Overview of Research

Year 4 Support Materials

Year 4 English snapshot: Assessing reading: synthesis, inference and evaluation

Assessment Principle 6: Assessment should lead to school-wide evaluation processes

Reflecting on the Assessment Snapshot

The process of evaluation should always lead to some action. As a result of their evaluation of the school's NAPLAN data, the teachers in this snapshot set up a program that facilitated: (i) the focused teaching of reading and (ii) the monitoring of the effectiveness of that teaching.

Sharratt and Fullan (2011) write about drivers of school improvement, as describe the evaluation activity in a cluster of schools.

At each school site, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) had time to begin the process of developing and administering common formative assessments so that they would have access to real time data about student learning. PLC teams worked to build and define the responses and supports necessary to provide the extra opportunities for learning that some students required to be successful in their mastery of the essential standards for their grade level and courses. Data walls were developed at sites and teachers began to meet regularly to have conversations focused on current data and the need to respond to the learning needs of every student as evidenced by the data. Sites then developed robust systems of support for their students who needed extra time for learning as evidenced by the data. Over time this focus has led to the development of support systems that provide extra time and opportunity for learning for students who were struggling with mastery of a standard. These systems were fluid and were driven by regular progress monitoring that in turn drove supports to meet student needs (pp. 8-9).

Sharratt and Fullan's work is echoed in the research findings reported in the Teaching and Learning School Improvement Framework developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). In highly effective schools, all teaching staff have access to a broad range of student achievement data and use it to analyse, study and display individual and cohort progress; time is set aside for in-depth staff discussions of achievement data and of strategies for the continuous improvement of student outcomes; and data are used in building a culture of self-evaluation and reflection across the school (Masters, 2010).

Reflection questions
  • How do you work with colleagues to evaluate student achievement data and how does this work inform your teaching?
  • What information do you collect to evaluate your own teaching?
  • Do you ensure you act upon your findings from an evaluation?
  • Do you plan how you will evaluate an initiative before you start to implement it?

Masters, G. (2010). Teaching and Learning School Improvement Framework. State of Queensland (Department of Education and Training) and the Australian Council for Educational Research. Retrieved http://www.acer.edu.au/documents/C2E-Teach-and-learn-no-crop.pdf

Sharratt, L., & Fullan, M. (2011). Putting FACES on the Data – What Great Leaders Do! Retrieved http://www.michaelfullan.com/media/13396086040.pdf