Dakota State Testing of Educational Progress (DSTEP)

— State: South Dakota Department of Education
Updated on Dec 19, 2011

The Dakota State Test of Educational Progress (Dakota STEP) is South Dakota’s annual statewide assessment of student progress, administered to students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 each spring. Public school districts are required to administer the Dakota STEP. The Dakota STEP is the assessment system for accountability used in South Dakota as required by the No Child Left Behind Act and South Dakota state law.


 (DSTEP) Dakota State Testing and Educational Progress

 Primary Purpose

 School accountability - Improve instruction

 Subject Areas Tested

 Reading, Math, and Science (beginning 2007)

 Types of Test

 Criterion-referenced (standards based)

 Grade Levels

 3-8 and 11 (science grade 5, 8, & 11)

 Item Types or Formats

 Multiple choice

 Administration Dates

Beginning of April

 Dates When Results Released


 Frequency of Administration

 Annually each spring

 Administration Time


 Test Length

 Varies by grade

 Assessment Design

 Common fixed-length form

 Types of Scores Reported

 Scaled scores, percentiles, performance levels

 Achievement Levels Reported

 Below basic, basic, proficient, advanced

 Levels of Reports

 Student, school, district, state

 Students Tested

 All public students, grades 3-8 and 11 (includes alternate assessment)

 Testing of Students with Disabilities


 Accomodations for Students with Disabilities


 Testing of Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)


 Accomodations for LEP


 Policies and Laws

 South Dakota Codified Law 13.3.55

 History of Program

 Began in 1985, major revision in 2003 and 2007

 Parental Permission

 Not required

You can find more information about the DSTEP at:

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