Benchmarks and Norms provide assistance with interpreting student scores on FastBridge assessments.
Norms indicate how the student performs (or ranks) relative to her grade-level peers nationally or locally. Norms range from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 99. FastBridge provides both national and local norms on most reports.
Benchmarks are points on the test score scale, known as cut scores, that represent transitions between risk categories. Risk categories (high, some, low) indicate how likely students with scores in that category will fall below the end-of-year performance target. Research shows that students in the high-risk category need intensive instructional support to meet the end-of-year performance target; whereas the some-risk category indicates the student needs supplemental instructional support to meet the performance target. Students in the low-risk category are likely to meet the end-of-year performance target without additional support.
Tables showing aggregate national norms are available in the Training & Resources section of the FastBridge website. Local norms are displayed on selected reports.
National Norms are the percentile rankings of scores derived from FastBridge users. For the FastBridge-recommended screening assessments in each grade, the national norms are based on large samples of students that are representative of the U.S. school population in relation to gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). For all other FastBridge measures, the aggregate national norms are based on scores from all valid administrations in the prior school year. Seasonal norms are based on scores obtained in the following date ranges:
- Fall: August 1 through October 31
- Winter: January 1 through February 15
- Spring: April 15 through May 31
Local Norms are percentile rankings derived from student scores in the local system and include class, school, and district levels. Local norms are available in selected reports once at least 70% of students in the group (e.g., class, school, or district) have completed the assessment during a screening period. This threshold is required to ensure a sufficient number of scores to produce accurate and stable local norms. FastBridge recommends that local norms
be used, when available, because they reflect the performance of students who are participating in the same instruction.
Benchmarks are scores that indicate the student’s risk of performing below a future (usually the end-of-year) performance target. FastBridge defines two (or three) benchmark cut-scores for each
assessment in each season and grade, resulting in three (or four) levels of risk. The FastBridge
default Benchmark settings are based on the national norms and correspond to the following
- High Risk: Below the 15th percentile
- Some Risk: 15th – 39th percentile
- Low Risk: 40th – 99th percentile
For aReading, aMath, and CBMreading the low-risk range is divided into two levels.
- Low Risk: 40th – 70th percentile
- Advanced: 71st – 99th percentile
This approach is consistent with established procedures and published recommendations (RTI Network, 2015; National Center on Intensive Intervention, 2019) and has been successfully employed in RTI systems for the past two decades.