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Introducing NSCAS for Student Learning

Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) helps accelerate student learning

March 01, 2018

This school year, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) begins the development and implementation of Nebraska’s Student-Centered Assessment System or NSCAS (pronounced, “en-skass”). 

NSCAS is a statewide assessment system that embodies Nebraska’s holistic view of students. The system and its supports provide valuable information to schools and districts as they prepare students for success in postsecondary education, career, and civic life.

One goal of the system is to provide educators with multiple types of assessment for instructional purposes throughout the year. It will enable educators to monitor student progress towards rigorous content area standards and adjust instruction in the moment, as well as track growth and target learning needs over time.  

The system also aims to include resources and professional learning to support teachers in their effort to use assessment to meet the needs of every learner.

Learn more about how NSCAS delivers a holistic view of student learning to inform and empower their success at: https://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/nscas-system/

What is NSCAS? 
NSCAS (pronounced, “en-skass”) is the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System, a new statewide assessment system developed by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) that embodies Nebraska’s holistic view of students and helps them prepare for success in postsecondary education, career, and civic life.

How does NSCAS work? 
Through NSCAS, a connected system of assessments is delivered at different times throughout the school year to enable educators to monitor student progress towards rigorous content area standards and adjust instruction in the moment, as well as track growth and target learning needs over time.  

What types of assessment does NSCAS use, what do they measure, and how do they help? 
NSCAS includes three primary assessment types:
•    Formative assessment to evaluate learning in the moment and inform instructional approaches and decisions.
•    Interim assessment to measure academic growth and identify student learning needs.
•    Summative assessment to measure achievement relative to Nebraska’s academic standards.  

What is formative assessment? 
Formative assessment is a way for Nebraska educators and students to use formal and informal processes and tools during instruction to check for understanding and adjust teaching and learning accordingly. 

What is interim assessment?
Interim assessments help educators better understand what a student knows and is ready to learn and determine progress toward learning goals and proficiency levels. The Nebraska Department of Education is making an optional interim growth assessment—MAP Growth— available to districts at no cost to use in concert with other interim assessments of their choice. 
MAP Growth assessments are adaptive and can be given up to four times a year (fall/winter/spring/summer). 

What is summative assessment?
Summative assessments are culminating assessments that measure student performance against Nebraska’s content area standards, showing whether students have learned what they were expected to learn. The NSCAS Summative is a new, computer-adaptive statewide assessment replacing the NeSA tests in English language arts and math for grades 3–8 and science for grades 5 and 8. The NSCAS ACT college entrance exam, provided to all juniors, will continue to serve as the summative assessment for high school juniors.  
 

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