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K-3 Formative Assessment

This Activity is designing a developmentally appropriate individualized formative assessment for K-3 children. The K-3 Assessment will provide teachers a more complete picture of the whole child (incorporating the five developmental domains) and provide data to inform daily instructional practices and help meet the needs of every child.

The purpose of the K-3 Formative Assessment is to inform instruction of students. Therefore, it is formative in nature and used in an ongoing manner by teachers and students to guide teaching and learning. It includes multiple sources of data, such as: observations, conversations, work samples, and tasks gathered by teachers, support staff, and families. The K-3 Formative Assessment is aligned with both North Carolina’s Early Learning and Development Standards and the Standard Course of Study. It has been constructed using principles of universal design so that it will be accessible to the greatest number of children possible. It broadens areas currently being assessed to incorporate the five domains of development: approaches to learning, cognitive development, emotional – social development, health and physical development, and language development and communication.

The K-3 Formative Assessment includes a kindergarten entry assessment that addresses the five domains of development and occurs within the first sixty days of enrollment. The data from this initial administration will generate a Child Profile that provides a more complete picture of the whole child and makes information available that will be used to inform teaching and learning. The Kindergarten Entry Assessment has been piloted and implementation is ongoing through a phased in process.

While data at entry into kindergarten will be entered into the state’s longitudinal data system, that data will be used to inform professional development rather than for accountability or to evaluate teachers or early learning programs. In fact, the K-3 Assessment will include safeguards to prevent misuse of information in decisions about individual children.

While the development of the K-3 Formative Assessment responds to legislation passed by North Carolina’s General Assembly and meets requirements of North Carolina’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, the ultimate goal is to support teachers’ efforts to improve the experiences and outcomes for young children. With the support of an Enhanced Assessment Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, North Carolina has joined nine other states and three nationally recognized research partners in a Consortium to enhance a state of the the art system for assessing young children's learning. North Carolina is the Consortium's lead state in the development of a K-3 Formative Assessment that includes a Kindergarten Entry Assessment. Read an overview of the work of the Consortium. More information about the K-3 Formative Assessment can be found here.

This Activity will be completed by December 2016.

RTT-ELC Reform Areas:

  • Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children
  • Measuring Outcomes and Progress
  • Invitational Priority: Sustaining Program Effects in the Elementary Grades