"If assessment is to be a positive force in education, it must be implemented properly. It cannot be used to merely sort students or to criticize education. Its goals must be to improve education. Rather than 'teach to the test,' we must 'test what we teach."
-Lockwood and McLean
Assessing students using multiple measures is an integral part of understanding student learning. School districts that administer useful assessments, provide corrective instruction, and give students multiple chances to demonstrate success can improve their instruction and help students learn. The District administers a variety of assessments throughout the school year that serve to do the following:
- Develop an understanding of the information and what it means;
- Compare the concepts and skills that will be tested and supplement with those taught by the school's curriculum to close identified learning gaps;
- Analyze the similarities and differences between identified trends in assessment results and other achievement data; and,
- Develop strategies to modify curriculum, instruction, and assessment to improve student learning in the classroom.
Assessments used at South Harrison are developed according to state-approved standards and assist in communicating the exact level of proficiency on the standards for each child. The results of these formative and summative assessments provide valuable information to teachers regarding how students are progressing against the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Mathematics, and on the District’s standards in all other content areas. Teachers then use these results to guide instruction and to determine students’ day-to-day readiness for particular concepts and skills.
Assessment results help answer four critical questions that serve as a cornerstone in South Harrison's curriculum and instructional practice:
- What is it we expect our students to learn?
- How will we know if each student has learned it?
- How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
- How will we respond when some students already know it?