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Alignment of assessment tools with National Standards

In making overall teacher judgments in relation to the National Standards, teachers will gather evidence from a range of sources, including scores from formal assessment tools. To assist teachers in working with assessment tools in relation to the National Standards, the Ministry of Education is undertaking detailed work on existing records of student achievement to provide information on how scores for assessment tools align to the National Standard at that year level.

Summaries of the information are available by clicking on the relevant subject below. A full record of the statistical work undertaken for each assessment tool can be accessed from the bottom of each summary.

There will be an ongoing update of this section as further results for assessment tools in mathematics, reading, and writing become available.

Alignment results for PAT, STAR, e-asTTle and Observation Survey are available.

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Alignment results for PAT and e-asTTle are available.

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For each of the assessment tools, a team of experts, including teachers and appropriate subject specialists, was presented with records of actual student performance. Each team member made independent judgments about how the scores from their marked scripts were related to the standards.

For each point on the total score scale for each assessment, this work provides the likelihood of a student with that score being judged as "well below", "below", "at" and "above" the relevant national standard in reading.

The fact that results are presented as likelihoods or probabilities illustrates the variability of judgments and the fact that no one assessment tool will be enough to make a definite judgment against a standard. They show the importance of pulling together multiple pieces of evidence to make an overall teacher judgment. The results presented here give teachers guidance in using the scores from formal assessment tools to help make that judgment.

Some key points to remember about the information:

  • It is based on expert judgments of existing data.
  • Results for more assessment tools are being processed and will be published as soon as possible.
  • Further results will be published next year based on more extensive data collection and analysis for a range of assessment tools.
  • The intention of the work is that schools can use these results without the need to carry out their own alignment of assessment tools with the National Standards.

One thing you may notice when you study these results is that often there is not a consistent relationship between a test’s norms (for example, stanines, average scale scores for a year level, etc.) and the most likely the National Standard reporting category. This is not a cause for concern. Test norms are based on what the average student of a given age can do; the standard relates to what all students should be able to do, if they are on track for a successful educational outcome. In some areas of learning, the two coincide – the average-performing student (that is, stanine 5) is at the required level. In other areas, there may be a general shortfall – only high-performing students (for example, stanine 7+) are likely to reach the standard, with others needing to improve their achievement in order to do so. This is an important feature of the National Standards, and one of the ways in which they are intended to drive improved learning for all students.

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PDF icon. A methodology for aligning assessment tools to National Standards using expert judgements informed by student performance (PDF 348 KB)

PDF icon. Making judgements against the National Standards in reading and writing – Possible sources of evidence (PDF 39 KB)