In a study just completed by an independent research group and released today by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is instructive about the views and perceptions of academic assessments for kids and the work of kids and their teachers.
What has been reinforced for me from this in-depth study is the following:
1. multiple measures must be used when assessing the progress and proficiency of the growth of students and the work of teachers.
2. Parents and teachers see higher value in progress monitoring formative assessments than they do summative (such as high-stakes state exams and other static do-or-die-type exams) in measuring progress and assessing the standing of students and teachers.
3. More adaptive assessments (which can only be achieved via computerized administration of a test) are more valuable to teachers, parents, and students (for diagnostic purposes) than static exams. the best way to gauge where a child truly stands in to test at-, above-, and below- “grade level” not just at-grade level to determine her/his level in the various strands within the subjects tested.
4. We must accelerate the shift to celebrating progress for a year of service from a teacher and students. All students should be expected to make at least a year’s progress from a year of schooling, and for kids behind, they must make more than a year’s progress. Static exams are often more punishing to students and teachers than helpful in assessing the very things we want to measure.
5. In the years of NCLB, we have slacked-off in gaining support from teachers and parents–now is the time to involve them more closely, especially as we want to further accelerate the progress of our Nation’s students. (The study did not address this topic, but when reviewing it, I could not help but be reminded about how fractured the segments of adults have become around thoughts about what is best for kids.)
There is much more in the study, and my thoughts above are only initial thoughts. I’d be interested in your thoughts from your review of the study which can be found at link: