Assessment Principle 6
Highly effective schools pay particular attention to teachers' qualitative and quantitative data and standardised test data. Teachers and school leaders need to understand current and past student achievement levels, be explicit about targets for improvement and be explicit about how progress towards those targets will be monitored. School leaders need to plan for how they will evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives and programs. Teachers should plan for how they will reflect on and evaluate their teaching practices. This implies that schools and teachers need to be willing to identify and evaluate both the intended and unintended consequences of any initiative or program.
Reflecting on school-wide evaluationBackground
The distinction between summative assessment (assessment of learning) and formative assessment (assessment for learning) is useful when describing the different ways in which information about student learning is collected (how it is collected, when it is collected, why it is collected, and how it will be used). School-wide evaluation processes require that school leaders and teachers use all data collected to better understand and improve student learning.Consider your school-wide evaluation processes
- Which assessments do you use in the school and how is the data from these assessments used to evaluate:
- school programs?
- teaching practices?
- Do you have a culture of involving all teachers in evaluation of school programs?
- Do you value and use data from standardised testing programs as well as teachers' qualitative and quantitative data?
- Do you use data to evaluate the learning of each and every student?
The process of collecting data is more likely to lead to improved school performance if:
- The data collected is meaningful (i.e. the assessments address the preceding assessment principles).
- The school has a strategic plan for the collection of a range of student data (both test data and classroom assessments).
- Many, if not all, staff members are committed to using data to evaluate school programs and to evaluate their teaching practices.
- Teachers use data to evaluate each student's learning and the school always 'puts faces on the data'.