MSAA developed Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) for mathematics and English language arts (ELA) at grades 3-8 and 11 through an iterative process involving multiple stakeholder groups. The MSAA partnership developed grade-level PLDs to summarize the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) prioritized for the MSAA that students need to attain at each level of achievement (Level 1- Level 4). Each performance level is understood to include the knowledge, skills and abilities of the preceding performance levels
The performance descriptors included in Appendix B provide a detailed description for teachers, parents, and the public to see not only what grade-level content a student should know and be able to do in order to meet high expectations, but also the depth, breadth, and complexity of that content.
By using the PLDs, test results become multi-dimensional. Test results in the form of scale scores are one way educators, parents, and guardians find out where a student’s performance is in relation to other students. The PLDs provide another dimension that completes the description of how a student interacts with the standards the test measures. Both of the scale score and the PLDs provide information that help teachers, schools, parents and guardians build a path to student learning.
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