Benchmark Testing and Common Test Banks

The Initiative Purpose:

Best practice in Virginia is to use periodic benchmarking to monitor student progress to meeting the standard.  Benchmark tests allow for teachers to intervene quickly when students are not mastering the learning. Well-constructed benchmark tests can also be a predictor of success on the SOL test, as well as serving as a guide for instructional planning.

The Initiative Description:

The centralized creation of test banks will provide teachers with high quality, SOL aligned questions from which to pull, enabling teachers to create their own frequent assessments that more accurately predict student success on SOL tests.

In addition, all schools will be asked to administer a central office developed mid-year benchmark test and a second central office developed benchmark test sometime between the third marking period and two weeks before administration of the spring SOL and HATS test.

These centrally developed assessments will allow for distribution of resources to schools needing extra support to ensure student learning.