Formative assessment refers to the process by which teachers continually adapt their instruction to respond to their students’ academic progress; formative assessment does not necessarily include traditional tests or quizzes, nor is it necessarily graded. KAP provides Kansas educators instructional tools that they may use formatively throughout the school year to gauge their students’ understanding of various concepts and skills.
Interim assessments, by contrast, are traditional tests used periodically throughout the school year to measure students’ grasp of particular concepts and mastery of particular skills. Interim assessments may or may not be graded.
Summative assessments are traditional tests typically administered near the end of a school year. Though they are scored, summative assessments do not affect students’ grades; rather, they are designed to help judge the effectiveness of a curriculum and inform adjustments to future instruction. Additionally, summative assessments help ensure that schools meet federal and state accountability standards.
The content of all KAP tests and tools is derived from Kansas’ approved content standards for English language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies. KAP field tests its test questions to ensure appropriate fairness and difficulty.
In addition to participating in summative, formative, and interim assessments, English Language Learners in Kansas schools are given the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment 2 (KELPA2) to measure their progress in learning the English language.
KELPA2 is broken into several tests, which measure students’ abilities in reading, listening, speaking, and writing relative to their grade level. It is designed to facilitate academic advancement by allowing English Language Learners to continue learning other subjects as they learn English.
Career Pathways (cPass®)
Kansas also participates in the Career Pathways Assessment System. cPass blends academic and hands-on skill assessment to measure high school students' readiness for postsecondary education and entry into the workforce. For more information, visit careerpathways.us.
Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®)
Kansas students with the most significant cognitive disabilities do not participate in the Kansas Assessment Program. Instead, these students are tested using the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System. For more information, visit dynamiclearningmaps.org.
Enhanced Learning Maps (ELM)
A few selected Kansas teachers also participate in the Enhanced Learning Maps project, which recruits teachers to implement formative assessment materials in their classrooms and provide feedback to refine those materials. KAP’s formative assessment tools were developed as part of the ELM project. To learn more about this project, visit enhancedlearningmaps.org.