It is important first to differentiate between content standards and performance standards. Content standards are the type of standards adopted by states or localities to identify what a student should know and be able to do. Performance standards are measures of how well a student is meeting the content standards; they may be informal classroom observations, rubrics, or even more formal assessments.
Let’s Go Learn’s DORA and DOMA provide, essentially, criterion-referenced (scores that are provided in an accepted unit, in this case, grade levels) performance standard measurements. In order to create the State Standards reports, LGL’s performance standard measures must be aligned to the specific content standards, which can differ widely by state.
For the State Standards reports, Let’s Go Learn uses teams of credentialed reading and math specialists to align state content standards to the performance measures used by DORA and DOMA. Because of the adaptive nature of DORA and DOMA, the alignment procedures differ based on the sub-test specifications. Alignment protocol also varies from state to state, as there is no accepted norm for the format of state content standards.
Mastery of state standards, as reported on the State Standards reports, is based on mastery levels in DORA and DOMA. It is determined by the mastery of each corresponding construct or sub-test aligned to the standard. At times, performance on a construct of leveled test items is aligned to the content standards. For example, in DOMA, the performance on construct 24 (multi-digit addition) of the Numbers sub-test would be aligned directly to state standards addressing that particular skill. At other times, overall performance on a sub-test is aligned to the content standards. For example, in DORA, student performance on the High-Frequency Words sub-test would be aligned directly to state reading/language arts standards. DORA mastery ranges from 66% to 75% based on the number of items within the construct or sub-test, which usually varies from 3 to 10 items depending on the complexity of the construct and how many items the student sees, as controlled by Let’s Go Learn’s adaptive logic.
Finally, it is important to remember that DORA and DOMA are not norm-referenced standardized tests, nor are they summative state benchmark tests. The formative diagnostic nature of Let’s Go Learn’s assessments, however, does make them well suited for alignment to state content standards, though the assessments may not represent the full scale of each state’s individual standards.