February 14, 2012
Testing Within the Gorham Schools and Standards Based Reporting
Testing within the Gorham Schools
Talk about our Local Assessment System
- Improves student learning
- Fair and comprehensive
- Multiple measures used to assess student competencies
- Used to inform instruction, monitor progress and certify student achievement
- Formative and Summative in Nature
- Formative - allows staff to understand student growth and tailor instruction to meet individual needs
- Summative - provides accountability data - how well our students are doing compared to others (normed or standardized nationally)
Can you describe the different levels of assessment in our system? - Classroom, Common Grade Level, External Level Assessments
- Classroom level tests, projects, presentations
- Common Grade Level: test given to all children in a grade level that measure progress within a specific subject / core program requirements tied to agreed upon standards
- External Level Assessments: State, Federal and Nationally-normed
- Given by the state to measure a student progress in meeting defined state standards - Parameters of Essential Instruction
- E.g. NECAP / MEA / MHSA / NAEP / NWEA
It sounds like a foreign language… Can you talk about some of the current external testing within the district?
- CBM & DIBELS
- MEA - Science
- MHSA / SAT & MEA Science
Thereís a lot of talk about accountability… letís talk about that … (AYP and 90% Goal)
- The Backdrop of NCLB & AYP
- AYP Targets
- Our District 90% Goal
How are we doing with all of that?
- AYP Status - For this year, we need to be at 83% Reading K-8 / 80% Math K-8
- K-8 (79.5% Reading (above or at the target - last 2 years) / 73.5% Math (slightly below the target over the last 2 years)
- GHS (Results to be released later this spring)
- Compared to State, our Grades 3-8 average scores for this fall:
- Reading is 8% higher than the state
- Math is 10% higher than the state
- Writing is 6% higher than the state
- 90% Goal Status - Need to be at 80% this year
- 3-8 (Reading 79.5% last year & this year)
- 3-8 (Math 72% last year & 73.5% this year)
- Planning for Progress - AYP Action Plans
- Short and long term interventions
- Student service support connections
- Progress monitoring
- Definitive action plans
- Science Data - Significant increase from last year in grade 5 and slight increase in grade 8… all areas well above the state average! Integrating our work with the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Initiative.
- CBM & DIBELS - steady or slightly increasing each year in math and reading for K-2
Where can people find out about the assessment work going on within our district?
Standards Based Reporting
What is Standards Based Reporting?
- Standards Based Reporting is part of a reporting system designed to provide accurate information to parents and students about achievement in relation to our state and district learning standards. The Maine Learning Results, adopted in 1997, provide the foundation of what students are to know and be able to do. These were modified with more specific information called: Parameters for Essential Instruction. We are moving toward a new set of standards called the Common Core State Standards.
- In a Standards Based Report, ratings reflect student achievement in relation to grade level or course expectations. Progress is measured using a variety of formal and informal assessments. Progress is measured toward the end-of-year standards but is based upon what teachers expect at each reporting time of the year! Other skills, such as attitude, participation, effort and work habits are reported separately.
How is teaching, learning and assessment different in a standards based system?
- Educational standards identify the skills and knowledge that students should have when they graduate from high school, and benchmark the development of those knowledge- and skill-sets either grade-by-grade, or over the course of a grade span.
- Standards are established to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education (college, technical training, etc.) and the workforce.
- To achieve this, educational standards help teachers by providing clear goals for student learning. Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers identify the knowledge and skills their students should have so educators can develop appropriate instructional planning.
- Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success.
- Standards are used to guide curriculum and student progress is measured and used to determine advancement
- Students advance through the system at their own pace
- Learning is the constant; time is the variable
- Assessment may take a variety of forms
- Traditionally, as a result of NCLB, every state set itís own set of standards and assessment tool
Whatís the history of SBR in our district?
- 2004-05: K-12 Report Card Committee Established - previous reporting systems not aligned with current practice & reporting systems not consistent with standards defined by the DOE
- Research of SBR across the country / plan for K-12 SBR system developed
- 2-year pilot program in Gorham began with cooperating teachers at all levels… worked out early issues with a new reporting system
- Adopted a dual reporting system at the secondary level - traditional letter grades and percentages important to parents and students
- During the 2009-10 school year, all teachers in Gorham K-12 used SBR in reporting to parents.
- Continued refinement of the SBR system to match evolving standards at the state and district level
Where are we now in terms of standards based work and reporting?
- Greater teacher collaboration to bring more consistency between teacher expectations and reporting.
- Teachers also realize that
- (1) curriculum is based upon the standards of the Maine Learning Results/Parameters for Essential Instruction,
- (2) assessment results provide valuable information to the student and teacher about learning, and guide future instructional decisions, and
- (3) instruction must be differentiated to meet the needs of students. Students need multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning, and instructional decisions should not be based upon any single measure of student progress
- Teachers will continue to develop assessments and refine their instructional program in line with current standards.
How does our work with standards look different at the secondary level?
- We realized that despite their limitations, traditional letter grades and percentages were important to parents and students. We were committed as a district to avoid any changes that could hinder our studentsí options or eligibility for post high school education. As a result, our district adopted a dual reporting system in grades 6 - 12. Parents and students receive both the traditional letter grade/percent report, and additional information about that studentís progress toward the course or grade level standards.
- Gorham Middle School: Work this year is on classroom practice connected to standards…Considering the question: What does effective classroom instruction practice in a standardsí based system look like?
- Gorham High School:
- At the point of refinement of common assessments - Subject area / grade level teams…
- Emphasis needs to be more on utilizing the common assessments to drive and reinforce instruction…
- GHS Professional Development Plan this year focuses on building a better unit, backwards design, and delving into effective instructional practice.
What is the future of our work?
- We need to align all levels / subjects with Common Core Standards as each discipline comes on board and expand pedagogical practices to align with standards based instruction and assessment.
- We need to deepen the work of standards based instruction and evidence collections within all classroom settings K-12.
- We need to continue to expand our parental communications and understanding of standards based practice and reporting across the district.
What are the Common Core State Standards?
- The Common Core State Standards Initiative (released in June 2010) is a significant and historic opportunity for states to collectively develop and adopt a core set of academic standards in mathematics and English Language Arts, which includes literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects.
- Focus on developing college - and career-ready standards and ensuring these standards are evidence- and research-based and internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries.
- These core standards represent critical learning targets for literacy and numeracy.
- In the 2010-2011 school year, Maine began implementing the Common Core State Standards for English and mathematics by conducting an alignment study and gap analysis, providing professional development and support for instruction, and by working with other adopting states to develop an aligned assessment system.
- After decades talking about it, we will finally be able to compare all Maine to students in other states on a similar set of standards and assessments. We will be able to learn from successes - both in-state and in other states - and identify areas where we need to improve.
How will student progress on these standards be assessed? (Smarter Balanced)
- Maine is a member of the “SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium”, which is comprised of 31 states, and is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an assessment system based on the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
- Maine will gradually transition our current assessment system (NECAP) to that of the national consortium, using new common assessments to measure reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and high school (2014-15)
- The core components of Smarter Balanced are:
- Summative assessments: that include computer adaptive assessments and performance tasks, administered in the last 12 weeks of the school year in grades 3-8 and 11 for English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics;
- Interim assessments: that include optional comprehensive and content-cluster measures that include computer adaptive assessments and performance tasks, administered at locally determined intervals throughout the school year;
- Formative tools and processes: that will be used by teachers throughout the year to better understand a studentís learning needs, check for misconceptions and/or to provide evidence of progress toward learning goals.
- New online website: www.smarterbalanced.org