Alignment studies also estimate the probability that a student with a specific RIT score will achieve a status of proficient or better on her or his state test. Because all states set their own standards for proficiency and may use different tests for measuring student achievement, alignment studies are usually necessary for each state. These scale alignment studies are completed on a quarterly basis. Because alignment studies generally use the publicly posted state assessment results, the state must have completed testing and posted the results before the study can be attempted. This means that states administering spring tests generally will not have alignment study results until sometime during the fall or winter.
New state alignment studies will be completed in the first quarter that NWEA researchers obtain sufficient sample size of test records to complete the study. When states use this information with NWEA assessments, member schools can monitor their students' progress toward the proficiency standards for their states. This has been an important step toward helping our schools and districts to meet the No Child Left Behind legislation. School districts can get copies of their state alignment studies from the research section of the NWEA web site and use the data for planning of curricular and instructional improvements.