The New Kid on The Block- Interim Assessments

The Texas Education Agency has developed and released the Interim Assessments which were introduced during the 2018-2019 school year.  The Interim Assessment is a great option to replace current Benchmark tests in a district. According to TEA, they define the Interim Assessments as a “measure a student’s understanding of a broader span of student expectations to monitor progress, predict summative performance, and identify students for intervention”.  In the Interim Assessments, students will have two opportunities to take a short test and show growth. The test itself is available to any district for no cost. Students will have the opportunity in most tests to take the Assessment twice- and there lies the benefit. 

The Interim Assessment is a predictor for student success on the STAAR exam, but it dives deeper into the different questions and highlights the different strands or TEKEs that students are struggling with.  Using the data of a campus that used the Interims last year compared to their actual scores, the results were remarkably accurate. Another great indicator that can be seen by using the Interim Assessments is that it shows the growth of the students taking the assessment and highlights areas of focus that are needed. 

The amount of accommodations that can be given to students- truly benefits students. TEA summarizes those accommodations as follows, “The STAAR interim assessments include online content and language supports, the same pop-ups, rollovers, prereading text, and supplementary materials available on STAAR online tests. Text-to-speech and refreshable braille (for reading/language arts and social studies only) are also available”.

The following subjects are available in Interim Assessment

  • 3rd -8th grade Math
  • 3rd-8th grade Reading
  • 3rd-5th grade Spanish Math
  • 3rd-5th grade Spanish Reading
  • 5th grade Science
  • 8th grade Science
  • 8th grade Social Studies
  • Algebra I
  • English I
  • English II
  • Biology
  • US History

What are the benefits?

  • No cost
  • Very quick feedback (same day in some cases)
  • Similar questions to what students will experience in STAAR
  • Detailed reports
  • Accommodations
  • Time

The negatives?

  • Standardized assessment
  • That it is computer-based
  • Students want to “click” and not show their work
  • Availability of technology to complete assessments

TEA Frequently Asked Questions

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