Assessment is a global term for observing, gathering, recording, and interpreting information to answer questions and make legal and instructional decisions about students. What types of questions do teachers and parents have? Teachers of young children and parents wonder if the child is developing typically in one or more of the following developmental areas:
Communication development. Should Jaleh be talking more now that she is 4 years old?
Cognitive development. Is Katie experiencing difficulty performing many activities that the other children can do quite easily?
Physical development. Does Sammy have difficulty seeing? Hearing? Does he have problems with fine and gross motor activities?
Adaptive development. Should Luis be able to feed himself and take care of toileting needs?
Social-emotional development. Sonia has difficulty getting along with other children. Will she "outgrow" this?
Teachers and parents of older children frequently have questions about a student's achievement, ability, or skills in one or more areas:
Academic area. Does Elliot have a reading problem?
Overall achievement. Why doesn't Bill do better in school?
General intelligence. Will Joy be able to learn how to compute a math problem?
Transition. What transition service needs does Cristoforo have?
Social-emotional status. Daryl has difficulty making friends. How can he be helped? Sabrina seems sad and depressed. What is causing this behavior?
Vision, hearing, or motor ability. Can Norweeta hear students speaking during class discussions? Joey frequently walks on tiptoes. Does this indicate a problem?
Communication. Bradley can hear the speaker but doesn't seem to understand. What could be the cause of his difficulty?