Reading Benchmark Assessments (RBAs)
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  Student and School Success

Reading Benchmark Assessments (RBAs)

The OSPI Reading Benchmark Assessments (RBAs) are standards-based interim assessments developed for Grades 1-11. They provide ongoing information about teaching and learning in relation to Common Core State Standards in reading comprehension and vocabulary. RBAs are administered fall, winter, and spring for Grades 2-11, and winter and spring for Grade 1. The RBAs are entering their 3rd year of implementation; they’re currently used in 42 districts serving over 85,000 students.

The RBAs provide a bridge between classroom formative assessments and end-of-year summative assessments and to supply information to inform instructional decisions at the student, classroom, and school levels. This tool enables practitioners to:

  • Evaluate student learning of specific Common Core State Standards;
  • Identify specific student strengths and opportunities for growth in reading as they relate to the content in the assessed standards;
  • Identify student instructional needs through collaborative data dialogue to adapt instruction and curriculum materials to better enable student proficiency;
  • Provide feedback to students for reflection to enable motivation and to deepen learning; and
  • Show individual student growth over time.

Test Design

Staff in OSPI’s Divisions of Student & School Success, Teaching & Learning, and Assessment led the revision of the RBAs in spring 2013. The collaborative process involved OSPI reading specialists, Educational Service Districts’ reading and school improvement specialists, and district teachers and leaders.

Item Writing Protocol
Participants worked with the end in mind of providing deep and meaningful information about student learning of critical prerequisite skills and applications of grade-level standards. Items were vetted to ensure they met the criteria for high-quality:

  • Value - Is the item worthy of student attention, and does it allow students to deliver insights about the text?
  • Text Dependency - Does the item require close reading of all or part of the text, and does it require students to use evidence from the text in their answer?
  • Alignment - Does the item reflect the indicated target and the complexity required by the intent and language of the target?

Framework for Item Writing
SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) worked on Content Specifications and Content Mapping, which provided the framework for item writing. Assessment evidence at each grade level will provide item and task specificity and clarify the connections between instructional processes and assessment outcomes.

Standards Assessed
Participating districts will assess the same set of standards with the same items and test forms over the course of the school year.

2013-14 Comprehensive District RBA Test Map
This Test Map includes the Common Core State Standard-ELA (CCSS-ELA) claim 1 targets assessed on each benchmark. There are separate tabs for Grade 1, Grades 2-5, and Grades 6-11.

2013-14 RBA Test Map Grades 1-11
There is one Test Map for each grade level with maps for RBA 1, 2, and 3. Each test map includes:

  • The CCSS-ELA claim 1 descriptor.
  • The number of constructed and selected responses on each RBA.
  • The CCSS-ELA target and CCSS-ELA target descriptor for each RBA.
  • The text (informational or literary) for each target on each RBA.
  • The CCSS-ELA standard and CCSS-ELA standard descriptor for each RBA.

Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6 | Grade 7 | Grade 8 | Grade 9 | Grade 10 | Grade 11


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