District 90 uses a variety of measures to chart students' educational progress during their years with us. We use these tests to determine individual student achievement and instructional needs, curriculum and instruction effectiveness, and how school performance compares to District learning objectives and statewide norms.

Keep in mind that no single test can give a full accounting of a child's knowledge and skills. Each test that we use provides one part of the whole picture. Together, the tests may offer patterns and insights to a child's profile and aid our efforts in guiding progress. Click the link below to view the District 90 Assessment Presentation. The District's Assessment Schedule for 2016-17 is also below.

District 90 Assessment Presentation 

District 90 Assessment Schedule 2017-18






AIMSweb Plus

Fall, Winter, Spring


Reading & Math

(Measures of Academic Progress)



Reading & Math

CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)


3, 4, 5

Quantitative, Verbal, Nonverbal, Composite

(Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)


Performance Based Assessment





English Language Arts (including Writing) and Math

8th Grade STAR Assessments

First and second Saturdays in December at OPRF High School


English, Math, Reading

AIMSweb Plus

AIMSweb Plus is a web-based assessment, data-management, and reporting system that provides the framework for Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and multi-tiered instruction. Designed specifically to universally screen and progress monitor students, AIMSweb Plus uses brief, valid, and reliable measures of reading and math performance for grades K-8 that can be used with any curriculum. District 90 is using AIMSweb Plus three times a year to determine whether students meet benchmark goals, which represent minimum levels of performance for all students to reach in order to be considered on track. Specific students who demonstrate need will be progress monitored between the benchmark periods using an AIMSweb Plus progress-monitoring assessment to more closely determine progress and provide intervention as needed. For more information, see our fact sheet.

MAP: Measures of Academic Progress

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are state-aligned tests that assess reading and math skills, accurately reflect the instructional level of each student, and measure growth over time. These assessments, which students take on a computer, are unique in that they adapt to each student’s ability during the test, accurately measuring what a child knows and needs to learn. In addition, MAP tests measure academic growth over time, independent of grade level or age.

Most important, the results have practical application to teaching and learning. MAP test results, which are available for staff use within 48 hours, provide us with timely information that guides instructional planning and school improvement.

Educators use MAP tests to do the following:

  • Identify the skills and concepts individual students have learned.
  • Diagnose instructional needs of individual students.
  • Monitor academic growth over time.
  • Make data-driven decisions at the classroom, school, and District levels.
  • Scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question.

The Parent Report

The RIT Score

First, the report gives you a RIT score for your child in each subject area and is a measure that indicates a student’s instructional level. As students take MAP tests over a period of time, the RIT scores will also be a measure of academic growth. Scores are reported with an associated confidence band, or standard error of measure.

The Percentile Score

The second score in the parent report is the percentile rank. This tells you how your child is doing compared to other students in the same grade. For example, if your 7th grader has a percentile score of 81 in math, that means your child scored better than 81 percent of all U.S. 7th graders who have taken MAP tests.


A Lexile is a unit for measuring text difficulty and reader comprehension. Your child’s Lexile range is located in the reading section of his or her report. A Lexile text measure is a value assigned to a book, based on the difficulty level of the vocabulary and sentence length. A Lexile does not take into account whether the content of a book would be appropriate for your child, so it should not be the only factor in selecting books. However, a Lexile range can be useful in personalizing reading selections for children. As you help your child chose books for independent reading, it is recommended you choose books within the lower 100 points of your child’s Lexile range. For more information, go to

Growth Information

The report shows your child’s progress in each subject area, and over the years you should see your child’s test scores improve to show progress or growth. Each student’s subsequent score from the same time of year (fall to fall or spring to spring) should be higher than the previous one. In general, most students show little growth or even slip slightly between the previous spring and fall testing, and very high-performing students tend to show somewhat less growth in scores than lower-performing students. You can compare your child’s score to that of the District average as well as to an established standard for the grade. However, the real value of the growth information is in tracking the progress of each individual student.

Goal Performance

Each subject area is broken down into goal areas of performance. This information helps teachers identify specific areas of strength and weakness for the student and adjust lesson design and delivery. The student’s performance in each goal area, based on the 2011 national norms, is described by one of the following (Resource: Northwest Evaluation Association,

  • Low: The student’s performance is below the 21st percentile
  • LoAvg: The student’s performance is between the 21st and 40th percentiles
  • Avg: The student’s performance is between the 41st and 60th percentiles
  • Hi Avg: The student’s performance is between the 61st and 80th percentiles
  • High: The student’s performance is greater than the 80th percentile

Click on the NWEA MAP Parent Toolkit for a helpful guide to understanding this assessment tool.

