The NDDPI supervises the development, implementation, and evaluation of the NDSA, the statewide assessment that measures student performance against the state's challenging content and achievement standards in select academic subjects and grades. The NDSA consists of general, criterion-referenced assessments for all students in grades 3-8 and 10 in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in science. The NDDPI administers all aspects of the NDSA, ensuring that each assessment meets rigorous program requirements for validity and reliability, inclusion, technical quality, and reporting.

The annual NDSA technical reports provide detailed evidence of adequate technical quality. There are supplemental documents referenced in the volumes and if you are interested in receiving those, please email your request to the Office of Assessment.

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Parental Directive

House Bill (HB) 1389 went into effect on August 1, 2017. This bill states, “A student's parent may direct the school district in which the student is enrolled not to administer to the student any state test or state assessment required in accordance with section 15.1-21-08.”

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has provided a standard form to districts to be used in obtaining a parent directive to withhold the administration of a student assessment. This form is required to be on a district’s website.

Parents will need to complete an individual form for each student and each assessment from which they wish to be exempt, as well as the school year in which they are requesting an exemption. The form is to be completed each year by the parent in order for the student to be exempt in the current school year. School districts are required to retain the form in the student’s file and to report this information. Parental Directive reporting is available throughout the school year. Districts will need to work with their schools to report any Parental Directive data directly in their STARS Enrollment Report.

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State Assessment Under ESSA

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has contracted with the Cambium Assessment (formerly AIR) for the development of an online assessment system that has become known as NDSA for English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science. The first online assessment (math and ELA) was administered in the spring of 2018, and has been aligned to the ELA and mathematics standards adopted in April 2017. The science assessment was aligned to the newly adopted standards and the first administrations was in spring 2020.

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Lexile and Quantile Resources

Lexile and Quantile Measures in North Dakota

The LexileR Framework for Reading commonly referred to as the Lexile Framework has been linked to the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) in English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 3 - 8 and high school. Similarly, The QuantileR Framework for Mathematics has been linked to the NDSA in grades 3 - 8 and high school. Students in North Dakota also may be receiving Lexile and Quantile measures from a variety of different tests and programs used within their local schools. With Lexile and Quantile measures, educators and parents can spur and support student learning.

What is a Lexile measure?

There are two kinds of LexileR measures: Lexile student measures and Lexile text measures. Lexile student measures describe how strong of a reader a child is. Lexile text measures describe how difficult, or complex, a text like a book or a magazine article is. Lexile measures are expressed as numeric measures followed by an "L" (for example, 850L), and represent a position on the Lexile scale. Comparing a student's Lexile measure with the Lexile measure of what he is reading helps to gauge the "fit" between a student's ability and the difficulty of the text. Lexile measures provide a scientific approach for matching students with ability-appropriate texts. Lexile measures help differentiate instruction and monitor growth in reading, putting students on the path to success in school, college, and career.

What is a Quantile measure?

Similar to Lexile measures, there are two types of QuantileR measures: a measure for students and a measure for mathematical skills and concepts. The student measure describes what mathematics the student already understands and what mathematics the student will learn in the future. The skill measure describes the difficulty, or demand, in learning that skill. Quantile measures improve mathematics teaching and learning by targeting instruction and monitoring student growth toward learning standards and the interconnectedness of mathematical skills and concepts and identifying those elements that are critical to help student learning progress.

Video Library: Utilizing Lexile and Quantile Measures

Access the Video Library to learn more about the Lexile and Quantile Frameworks and the tools on the Hub.

Educator Access to the Lexile and Quantile Hub

Explore the quick 2-minute video tutorial outlining the steps to access Premium tools on the Lexile and Quantile Hub through our state partnership with MetaMetrics. Discover the pathway to enhanced resources and capabilities.

Free access to the Lexile and Quantile Academy for all educators.

Video: The Quantile Framework for Mathematics on the NDSA

More detailed information and supporting online tools and resources are available on the NDSA Portal, under the Resources and Students and Families sections.

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NDSA Achievement Level Descriptors

Achievement Level Descriptors - English Language Arts

Achievement Level Descriptors - Mathematics

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NDSA Proficiency Levels

Mathematics NDSA Cut Scores

Achievement Level

Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Advanced 463 501 523 558 598 640 693
Proficient 428 465 484 513 550 580 650
Partially Proficient 410 437 446 470 503 519 594

English Language Arts NDSA Cut Scores

Achievement Level

Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 10
Advanced 621 639 661 671 680 702 713
Proficient 585 600 622 638 641 650 667
Partially Proficient 560 572 595 610 611 616 627

Science NDSA Cut Scores

Achievement Level

Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 10
Advanced 431 835 1035
Proficient 407 802 1000
Partially Proficient 380 775 973
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Student Reports

Sample Student Report for the North Dakota State Assessment - Presents a sample NDSA student report along with explanations of report elements.

Please see the example Math ISR and ELA ISR for more information.