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Performance Series Review

Company: Scantron
Assessment: Yes
Instruction: No
Grades: K-8
Subject: Reading, Math, Language Arts, Science
Delivery: Online
Basic assessment takes 15-30 minutes. Benchmark focused. Tests do adapt to students to give them out-of-grade level items like DORA/DOMA. The focus on benchmarks, however, keeps these tests in the category of accountability rather than diagnostic. Company incorrectly advertises these assessments as diagnostic assessments. Doesn't tell you why students miss benchmarks other than saying they missed them therefore teach them those benchmarks. This fools the uninformed administrators who may not have a thorough understanding of the definition of diagnostic assessment and its advantages.
Performance Series and DORA Comparison Chart

  1. Richard Capone
    Reply 12/31/13
    Hello Stephanie: The confusion is in the definition of "diagnostic." Many education publishers today like to advertise their products as diagnostic when their products are often not diagnostic. This has totally confused the market. In their defenses, this is often their marketing departments making these claims. Case in point, many educators think the DIBELS assessment is diagnostic but when you talk to the actual developers at the University of Oregon they state that DIBELS is a screener. Likewise, with the performance series, it provides scaled scores in very general areas of mathematics and reading. Saying a student has a 45 in "Geometry" or 49 in "Measurement" doesn't inform the teacher very much other than to know that the student may be low or high in those areas. Furthermore, stating that a student has met or not met a state standard doesn't inform the teacher if the assessment has not identified the actual instructional point in the skill-based scope and sequence. In urban schools, often students are many years below so just knowing that they are missing their grade level benchmarks isn't enough to come up with a plan to remediate. At Let's Go Learn our assessments are designed based on a diagnostic model of reading and mathematics. We don't base our assessments on a standards model which would be very limiting. We "align" to standards but assess the "process" of mathematics and reading. Of course at then end of the day, if the Performance Series gives you the information you need on your students then perhaps it is diagnostic for you and your current implementation. Most of our customers are seeking a higher level of diagnosis to implement personalized learning. However, using screeners for better sorting of students into RtI tiers is also an effective first step and some benchmark tools will work for these kind of implementation. Our overview video explains how we are different in our true diagnostic approach:
  2. Stephanie
    Reply 12/17/13
    My district has Performance Series and Achievement Series. Achievement Series is a benchmark tool, as described above, but Performance series is a computer-adaptive test that does provide a full diagnostic (although the test length is 40-45 minutes long)

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