The purpose of assessment is to give students opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of content, concepts and skills and to provide feedback to students in order to improve their learning. Teachers use a range of assessments to accomplish this, from something as simple as asking a question during a discussion to an end of a chapter or unit test. These forms of assessment are a traditional part of schooling. There are also other forms of tests often referred to as “high stakes tests”, like the annual testing mandated by federal and state education policy, SATs, ACTs, and AP exams. Each form of assessment differs in purpose, frequency, duration, and content.
The diagrams and information below illustrate some goals for student learning that we regularly try to assess- skills, knowledge, understanding, creative and critical thinking- and the different types of assessments we use to inform our understanding of what students have learned, along with how frequently each is used.
Some of the recent excessive testing “buzz” reported in the media was created by decisions individual school districts made, adding student tests for the purpose of evaluating teachers. Our teacher evaluation plan minimizes additional testing, as we took advantage of flexibility in the teacher evaluation law in effect prior to recent actions taken by the NYS legislature aimed at reducing unnecessary testing, especially in grades K-2.
To learn more, please visit http://www.bcsdny.org/BCSD411.cfm which also includes the rest of the 4-1-1 series. Also:
Read our District Assessment and Grading Policies: http://www.bcsdny.org/policies.cfm?sid=5
· Read our Annual Student Performance report: http://www.bcsdny.org/Departments.cfm?subpage=8613
· Read more about the NYS testing program: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/testingprogram.html