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Short-Cycle Assessment Teacher Resources

Discovery Education Assessment: Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)

What are Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)?

The Discovery Education interim benchmark assessments measure progress towards the content expectations described in the Common Core State Standards and by the PARCC and SBAC's work to define student performance expectations through achievement and performance level descriptions. The interim benchmark assessments provide student progress against similar expectations using four achievement levels. The following documents provide teachers, parents, and other stakeholders with examples of the content expectations at each achievement level. These are described by "Achievement Level Descriptors" or "ALDs."

How can I use the Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)?

The Achievement Level Descriptors (or ALDs) are grouped by subject and grade, and can be downloaded using the links below. Each ALD provides a sample of the types of content knowledge and skills students are expected to know and be able to do in each achievement level. The interim benchmark assessments are designed to measure student performance related to the content knowledge and skills. The ALDs are not intended to be exhaustive, but are cumulative in nature. In other words, the sampling of content knowledge and skills at the highest level (Level 4) should be interpreted to include the knowledge and skills in all lower levels (Levels 1, 2, and 3). As example, a student performing at Achievement Level 2 should know and be able to do the kinds of content knowledge and skills for both Level 1 and Level 2. Likewise, a student performing at Achievement Level 3 should know and be able to do the kinds of content knowledge and skills for Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Where can I download the ALDs?

Click on the following links to download the ALDs for each subject and grade range.