Click on the NWEA Student Presentation for help preparing for MAP testing.

PARCC: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

The PARCC assessment is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and replaces the previous Illinois State Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). It is administered to students in Grades 3-8 around the 75 percent point of the school year. PARCC provides educators with a student's profile of strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and needs. It also informs the District about the integration of the Common Core State Standards. PARCC assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics are crafted to yield specific information about students' readiness for college and careers. PARCC's technology-based tools and interactive interface deliver information on students that instructors can use to help inform instruction and embeds universal design to accommodate specific student needs. Adoption of the PARCC assessments represents a dramatic transformation of how students are evaluated by encouraging critical thinking skills and delving deeper into what students know and understand. Additionally, PARCC is founded on the belief that standardized evaluations should be a toll for enhancing teaching and learning. Along with providing specific information to District 90, PARCC generates information that can be used by states and local communities to determine how students compare to their peers in neighboring states and cities. 

See our PARCC for Parents page for additional info.

CogAT: Cognitive Abilities Test

The CogAT is the Cognitive Abilities Test, a multiple-choice test that measures both general and specific cognitive abilities. The reasoning abilities measured by the test show the cognitive process and strategies that help a student learn new tasks or solve problems. CogAT is not a measure of achievement but rather a measure of reasoning ability in specific aptitude areas. This test measures developed abilities, not innate abilities. Reasoning abilities have substantial correlations with learning and problem solving, both in and out of school.

Why Use CogAT for Our Advanced Programs?

The high ceiling on CogAT, its ability to make reliable discriminations among the top 10 percent of scores in all age groups, and its broad sampling of cognitive skills make this a great assessment to use for all students, including those in our advanced programs.

What Does CogAT Measure?

CogAT measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal.

The verbal section focuses on reasoning skills, flexibility, and fluency and includes a test on oral vocabulary and verbal reasoning.

The quantitative section focuses on the child’s understanding of basic quantitative concepts and relationships that are essential for learning mathematics. It includes tests on relational concepts and quantitative concepts.

The non-verbal section uses geometric shapes and figures and helps us see how students look for shapes and patterns. It includes tests on figure classification and matrices.

A separate score is reported for each of these three areas. In addition, a composite, or total, abstract reasoning score is reported.

CogAT Terms

Universal Scale Score (USS): Provides a continuous growth scale of cognitive development from kindergarten through grade 12.

Standard Age Score (SAS): These scores are developed for the purpose of comparing the rate and level of cognitive development of an individual to other students in the same age group.

Percentile Rank (PR): The percentage of scores in a speci?ed distribution that fall at or below the point of a given score. Percentile Ranks range in value from 1 to 99, and indicate the status or relative standing of an individual within a speci?ed group (e.g., norms group), by indicating the percent of individuals in that group who obtained lower scores. Note, however, an individual's percentile rank can vary depending on which group is used to determine the ranking. A student is simultaneously a member of many groups: classroom, grade, building, school District, state, and nation.

English Language Learners

WIDA: World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment

Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL)™

WIDA is a consortium of states, including Illinois, that are dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners. WIDA Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL) is a new series of academic English-language-proficiency assessments being developed for kindergarten through 12th grade; it currently is available for kindergarten only. These assessments can serve multiple purposes. They may aid in the identification and placement of English language learners, be used for benchmark evaluation during the school year, and/or be used as a summative measure of progress for reporting purposes.

The WIDA MODEL™ will most commonly be used as an optional replacement to the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT)™ screener test. Each test assesses students’ abilities in all four language domains (listening, speaking, writing, and reading), and evaluates social and instructional English, as well as academic language corresponding to the subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

The W-APT™, known as the screener, is being used in grades 1-8 until MODEL is available and is used by educators to measure the English language proficiency of students who have recently arrived in the United States or in a particular District. It can help to determine whether or not a child is in need of English language instructional services and, if so, at what level.


ACCESS FOR ELLS® stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. This large-scale test addresses the academic English language proficiency (ELP) standards for English language learners.

PARCC Assessment

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of computer-based K-12 assessments in English language arts and mathematics, linked to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. In the 2014-15 school year, PARCC assessments will replace the ISATs. Click here for more information in an FAQ from the Illinois State Board of Education. The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA have developed the Parents’ Guide to New Assessments in Illinois. It provides an overview of the new assessments, sample test items, and additional resources for parents. You can click here to view the guide. District 90's PARCC presentation to the Committee of the Whole on December 2 can be viewed here.


To go to the website for the Interactive Illinois Report Card, which contains a wealth of information on Illinois schools and school improvement, click here.

Click here to visit the website of the Illinois State Board of Education.