By GreatSchools Staff
Although test results are only one measure of student achievement, they have become increasingly important in assessing student learning. In 2007-2008 South Dakota used the Dakota State Test of Educational Progress (Dakota STEP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. The Dakota STEP combines items from the Stanford 10 (SAT-10), a national norm-referenced test, and standards-based items that test South Dakota Content Standards.
Standards-based Dakota STEP results show the level of proficiency a student demonstrates in each of the subject areas tested. Students are rated at one of four performance levels: below basic, basic, proficient or advanced. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
The norm-referenced portion measures performance through a percentile based on the scores of all students of the same grade level in the nation. All students receive a percentile rank, which indicates how well they performed in comparison to peers in other states. If the number is 45, for example, students scored as well or better than 45% of students who took the test across the country. The national average for all schools is 50.
For each subject, the combined percentage of students scoring at or above the proficient level on the standards-based portions of the test are included on GreatSchools profiles.
South Dakota test results provide an indication of whether students are making progress toward mastery of state content standards. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools with poor test results are required to enact strategies to raise the achievement level of their students.
It is important to be aware of both your child's score on the assessments and the overall score for her school. If your child scores below the standards, contact the teacher to discuss getting additional assistance, and to find out how you can support your child's learning at home.
If the school's overall scores are low, ask what steps the school is taking to raise achievement levels for all students, and what you as a parent can do to help. If your child is in a failing school, ask what your options are for transferring and obtaining supplemental services.
Although test results can be an indicator of what's happening in the classroom, they don't tell you everything about the quality of a particular school. Always look at more than one measure when judging school performance and visit in person before making any final assessment.
Search for South Dakota Schools.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.