Assessment plays a critical role across all tiers of an MTSS. An MTSS is designed to integrate assessment data and intervention into a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and support students’ academic and emotional/behavior/life skill needs from a strengths-based perspective. Research-based assessments provide data to inform decisions around instruction and intervention for all students. Teachers should use multiple data sources to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs and to continuously analyze, revise, and enhance instruction and interventions to improve the learning environment and promote student success. Multiple forms of assessment that have been vetted as valid and reliable provide insight into student academic and behavioral progress and allow for specific monitoring of student knowledge and skills. MTSS assessment data can also be used to monitor students’ progress upon receiving supports, evaluate the evidence of interventions and supports, and assess core programming effectiveness.
Assessment Across the Tiers
Assessment functions differently within each tier of a MTSS, but all assessments are used together to make data-informed decisions about instruction, support, and intervention for the academic and behavioral needs of all students. A general description of the role of assessment within each MTSS tier is provided below:
Tier 1 Assessment: Universal Screening
Effective Tier 1 universal screening assessment requires three key features:
- Validated screening procedures
- Ensure all students are screened with fidelity 2+ times per year
- Include the use of established cut scores or benchmarks within validated screening tools to support risk identification and screening decisions.
- Risk verification
- Use at least two data sources to confirm students’ risk status through triangulation of data to improve accuracy of identification
- Data may include classroom performance measures, state assessment results, diagnostic data, or short-term progress monitoring data.
- Valid and reliable screening tools
- Screening tools must be valid and reliable, strongly correlate with relevant outcomes, and accurately predict risk status
- Consider student and educator needs, context, and desired outcomes when selecting a screening tool
Tier 2 & 3 Assessment: Progress Monitoring
Progress monitoring assessments should be short and frequent skill-based assessments that offer a snapshot of student learning related to the academic and/or behavioral objective. Effective progress monitoring tools:
- Have a sufficient number of alternate forms
- Specify minimum acceptable growth
- Provide benchmarks
- Possess validity and
reliability for the performance score
Tool Charts to select research and evidence-based tools for screening, progress monitoring, and intervention for student academic and behavioral needs
School Administrators/District Leadership
FL PSRTI GTIPS resource – Guide and tools to assist districts and schools as they implement and support data-based decision making using a systematic planning and problem-solving process at multiple levels of operation. This guide aligns directly with Florida’s implementation of MTSS.