The Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) describe the four levels of achievement specific to grade-level for the Minnesota assessments, based on the standards. Students who achieve the “Meets” and “Exceeds” levels are considered proficient with regard to the knowledge, skills and abilities described in the academic standards.
Developed by panels of Minnesota teachers and content experts, the ALDs were created by focusing on a set of questions in reference to the standards and test specifications. These questions might also be useful to educators in determining performance levels when designing classroom assessments and learning objectives:
To what degree do students master each standard at each achievement level?
For which knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) is it possible to describe gradations of performance across four levels, and for which KSAs is it not feasible?
How, according to the test specifications, are students able to show their mastery of KSAs?
ALDs from the Individual Student Reports for reading, mathematics, science and English learner assessments are provided here:
Caution when using ALDs: The level of granularity of standards and benchmarks determines the extent to which they can be described across a continuum of performance levels. It is possible to distinguish four levels of performance in many benchmarks, but in others it is not. For this reason, the KSAs of some benchmarks may only appear at the “Meets” level, and not “exceeds.”