Explore the Assessment Management Blueprint to learn about how assessment is used:
- Philosophy - describes connection to Gateway's and the research base that indicates that assessment, curriculum, and instruction must be interwoven.
The ultimate goal at Gateway Regional is to develop successful, active, integral members of an ever-changing world. A large body of education research says the most important factor in helping students reach their highest potential in school is a “guaranteed curriculum”. Guaranteed means that the written curriculum is the taught curriculum and the assessed curriculum. Assessment, curriculum, and instruction are interconnected and inseparable. Assessment in each subject contributes to the district’s primary educational goal of maintaining a consistent focus on high student achievement by individualizing instruction to meet the learning needs of each student.
Systematic use of assessment data is a key ingredient for supporting individual students, monitoring program effectiveness, and allocation of resources. Teachers use assessment information about how well each student is learning to plan instructional strategies that match the learning needs of individual students, communicate learning expectations to students, and provide feedback to students and parents about how well each student is meeting those expectations. Data from assessments is also used within the district to evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum and school programs.
- Purposes and Types - describes formative and summative assessment.
The goal of high student achievement by meeting the learning needs of individual students can be accomplished through a combination of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are used to inform instruction in the short-term. Summative assessments summarize the outcome of learning in the long-term and is best used to determine whether curriculum and instructional programs are working. MCAS is a summative assessment.
Formative assessments provide teachers with constant feedback on student learning for the purpose of better understanding student learning needs and tailoring instruction to meet those needs. The most familiar type of formative assessment is teacher assessment in the classroom by observation, tests, quizzes, projects, etc. There are other types of formative assessment that are not as familiar.
- Screening - identifies which students are learning at or above grade level and which students need extra help for the purpose of instructional grouping.
- Progress monitoring - utilizes interim or benchmark data.
- Diagnostic assessment - identifies specific needs of students who are experiencing ongoing difficulty learning.
- Roles and Responsibilities - summarizes state, district, school, classroom, and home responsibilities for supporting students.
The state, district and school, classroom, and home all play important roles in supporting young people during their school years. A series of pyramids summarize state, district and school, classroom, and home responsibilities for curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Gateway. Assessment-related responsibilities are:
- Establish graduation requirements
- Develop, implement, and report results of state tests that gauge student mastery of state standards (MCAS).
- Determine a PPI for each district. (Progress and Performance Index). PPI is a measure of improvement towards its own targets over a two-year period on up to seven indicators.
DISTRICT AND SCHOOL
- Use district curriculum-based tests and other performance measures to monitor student progress.
- Use district-wide assessments for program and curriculum evaluation
- Provide staff development programs
- Monitor the implementation of classroom and district-wide assessments
- Develop unit plans to implement the curriculum
- Develop classroom assessment that lets teachers and student know whether sutdents achieved mastery.
- Use student assessment data to gain knowledge of student learning needs and to individualize curriculum and instruction.
- Use resources such as Program of Studies, teacher websites, and curriculum documents to be informed about expectations for proficiency of students.
- Send students to school ready to learn
- Communicate high expectations
- Ensure students complete homework.
- Gauge student progress through report cards, parent-teacher conferences, or other means
- Student Assessment Plan - summarizes uses of assessment for meeting student learning needs.
Gateway’s District Data Team developed a matrix of assessment tools that summarizes what assessments are used, when it is administered, to whom, and for what purpose. Tools in the matrix span the full range of assessments from formative assessment in the classroom to screening, benchmark, and progress monitoring assessments. Gateway uses a tiered instruction model called MTSS (Massachusetts Tiered System of Support).
Using information from student performance assessments is key. The MTSS ensures that the learning needs of individual students are met.
The specific uses of student assessments at the class and individual level is determined by the teachers and principal at each school.
- Program Assessment Plan - summarizes uses of assessment to evaluate programs. Program assessment based on data is ongoing.
- Assessment Communication Plan - summarizes how data is collected, analyzed, and communicated.
Communication about what data says about student learning needs based on data is ongoing. Information about assessment in this website is part of the communication plan.