Missed Wisdom Sharing 2019?
While in San Diego, we covered a lot of ground related to assessments, data, and monitoring and missed benefitting from your insights and experiences, too. We covered assessment and data literacy, and the importance of status, growth, projections, and context for developing Results policies and for monitoring them. You can find the slides from the presentation here. I recommended you consider inventorying your current assessments and provided a spreadsheet to help you get started with that. You can find that here. The blogs on my website may help you, as well. Check them out! If you didn’t get to attend, but want to know more, let Randy and Linda know and we will find a way to support you. You are doing important work to make sure that “all the children are well” and we want to help you succeed!
What’s the right level of accountability? Are state testing results enough?
What is right for you when monitoring Results might not be the same for another district. Typically, state mandated test results are reported at a very high level and, as such, are really lagging indicators of how your system is performing. We often refer to this kind of data as “autopsy data”. If your district is doing a great job for all kids, though, you might find that this level of monitoring is enough. For most of us, though, we need to look at leading indicators and make sure that we are also disaggregating data. When disaggregating data, keep in mind that it usually isn’t enough to disaggregate by gender, ethnicity, language, and socioeconomic status. You will also want to make sure you are disaggregating by performance levels of students. Are the students in the lowest quintile, for instance, making progress? How about the highest quintile? Join us next month for more on leading indicators.
How can I assess…?
One question that comes up again and again is, “How can I assess …critical thinking, social and emotional behavior, cognitive ability?” One thing to keep in mind is that you have some resident experts on assessment! Your school psychologists are a wealth of information about assessments. Tap into them and make sure you are identifying the assessments they are already using when completing your assessment inventory. The Rand Assessment finder is an excellent resource for finding assessments to measure all kinds of things. Check it out by clicking here. You can find assessments for pretty much anything, but remember that not all assessments are of the same high quality. Be a discerning consumer of these resources. Check out the presentation from Wisdom Sharing to learn more about the importance of test design, norms, reliability, and validity.
What do we need to consider when looking at data longitudinally?
Looking at data over time is important when we are trying to determine if reasonable progress is being made. We need to consider “color” related to our data and make sure that we are comparing apples to apples and not oranges. Keep in mind that state accountability tests are usually designed to only measure student performance on grade level standards and those change from grade to grade, so comparing performance is often an apples to oranges comparison. Instead, you might consider comparing how this year’s 5th graders did compared to last year’s 5th graders. If you are compelled to look at how students in 5th grade did in math compared to how they did in 4th grade, though, keep in mind that cut scores for state descriptors may represent different levels of rigor for each grade level, so it’s probably best to use student percentile scores rather than state descriptors like “Meets” or “Exceeds”. Better yet, consider adopting a computer-adaptive assessment that accurately measures students on and off grade level. Check out NWEA’s MAP or DRC’s Beacon assessments.