Math Benchmark Assessments

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Matt Silverman

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
(847) 998-5006
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Raquel Kim

Director of EL & Bilingual Programs
(847) 657-2479
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Tracy Tuchow

Administrative Assistant
(847) 998-5007

What are the Math Benchmark Assessments?

Benchmark Assessments are locally customized, district-wide assessments designed to be given periodically throughout a school year to measure student mastery of standards targeted for instruction. Benchmark assessments within one subject area (such as Algebra) provide consistency in content and pacing between grade levels. Similarly, grade-level benchmark assessments provide consistency in content and pacing among classrooms and schools.  Advanced and Grade Level pathways contain the same standards in 4th and 5th grades; therefore, the benchmark assessment is the same regardless of the pathway in grades K-5.

Why do we need these assessments in addition to MAP and PARCC?

MAP testing provides both a growth level and national achievement level.  PARCC testing is government regulated and also not aligned directly with our District curriculum.  Since we created our own benchmarks, they directly align with District 34 curriculum and can be modified as needed.  The benchmarks will give us data to that directly aligns with the curriculum taught in our District.

How will the data be used?

Data from the benchmark assessments provides information about which content standards have been mastered and which require additional instruction, identifying students’ strengths and needs.  Benchmark tests also inform instruction in cases in which standards have not been mastered even though appropriate learning opportunities have been provided.  It will also identify if large numbers of students are making particular types of errors.  If large numbers of students, both high and low scoring alike, are missing items covering a particular skill, then the District may wish to explore whether that performance objective is receiving adequate coverage in the curriculum materials.

Teachers can use the results to:

  • Measure student achievement
  • Reflect on teaching practices
  • Inform classroom instruction
  • Provide targeted feedback on student learning

The District can use the results to:

  • Guide curricular planning and district decision-making
  • Inform decisions and/or modifications in curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Ensure consistency of student learning opportunities among schools and grade levels
  • Evaluate district programs
  • Measure student achievement
  • Identify areas for district-wide professional development
  • Identify progress for provisionally placed advanced and accelerated math students

Who will take the Math Benchmark Assessments?

All students in Kindergarten through 8th grade will take Math Benchmark Assessments.  Our roll-out plan will be as follows:

  • Grades 4-8: Pilot group
  • Grades 4-8: Full implementation

When are the Math Benchmark Assessments administration windows?

Teachers will administer common benchmark assessments to all students in the same course and grade level in the District at prescribed intervals near the end of each trimester.  The window may change slightly from year to year depending on the District Assessment Calendar.

How and when will students and parents know their scores?

Teachers can share results in class and allow students to review their errors.  However, students will not take the benchmark assessments home.  

Should students study for these tests?

While students should be informed as to when the test will be administered, they should not review material prior to administration of the benchmark assessments.  The benchmark assessments are intended to assess the level at which students have retained understanding of the standards throughout the trimester(s).