Publications & Resources

District Adoption and Implementation of Interim and Benchmark Assessments

Sep 2011

Kristen L. Davidson and Greta Frohbieter

In order to provide more frequent information about student progress during the year, many school districts have been implementing “interim” or “benchmark” assessment programs. To date, little research has examined the implementation of interim assessments or their effects on teaching and learning. This new CRESST report investigates purposes in adopting interim or benchmark assessments, ensuing implementation efforts, and actual assessment uses. The researchers found a number of substantial barriers to success including test questions that were predominantly multiple-choice, lack of professional development for teachers, and minimal coherence in shared understandings of assessment purposes and uses across district, school, and classroom levels. Based on the results, the researchers provide recommendations for a successful interim or benchmark assessment system.

Davidson, K. L. & Frohbieter, G. (2011). District adoption and implementation of interim and benchmark assessments (CRESST Report 806). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).