What the CLAS demo measures
The CLAS demo assessment (the LRJA) is a measure of the developmental level of people's reasoning about knowledge, evidence, deliberation, and conflict. People who score higher on this scale are able to work effectively with increasingly complex information and solve increasingly complex problems.
CLAS is the name of our scoring system—the Computerized Lectical Assessment System. It measures the developmental level (hierarchical complexity) of responses on a scale called the Lectical Scale (also called the skill scale).
It does not measure:
- writing mechanics (spelling, punctuation, capitalization)
- coherence (quality of logic or argument)
- correctness (measured by most standardized tests)
These dimensions of performance are related to Lectical Level, but they are not the same thing.
The reliability of the CLAS score
The Lectical Scores on CLAS demo assessments are awarded with our electronic scoring system, CLAS.
- CLAS scores agree with human scores within 1/5 of a level about 90% of the time. That's the same level of agreement we expect between human raters. This level of agreement is more than acceptable for formative classroom use and program evaluation. It is not good enough for making high stakes decisions.
- We don't recommend making high stakes decisions based on the results of any one assessment. Performance over time (growth trajectory) is much more reliable than an individual score.
- CLAS is not as well calibrated above 11.5 as it is at lower levels. This is because there are fewer people in our database who perform at the highest levels. As our database grows, CLAS will get better at scoring those performances.
Benchmarks for K-12
The figure below shows growth curves for four different kinds of K-12 schools in our database. If you want to see how an individual student's growth relates to this graph, we suggest taking at least three assessments over the course of a year or more. (The top performing school "Rainbow," is the Rainbow Community School, in North Carolina.)