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The ParaPro Assessment

Demonstrate your essential knowledge and skills


Test Adoption and Standard Setting

Review the specifications

ETS recommends that before using the ParaPro Assessment, the agency (state, school district, or other institution) review the assessment specifications, available in the Study Companion, to confirm that the content covered on the assessment is consistent with the state or school district’s expectations of what its paraprofessionals should know and be able to do and provides the reliable information states and agencies need to meet legislative mandates.


Set a passing score

Choosing a passing score is an important policy decision. While ETS develops and delivers the ParaPro Assessment, ETS does not set the passing scores; each state education agency or school district sets its own operational qualifying score. See a list of score requirements for the states and school districts that currently use the ParaPro Assessment.

If the agency or school district’s state has not established a passing score that paraprofessionals must meet to satisfy the third option of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement for paraprofessionals, the agency or school district will need to conduct a standard-setting study to establish a passing standard or “cut score.” More than one approach to setting a passing score may be used. The choice of approach should be consistent with the design and format of the assessment.

To assist in setting score requirements, ETS conducts standard-setting studies for all states that request them. Contact your state's Praxis® Client Relations Director to make a request or to learn more.


Why do standard-setting studies?

Standard-setting studies produce passing score recommendations and serve two purposes.

First, they are designed to identify the level of knowledge for paraprofessionals to be considered minimally qualified to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and mathematics. The level of knowledge is represented by a minimum test score that test takers need to achieve.

Second, the studies are designed to reconfirm the relevance (validity) of the test content for paraprofessionals in the state or district.


Can single districts conduct a standard-setting study?

A school district can conduct a standard-setting study by selecting a panel of paraprofessionals and teachers to serve on the standard-setting panel. Panels typically consist of 10 to 15 persons, the majority of whom are practicing, qualified paraprofessionals and teachers. School districts are encouraged to select a panel of paraprofessionals and teachers that reflect the diversity in the state or school district (e.g., racial/ethnic, gender, geographic setting). These panelists review the test and make judgements about the validity of the test content and how much a qualified test taker should know to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and skill in reading, mathematics, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction.

For additional information about this option, please contact us.


Can districts use the ParaPro Assessment without the state's consent?

Many state departments have been actively involved in adopting the ParaPro Assessment for statewide use. Those states are setting mandatory statewide scores. If your district is in a state that hasn't yet become involved, contact the state department (before taking steps on your own) to learn whether the state plans to conduct a standard-setting study to adopt the ParaPro Assessment statewide.