State Assessments

All Illinois public school systems must administer state-developed assessments to measure the academic  progress of schools. The state of Illinois administers an annual assessment to students from Grades 3-11. The chart below provides guidance on the administration dates for all state assessments.

Students with cognitive challenges may be selected for administration of the alternate assessment known as DLM (Dynamic Learning Maps). This decision is based on factors and discussion of the IEP team.

Students who do not speak English as their native language may be eligible for administration of the ACCESS for ELLs (ACCESS for English Language Learners) during the time they are developing their skills in English.

Illinois State Assessments  2021-22

Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning (DIAL-4)

The DIAL-4 is administered to select preschool and Kindergarten students by presenting stimuli one at a time using a dial, manipulatives, and other materials. To provide comprehensive information, DIAL-4 provides scores for all five early childhood areas:

Motor area: Gross Motor items include catching, jumping, hopping, and skipping. Fine Motor items include building with blocks, cutting, copying shapes and letters, and writing, and a popular fingertouching task.

Language area: Items include answering simple personal questions (name, age, and sex), articulation, naming (expressive) or identifying (receptive) objects and actions, plus phonemic awareness tasks such as rhyming and "I Spy."

Concepts area: Items include pointing to named body parts, naming or identifying colors, rote counting, counting blocks, identifying concepts in a triad of pictures, and sorting shapes. Includes an item that assesses automatic naming of objects, a skill that is associated with potential learning disabilities.

Self-help development: Looks at the child's development of personal care skills related to dressing, eating, and grooming.

Social development: Looks at the child's development of social skills with other children and parents, including rule compliance, sharing, self-control, and empathy.

AIMSWEB Plus Benchmarking

Students in K-1 are administered the Early Literacy and Early Numeracy benchmark assessments three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) to determine basic skill levels in Reading and Mathematics. Students in grades 2-3 are administered universal screening measures in both Reading and Math to determine growth over the course of the year and to help guide classroom instruction.

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)/MAP Assessments

NWEA/MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments are administered online to students in grades 4-9 in the areas of Reading, Language Usage, and Mathematics. The assessments are given three times a year and provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. Because student engagement is essential to any testing experience, NWEA works with educators to create test items that interest children and help to capture detail about what they know and what they're ready to learn. It's information teachers can use in the classroom to help every child, every day.

MAP dynamically adapts to a student's responses - as they take the test.

Answer a question correctly and the test presents a more challenging item; miss a question, and MAP offers a simpler item.

In this way, the test narrows in on a student's learning level, engaging them with content that allows them to succeed.