Assessments are administered in schools on a regular basis and the results are used to assist all of us in making wise decisions regarding the teaching-learning situation throughout the year. A child is a total person who is best appreciated through the use of multiple measures. By recognizing that children are complex and by using a variety of evaluation tools, we can better identify strengths, areas needing improvement, and areas emerging or developing.
We provide four types of assessments: "authentic" projects, criterion-referenced assessments, norm-referenced tests, and state mandated tests. Each tool gives us different information.
Authentic assessments are hands-on, performance-based evaluations. Daily, in both formal and informal ways, teachers monitor children's progress via observation, oral and written feedback, large and small group discussions, homework, projects, quizzes, reports (written and oral), labs, student presentations, and teacher-made tests.
Criterion-referenced tests measure how well students have mastered a specified set of skills or concepts. The test results show how many and which of these objectives have been mastered by an entire grade of students and help us to evaluate program effectiveness.
The purpose of the norm-referenced test is to compare a child's overall level of achievement to the levels of all children of the same age or grade placement in the group of students taking the test (norm group). The test results will distribute the children along the familiar bell-shaped curve. A norm-referenced test tells nothing directly about achievement with respect to curriculum objectives.
What do we do with assessment results?
- Teachers review printouts of their class’ scores and sub-test item analyses;
- Principals confer with teachers to evaluate instructional and curricular priorities;
- Teachers meet in grade level groupings to compare outcomes and to adjust planning, teaching strategies, and instructional objectives needing greater attention;
- Curriculum coordinators conduct staff discussions in subjects requiring increased emphasis;
- Together, administration and instructional staff members weigh the need for modified teaching approaches and retraining, new textbooks and instructional materials, and remedial support, parent involvement and/or reorientation, as well as staffing issues.
How will we strive to sustain annual yearly progress?
- Areas of strength will be reinforced;
- Continued staff development on best practices;
- Extra guidance for distracted students;
- Increased ways for early intervention in all education classrooms;
- Staff will continue to stress age-appropriate and differentiated teaching to reach all pupils;
- Technology will be explored as a means of improving student achievement;
- Students not meeting state standards will be targeted longitudinally;
- Referral to our Child Study Team as necessary; and<
- Parents are involved to do work together with us to improve their child’s success.
- New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK)
- High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA)
- Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs)
- Alternate High School Assessment (AHSA)
- Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA)
- Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
- New Jersey Proficiency Assessment of State Standards (NJ PASS)
- Fountas and Pinnell Assessments (F&P)