Criteria and Descriptors
To further guide teachers in their assessment and evaluation of student learning, the achievement chart provides “criteria” and “descriptors”.
A set of criteria is identified for each category in the achievement chart. The criteria are subsets of the knowledge and skills that define the category. The criteria identify the aspects of student performance that are assessed and/or evaluated, and they serve as a guide to what teachers look for. Each curriculum has subject- or discipline-specific criteria and descriptors. For example, in the English curriculum, in the Knowledge and Understanding category, the criteria are “knowledge of content” and “understanding of content”. The former includes examples such as forms of text and elements of style, and the latter includes examples such as relationships among facts. “Descriptors” indicate the characteristics of the student’s performance, with respect to a particular criterion, on which assessment or evaluation is focused. Effectiveness is the descriptor used for each of the criteria in the Thinking, Communication, and Application categories. What constitutes effectiveness in any given performance task will vary with the particular criterion being considered. Assessment of effectiveness may therefore focus on a quality such as appropriateness, clarity, accuracy, precision, logic, relevance, significance, fluency, flexibility, depth, or breadth, as appropriate for the particular criterion.