Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56RETOOL ASSESSMENT & ACCOUNTABILITY GUIDING PRINCIPLES A good accountability system communicates learning progress. » Assessment can improve learning when it is individualized and identifies a child’s strengths and weaknesses. » Assessment improves learning when it is authentic (based on real world experiences), identifies a learner’s strengths and weaknesses, is integrated with instruction and testing, and provides timely, meaningful feedback. » Assessment literacy and the effective use of data from assessments are key professional skills for educators. Assessment results can and should inform instruction, helping teachers to identify what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs to be taught differently. » Assessment should be ongoing and the learning progress should be reported frequently and analyzed by learners and educators over time. » Assessment should provide as broad a view of student’s knowledge, skills, and understanding as possible. » Accountability in a learning system provides useful, timely, actionable feedback regarding both the individual student’s progress and the system’s ability to achieve its goals of high quality education for all children. » Students do not all learn at the same rate and thus should have multiple opportunities and varied measures to demonstrate mastery of standards when they are ready. When students actively participate in their learning by making choices about how they demonstrate mastery of the standards, they are highly engaged and take tremendous pride in their work. Their voice and choice are critical components of a successful mastery system. » Good accountability systems are transparent, clear, and tailored to different uses. » Mastery of learning objectives and not seat time (i.e., the amount of time spent in class) should be the major criterion for success in school. » Children learn at different rates and thus require different amounts of time to achieve the same learning objectives. » Significant learning can and does occur outside of school and outside of the school day and year. » To meet the needs of and be appropriate for all students and all communities, we will need to develop multiple organizational models for schools. These models include data-driven supports for students. Key Issue 1 Assessment should be ongoing to provide relevant information about what a student has and has not yet mastered. With this information, a teacher can modify instruction and a student can focus on the appropriate learning targets. However, assessment results have often been reported with a single letter or number grade that does not provide the feedback that will result in improved understanding and ultimately, mastery. Extraneous factors (e.g., attendance, class participation and effort) are often included in grades. Also, classroom formative and summative assessments have traditionally consisted of selected response questions (e.g., multiple choice, true/false, etc.), which usually measure lower-level thinking. Assessment usually occurs at the end of a unit of instruction rather than throughout the instruction. We must now view assessments as a tool that gives students and teachers a deeper and clearer understanding of exactly what a student knows and is able to do at any given time in his or her work toward mastery. Recommendations 41 Multiple and varied assessments embedded in curriculum should be used throughout a students’schooling experience to measure the variety of ways children learn. 42 Formative assessment should be used for informing learners of their progress on an ongoing basis during the learning process so that they can have the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their own work and then to manage and adjust their own learning. Formative assessment also provides teachers with the information needed to monitor and adjust their instruction as necessary and desirable. 43 Performance assessment must be part of a system of assessments to determine a learner’s progress. 44 State assessment should occur when each learner is ready. Assessments would roll up into an aggregate score, but testing would occur when the student is ready. 45 Technology-based classroom assessments should be readily available to provide quicker, if not immediate, results for children. Key Issue 2 Standards-based grading will provide specific information on a learner’s progress toward a number of learning targets that are aligned with established curriculum standards. Teachers will be able to use this information to adjust instruction to respond to a learner’s weakness in learning, and the learners will know where they need to focus their study in order to achieve understanding and mastery. The current grading system does not reflect what a learner knows and is able to do. APPENDIX: RECOMMENDATIONS 43 | WWW.CAPSS.ORG