• Accountability Acronyms
    Helping you make sense of the alphabet soup of accountability terms

    Acronym

    Name

    Explanation

     ACCESS for ELLs Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners A large scale English language proficiency test given to students in Kindergarten through grade 12 who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELLs).  It is given annually to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. 

    ACT

    American College Testing

    A standardized collegiate examination, similar to SAT. It is commonly used as an indicator of academic aptitude and readiness to enter college.

    AMO

    Annual Measurable Objectives

    State established performance targets that assess the progress of student subgroups, schools, school districts, and the state annually.

    AP

    Advanced Placement

    Courses and related assessments, sponsored by the College Board, which offers standardized courses to high school students. These courses are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college.

    ASVAB

    Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

    The ASVAB is to the military what the SATs are to colleges. It is series of tests that measure abilities in math, vocabulary, and several other subjects that are covered in high school. The scores determine if a candidate is eligible to enlist, and what jobs for which they are eligible.

    AYP

    Adequate Yearly Progress

    The gain that schools, school systems, and states must make each year in the proportion of students achieving proficiency in reading and math as well as for attendance and graduation rates.

     CBT Computer Based Test Acronym for describing an assessment taken completely online.

    CogAT®

    Cognitive Abilities Test

    A norm-referenced aptitude test that measures a student's inductive and deductive reasoning abilities and capacities in verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative tasks. Scores on this assessment reflect a student's ability to identify relationships and demonstrate flexible thinking.

    ELA  English\Language Arts 

    FARMs

    Free and Reduced Price Meals

    Students whose applications for free/reduced price meals meet the family size and income guidelines set annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and students approved through direct certification.

    HSA

    High School Assessments

    End-of-course tests taken by students completing government and biology.

    LAC

    Local Accountability Coordinator

    A staff member appointed by the local superintendent to serve as the liaison between the MSDE and the school system. This person is responsible for the coordination of all state-mandated testing and related activities at the local level.

    LEP / ELL

    Limited English Proficient / English Language Learners

    Students with a primary or home language other than English and have been assessed as having limited or no ability to understand, speak, read, or write English.

     MISA Maryland Integrated Science AssessmentAdministered to all students in grades 5 and 8 each spring, it will first be administered in the 2016-17 school year, as it replaces the former Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in science.

    MMSR

    Maryland Model for School Readiness

    A school readiness framework designed to support teachers to improve assessment and instruction that support young children's readiness for school.

    MSA Science

    Maryland School Assessment for Science

    An annual assessment program that tests grades 5 and 8 in Science. There is also an AltMSA Science assessment in which students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate if through the IEP process it has been determined they cannot participate in the MSA even with accommodations. The final administration of this test took place in spring of 2016.  It will be replaced by the MISA 

     MSAA Multi-State Alternate Assessment The assessment in which students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate if through the IEP process it has been determined they cannot participate in the PARCC assessments even with accommodations. 

    NAEP

    National Assessment of Educational Progress

    A national assessment measuring student performance in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. NAEP assesses a nationally representative sample of students in schools.

    PARCC
    The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers A group of states working together to develop a modern assessment that replaces previous state standardized tests. It provides better information for teachers and parents to identify where a student needs help, or is excelling, so they are able to enhance instruction to meet individual student needs. PARCC Assessments are administered in the spring for grades 3 - 8 and at the end of assessed course in high school.  QACPS assesses ELA and Math in grades 3 - 8 and  English 10, English 11, Algebra I and Algebra II high school.
     PBT Paper Based Test Acronym used to describe an assessment given using paper and pencil.

    PSAT/NMSQT

    Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

    A program co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. It also provides a chance for students to enter the National Merit Scholarship programs. The test measures Critical reading skills, Math problem-solving skills and Writing skills

    SAT

    Scholastic Aptitude Test

    A standardized test for college admissions. The test assesses a student's readiness for college. The current version of the test has a possible scores range from 600 to 2400, combining test results from three 800-point sections (Math, Critical Reading, and Writing).

    SLO Student Learning Objective
    Instructional goal for a specific set of students for a specific amount of time
    SPI School Progress Index
    A continuous scale that measures a school or school systems progress, based on  Achievement, Growth, Gap Reduction, and College & Career Readiness.  Each Maryland school receives a School Progress Index score. Based on the SPI schools will be assigned to one of five performance strands.

    STC

    School Test Coordinator

    Assistant principal, academic dean or specialist, appointed by the principal to serve as the liaison between the school system and the school for testing purposes. The STC is responsible for the coordination, administration, and implementation of security procedures of all state and system mandated testing at the school level.

    WIDA  World-class Instructional Design Assessment    WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research and professional development for educators