Clune, W. H., & White, P. A. (2008). Policy effectiveness of interim assessments in Providence public schools (WCER Working Paper No. 2008-10). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Clune and White evaluate the effectiveness of a system of interim assessment implemented at every grade level in the Providence Public School District (PPSD). Researchers interviewed district officials about the intended purpose of the interim assessments and teachers about their use of assessment results to inform practice. Clune and White found that district officials report 3 primary goals including: 1) better alignment of curriculum, grade-level expectations, and assessment; 2) practice taking standardized tests; and 3) data for teachers to use to better meet the instructional needs of students. The researchers also found that teachers aligned instruction with assessments, felt students were better prepared for the test, and modified instruction based on interim assessment performance. Clune and White, however, maintain that it is unclear how much instruction and achievement actually improved from using interim assessments and question the benefit of these assessments relative to the high cost (e.g., time, money). They conclude with key questions to ask when considering interim assessments.
Action for Learning, Balanced Assessment System, Benchmark Assessment, Expectations for Data Use