Expanded Features

To be highly effective, an LDS should ideally include or allow for the following expanded features.

Interim and formative assessment data

In addition to the maintenance of state-mandated, annual summative tests, a state-level LDS may also maintain data on interim and formative assessments. These tests, which will ideally be aligned with the academic standards of the summative assessments, are given throughout the year and provide students and educators more timely and detailed measures of how students are progressing. By equipping educators with more granular data than annual assessments, interim tests allow teachers to use data proactively, identifying problems early on and getting students back on track right away. Educators can use the information to adjust instruction throughout the school year to better meet student needs by, for example, providing additional help in areas where students are struggling or giving advanced students more challenging material. These data are often maintained at the local level, but also may be incorporated into the state LDS.