CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Journal Article

Benchmarks for Success? Interim Assessments as a Strategy for Educational Improvement

  • Building With Benchmarks: The Role of the District in Philadelphia's Benchmark Assessment System by Katrina E. Bulkley, Jolley Bruce Christman, Margaret E. Goertz, Nancy R. Lawrence (pages 186-204)

This article takes a close look at the School District Philadelphia’s implementation of a set of Benchmark assessments aligned with its Core Curriculum district-wide in 2004. Researchers examine the overall context for Benchmarks in Philadelphia, the expectations district leaders had for the use of those Benchmarks, the supports put in place to assist those in schools in meeting those expectations, and the challenges encountered in that implementation.

  • Learning to Learn From Benchmark Assessment Data: How Teachers Analyze Results by Leslie Nabors Olah, Nancy R. Lawrence, and Matthew Riggan (pages 226-245)

This article presents findings from a larger CPRE study examining the use of interim assessments and the policy supports that promote use to improve instruction, focusing on elementary school mathematics. The authors address the following questions: (a) How do the Philadelphia teachers in our sample analyze benchmark assessment results, (b) how do they plan instruction based on these results, and (c) what are their reported instructional responses to such results? The results of the study found that although the teachers in this study used interim assessment results to gain information about students' learning in mathematics, teachers did not use interim assessments to make sense of students' conceptual understanding.


Please visit the Peabody Journal of Education, April 2010, 85(2), to download copies of the introduction and articles. 

Publication Date

June 2010


Peabody Journal of Education