these results do not replace the original assessment report; previous results are not deleted. Previous results will persist to provide a comparison between the first test opportunity and the second and any subsequent opportunity.

Table C.3. Block Level Descriptors

IconDescriptor
Above standard icon. Icon indicating student achieved above standard. The assessment results indicate that the student understands and can apply subject-area knowledge to the standards measured in this test.
Near standard icon. Icon indicating student achieved near standard. The assessment results may be just above or just below the standard, but due to the error band, it is impossible to determine with a sufficient degree of confidence.
Below standard icon. Icon indicating student achieved below standard. The assessment results indicate that the student has not yet displayed sufficient evidence of understanding the standards measured by this test.

Interim Comprehensive Assessment (ICA) Reporting

The ICAs are intended for use as a benchmarking tool that measures similar content as the summative assessments. The ICAs contain overall scale scores, overall performance level designations, and claim-level information.

Refer to the descriptors of an ICA score in table C.4 (ELA) and table C.5 (mathematics) that follow.

Table C.4. ELA Reporting Achievement Level Descriptors

LevelHigh SchoolGrade Span 6–8Grade Span 3–5
Level 4 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates the knowledge and skills in English language arts/‌literacy (ELA) needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 3 The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after completing high school coursework. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 2 The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 1 The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in ELA needed for likely success in future coursework.

Table C.5. Mathematics Reporting Achievement Level Descriptors

LevelHigh SchoolGrade Span 6–8Grade Span 3–5
Level 4 The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has exceeded the achievement standard and demonstrates advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 3 The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after completing high school coursework. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has met the achievement standard and demonstrates progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 2 The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has nearly met the achievement standard and may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework.
Level 1 The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in entry-level credit-bearing college coursework after high school. The student has not met the achievement standard and needs substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills in mathematics needed for likely success in future coursework.

Assumptions

  • By default, only the most recent assessment results are shown for each student in the selected school, grade, and school year, and the [Most Recent] button is selected. Selecting the [Select Assessments] button or the [+] icon opens the Assessment Selection panel.
  • Selecting an assessment in the lower panel adds it to the list of selected assessments above and adds its results to the Student Results panel below. Selecting an already selected assessment de-selects it and removes its results.
  • Assessments are listed as “Grade XX Subject Type” (e.g., Grade 04 Math ICA).
  • The second time a student takes the same interim assessment, the results are recorded but do not replace the original assessment report. Previous results will persist to provide a comparison between the first test opportunity and any subsequent opportunity.
  • The Assessment Selection panel is not filtered and displays all assessments that have been loaded into CERS.
  • Any assessment given to at least one of the students appears on the Assessment Selection panel. Students with no results for that assessment do not appear when that assessment is selected.

Important Information about Interim Assessments

  • Interim assessments may be scored by local teachers. This scoring is not subject to the rigorous controls used in summative assessment, and local results may show some variations.
  • Interim assessment questions are not public. Exposure to and familiarity with test questions may affect student performance and the validity of interim results.

Security

CERS automatically logs users out after 30 minutes with no activity.

Scale Score

All reporting is based on scale scores. Overall scale scores and ICA claim scale scores are displayed on the Student Score Report and the List of Students in a Grade Report. The Scoring Integrator component also calculates any achievement levels, categories, claim levels, and error bands.

Section 508 Compliance

CERS is in compliance with accessibility requirements specified in Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, specifically the following subsections:

This system has been reviewed to ensure that information is equitably accessible.