Interim Assessments in Brief

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the importance of balanced assessment systems, the need for interim measures to monitor the progress of low performing schools, and the value of testing audits to improve system efficiency and effectiveness. ESSA also offers states the flexibility to “use a series of statewide interim assessments during the course of the academic year that result in a single summative assessment score” in place of a single annual test. Interim assessments thus have a strong potential role to play in ESSA planning.

Built on the CSAI collection on interim assessments, this brief considers six questions related to their use.

  1. What are interim assessments?
  2. What is their purpose? Whom do they serve?
  3. What does research say about the effectiveness of interim assessments?
  4. How does a district or school decide whether to use interim assessments?
  5. What criteria are important in selecting or developing interim assessments?
  6. What supports should be in place to promote the effective use of interim assessments for improvement?