Learning Assessment

As an International Baccalaureate school, we use a variety of assessments to assist the learning process. From the IB web site:

“Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher’s feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.”

  • Formative assessments help the student – and the teacher – understand the concepts, how much progress they are making, and what they need to do in order to improve.
  • Summative assessments are a final assessment of learning, for example at the end of a unit of work, or at the end of the school year. Teachers use rubrics to assess student learning, and they share those rubrics with the students at a grade-appropriate level so students know what is expected of them.

Teachers give grades using the rubric so students can see exactly where they need to focus for improvement.


While International School of Portland limits its use of standardized testing, our students in 2nd to 5th Grade take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to measure their proficiency levels in English Reading, Mathematics, and English Language Usage (Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling). MAP is administered by NWEA, and is used by schools and districts in 145 countries.  Nationwide, public school 4th graders take the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The MAP scores and NAEP scores are closely aligned.

The math scores are particularly notable, since our students learn mathematics in their track language, and these tests were administered in English.
For some comparison, here are statewide test scores for elementary students in Oregon. You’ll note that English proficiency is only given as one indicator on the state tests, not two like on the MAP test, so the comparisons are not direct. NOTE: The Oregon Department of Education does not test 2nd grade.
In the 2nd grade, however, the scores are notably lower compared to the others at ISP. External research and our internal assessments have historically shown that 1st and 2nd Grade students in immersion settings do initially perform lower in English than their peers in English-only environments. As you know, our students start English in 1st Grade rather than Kindergarten, and therefore they do often take longer to catch up. Our 2nd Grade students have a full year less of formal English instruction than most other students who take this test.  However, most students in immersion settings begin to catch up in 3rd Grade, often meeting or exceeding those peers in 5th or 6th Grade. Our own historical data reflects this as well, demonstrating that the vast majority of our students do catch up – and surpass – their peers from English-only environments.


For more information, please visit: National Standards and International Baccalaureate.