The image above is our latest video blog. Click on the image to watch the video on student assessment in Worthington Schools.
At last night’s (9.28.15) Worthington Board of Education meeting we spent the entire meeting with the board discussing our 2015-2016 comprehensive student assessment system. Assessment is a major driver in education today and as a school district we believe in the power of assessing our students.
In discussing this issue with the Board of Education we emphasized why we believe in assessment. Assessment helps us take the very messy process of teaching and learning and gauge how we’re progressing. A student assessment score never tells the whole story about a student. It only tells us where they are on their journey. Most importantly it provides necessary information so that we can design a personalized plan for the student that will help them grow. It’s a simple cycle that is repeated in many areas of our life. Start with a goal in mind (the standards), create a plan to achieve the goal (the Worthington course of study), work the plan (classroom teaching), stop and assess how we are progressing towards the goal (assessment), use the data from the assessment to adjust the plan so students see success (classroom teaching.)
Assessment is important but it always needs to be in balance with classroom teaching. There should be a significant amount of classroom teaching and as little assessment as possible to provide the necessary data. Last spring with all of the new State of Ohio assessments (PARCC and AIR) we felt like our assessment system was out of balance. There was too much assessment and not enough time for classroom teaching. The State of Ohio responded to this and reduced the time for state assessment this spring. In addition, as a school district we decided to take a step back and analyze all of the local assessments we choose to administer to our students.
Worthington Chief Academic Officer, Jennifer Wene, partnered with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and new Worthington Director of Secondary Education, Neil Gupta, to work through a structured student assessment inventory. All local Worthington assessments were evaluated based on their purpose, what information is provided by the assessment, how teachers were using the assessment information, and what the student experience was like. Our goal was to make certain that every assessment we give is meaningful and the best use of a student and teacher’s time.
After completing this process we made some adjustments to our assessment system. A few tests were changed in order to reduce overlap and in order to get more expedited actionable data. In a few areas we realized we needed to do a better job in helping our teachers and parents understand the assessment and we put plans in place for this year to make that happen. When you see this year’s assessment calendar you can be certain that a great deal of thought has been put into the calendar. If we’re giving an assessment we believe it is necessary so that we can help every child grow to their fullest potential.
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent