Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs)

Wyoming Department of Education > For District Leadership > Assessment – State System > Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs)

Performance-Level Descriptors (PLDs) give teachers, parents/guardians, and students more information about the typical skills and knowledge a student demonstrates on state assessments in each performance level. PLDs are linked to state-adopted content standards and are used as guides by standard-setting committees as they make recommendations for the scores needed to achieve performance levels (Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced) on statewide assessments. Committees comprised of Wyoming teachers developed the PLDs for WY-TOPP during the standard-setting processes during the summer of 2018. The committee engaged in a general discussion concerning the knowledge and skills that students at each performance level should be expected to demonstrate. These discussions resulted in a common understanding of expectations for student performance at each performance level, which in turn informed the committee’s cut-score recommendations.

In addition to being used in the standard setting process, PLDs may serve a number of purposes. They can be used as a tool in classroom instruction because they assist teachers and schools in better understanding a student’s performance on a given assessment. PLDs can also enhance parents’ understanding of their child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and can help the community at large better understand state test scores and the level of performance required of students on WY-TOPP.

WY-TOPP Performance Level Descriptors

Wyoming Extended Standards and WY-ALT Policy Level Descriptors