Delaware: Educational Accountability
Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP)
The Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) is the foundation for student, school and school district accountability. The DSTP has been in place since 1998 and helps measure how well students are performing against the standards established by Delaware educators, parents and the community. Test results help identify student strengths and individual learning needs and guide teachers as they enhance instruction. DSTP results also help districts determine student promotion from grade to grade. Students in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 are tested in reading, writing and mathematics while students in grades 4, 6, 8 and 11 are tested in science and social studies. We often refer to these grades as the “accountability grades” since they are used to determine district and school accountability ratings. There are five performance levels for these grades:
Level 5 Distinguished
Level 4 Exceeds the Standard
Level 3 Meets the Standard
Level 2 Below the Standard
Level 1 Well Below the Standard
Students in grades 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9 are also tested in reading, writing and mathematics. The scores for these grades are used to help us know if students are making progress towards the standards and serve as an “early warning” for students who need extra help. Beginning in 2006, these grades will become part of the school and district rating determinations.
You can find more information about the DSTP at:
No Child Left Behind
Establishing Goals for Student Achievement.
The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law required states to set student performance targets for English/Language Arts and for Mathematics. Schools and districts are to meet or exceed the targets set for each year. Schools and districts are required to test at least 95% of their students in the tested grades each year. In addition, they are to maintain or make progress on Other Academic Indicators (OAI). NCLB requires school and district ratings to be based on the performance of ALL students and on the performance of subgroups of students. There are eight subgroups including the five major racial/ethnic categories: White, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and American Indian as well as Special Education students, Limited English Proficient students and Economically Disadvantaged students.
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