As a society, there is an extensive focus on test scores and too little focus on the whole student. Shifts in the standardized testing landscape are significant due to the adoption of Common Core State Standards, opportunities for digital platforms, and the move from aptitude to achievement tests (even at the college level). Two major organizations, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing and the Mastery Transcript Consortium, are working to make changes at the college level for a more “test optional” or “test flexible” admissions process.
At FXW, we are able to make decisions about assessment measures that match our philosophy of teaching and learning, thus we always start by asking two questions:
- What works best to capture the growth and development of the FXW student?
- What do educators need to do to ensure their success?
“Answering those questions pushed us to redefine what a successful student is and how we measure success. We believe multiple types of assessment works best. Assessments that are student driven, that gauge students’ understanding of the learning goals, and that promote continual improvement for students and educators. Authentic assessments created by teachers are most effective,” said Jackie Miller, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “They give students feedback on how well they understand the information, the content matches the instruction, and they vary to meet all learning-styles and applications of knowledge.”
We use standards-based reports which focus on individualized learning and growth in specific areas, rather than generalized comparisons. There is clear messaging about which learning standards students know and which areas need to be focused on. Through our new performance descriptors, students who are performing at the grade-level expectation (demonstrating mastery) for each learning standard are shown as Meeting.
FXW also administers MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) which gives us one snapshot of student progress in the areas of Reading and Math. Because it is an adaptive test, it works to find each student’s unique level of knowledge. This allows teachers to make informed decisions to promote an individual child’s academic growth as well as to improve learning for all students.
Under the Resource Tab, go into Documents and scroll down to the Curriculum documents for handouts shared at the Parent Informational Meeting on Assessment. If you have questions, please contact Jackie Miller, Erin Horne, Courtney Britton, or Katie Gallagher.