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Districts must complete this form to provide information about Fall 2021 benchmark assessments that measure proficiency in reading and mathematics, to report on local or other benchmark assessments, and/or to apply for funds for approved benchmark assessments. 

Benchmark assessments are used to establish baseline achievement data, measure student progress toward the state’s academic standards, and to provide valuable information to educators, and parents, and policymakers to inform instruction. 

Section 104a of Public Act 94 of 1979, State School Aid  requires the implementation of a benchmark assessment system in the 2021-22 school year. Districts are to administer one or more benchmark assessments at least twice to all students in grades K through 8 – once within the first nine weeks of school and again before the end of the school year.

Districts may choose to administer one or more of the following benchmark assessments. If practical, districts will administer the same benchmark assessment(s) that was administered in prior years.
  1. A benchmark assessment from the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE’s) approved provider list. MDE will provide at least one of these assessments free to districts.  For other benchmark assessements on the approved provider list, MDE will pay an amount equal to $12.50 per membership pupil in grades K to 8 to districts that apply for funding. Districts choosing this option are required to provide aggregated benchmark assessment data to MDE within 30 days of test administration.
List of MDE’s approved benchmark assessment providers and tests:
  •    Curriculum Associates i-Ready (eligible for funding)
  •    NWEA MAP Suite (eligible for funding)
  •    Renaissance Star (eligible for funding)
  •    DRC Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments for grades 3-8 (free for districts)
  •    DRC Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments for grades K-2 (free for districts)
  1. A local benchmark assessment. Local benchmark assessments do not require MDE approval. Districts must report on local benchmark assessment(s) using a section of this form. 
  2. A benchmark assessment that contains progress monitoring tools. These benchmark assessments do not require MDE approval.  Districts must report on these benchmark assessment(s) using a section of this form.
  3. More information
To learn more information about benchmark assessments for Michigan students, browse the Benchmark Assessment Fact Sheet and FAQ document or visit the MDE Benchmark Assessments web page (

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