ASAP participants compared to all Whittier students on the 2002-2003 NALT


Click on the charts for a larger view.



Northwest Achievement Levels Tests

The Northwest Achievement Levels Tests (NALT) are multiple-choice mathematics and reading tests that are given district-wide to students in grades 2 through 7 and again in grade 9. The questions used in the district's NALT tests were selected from a national database of questions to align with both district and state standards.

The NALT tests give the district a way to measure which students are making at least one year's academic growth in one year's time.  Students who participate in the ASAP regularly outperform the average more often than not.

ASAP participants compared to all 'whittier students on the 2003-2004 NALT

Both the math and reading tests are made up of multiple levels. Each level is developed to measure student progress at a very precise skill range. To ensure a good match of student to test, there are ten levels of tests for reading and two eight-level sequences for mathematics (one set for elementary curricula and another for middle and high school curricula). The first time a student is tested, that student's appropriate test level is determined by a placement ("locator") test. After the first year, the scoring program assigns an appropriate level to the student based on previous test performance(s).

A student's performance is based on two things: the number of correct answers and how hard the questions are. Like many athletic competitions (such as diving), students can score higher if they attempt a harder level test. Because these questions

ASAP participants compared to the whole Whittier school.
are used around the nation, the NALT provides a comparison to other students nationwide (a national percentile rank). The NALT also give us information about the academic growth of our students from year to year (scale score growth) compared to national expectations for growth.



The NALT measurement system lets the district:

* Measure students' knowledge and skills with respect to the Minneapolis curriculum standards.

* Compare students' overall performance and growth in achievement to their past performance and growth.

* Compare students' overall performance and growth in achievement to the performance and growth of students across the district and the nation; generate information that can be used for accountability, policy making, and school improvement.