Publications & Resources

How Middle School Mathematics Teachers Use Interim and Benchmark Assessment Data

Oct 2011

Lorrie A. Shepard, Kristen L. Davidson and Richard Bowman

In recent years, a large number of school districts have adopted interim or benchmark assessments to help inform instruction during the school year. In this study, researchers drew from interviews across seven school districts and analyzed: (1) teachers understandings of their school districts’ purposes for interim assessments; (2) professional development to support teachers effective use of assessment information; and (3) reported teacher use of the data to adjust instruction. The researchers found that although many teachers expressed an interest in using interim assessment results as intended, they often received minimal professional development and frequently had a different understanding regarding the intended use of the assessments than did district leaders. The researchers concluded that, in general, the interim assessment data did not provide teachers with insights about what to do next to help students other than to reteach.

Shepard, L., Davidson, K., & Bowman, R. (2011). How middle-school mathematics teachers use interim and benchmark assessment data (CRESST Report 807). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).