Common Summative Assessments

  • What are Common Summative Assessments (CSA)? 

    Common Summative Assessments (CSA) are locally developed benchmarks (or points of reference) that evaluate a student’s academic and skill development over the course of the school year as it relates to grade-level standards. CSAs are common assessments across the same course and are meant to be used as a reflection tool for teachers and students alike. Teachers use the results of the CSA to provide feedback to students and steer their instruction, and students  use the feedback provided in a way that identifies areas of attainment and deficits so that they know where to continue to focus and improve as they progress forward.


    The first CSA is given as a pre-assessment to measure student understanding and background skills prior to exposure to course content and is reviewed to check for initial student understanding and current knowledge. These are not calculated into students’ grades. Three other CSAs are given throughout the school year to measure student progress as they are introduced to concepts during the course. As stated before, information gathered from these assessments provide teachers the ability to identify possible gaps in learning so that instruction can be adjusted to support student achievement.


    What is the difference between Common Summative Assessments (CSA) and State Assessments?  

    Common Summative Assessments (CSAs) are designed as classroom tools for teachers to evaluate academic progress throughout the year in relation to grade-level standards.  State assessments, such as the PARCC, are state-mandated tests given to students throughout New Jersey at various grade levels year to assess whether they meet grade-specific state standards.

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