student assessment inventory for school districts

Download Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts

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The Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts is a tool district leaders can use to take stock of their assessments and assessment strategy, and do so from a student perspective. The tool supports a process by which districts evaluate the assessments students are taking, determine the minimum testing necessary to serve essential diagnostic, instructional and accountability purposes, and work to ensure that every district-mandated test is of high quality, is providing the information needed for specific school and district purposes, and is supported by structures and routines so that assessment results are actually used and action steps taken that will help students. Visit


  • 1. Student AssessmentInventory for SchoolDistrictsTraining Guide

2. Sections of the Training Guide Background and Context Downloading the Assessment Inventory Components of the Assessment Inventory Reflect and Plan Conduct the Inventory Analyze the Inventory Make Recommendations Inventory Table Next Steps2 3. Background and Context 4. What is the Student Assessment Inventory forSchool Districts?It is a tool district leaders can use to take stock of their assessments andassessment strategy, and do so from a student perspective. It supports aprocess by which districts evaluate the assessments students are takingand determine the minimum testing necessary to serve essentialdiagnostic, instructional and accountability purposes. Taking stock and then taking action requires significant district commitment. The inventory tool is only one element of a thoughtful longer process thatboth engages productively with concerns about testing and leads to real changesin testing time. The inventory tool is a suggested template, but districts are encouraged tomodify the tool to better meet their needs. The inventory is not a one-time event. Districts should regularly re-examine theirassessments in light of changing district needs and improvements in availableassessments.4 5. Why is it needed and what is it designed to do? Achieve has long recommended thatdistricts take stock of the testsstudents are required to take. Educators, parents, and studentsacross the country have expressedconcerns about the amount of timethat testing is taking away fromteaching and learning. The assessment inventory isdesigned to spur action to addressthese valid concerns.5 6. Broad-based concerns with testing burden Tests can play a critical role in improving teaching and learning byproviding consistent measures to monitor progress, identify strengthsand set learning goals for students. However, in too many districts, there is simply too much testing. Parents, educators, policymakers and students themselves have raisedconcerns about the volume of testing, but to date, there hasnt been aclear process for looking at the array of assessments andconsidering their intended purpose, actual use as well as criticalcharacteristics such as alignment and quality. There are multiple layers of testing that go well beyond the NCLB testsrequired by states, with additional tests required by districts and sometests required by schools. The layers do not always add up to acohesive and aligned set of tests during a school year.6 7. How was the Assessment Inventory developed?7Achieve has developed the assessment inventory to support avoluntary, district-led process: Achieve developed an initial draft of the inventory tool and shared with abroad network of state and district leaders and experts for feedback. In partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education, Achievepiloted a revised version of the tool with a group of eight districts acrossConnecticut. Achieve finalized the tool based on feedback from thesedistricts. Based on district feedback, Achieve designed the inventory to be openlylicensed and modifiable based on district needs. Users should feel freeto modify any components of the tool to best suit their needs. This resource was developed for Adobe Reader XI as a writable pdf. AdobeReader is XI is free and can be downloaded here: 8. Downloading the AssessmentInventory 9. 9Step 1: Access the Student Assessment Inventoryfor School 10. Step 2: Access the assessment inventory10 11. Step 3: Complete the registration formNote: Achieve will keep all users information private. With permission, we may contactyou to get feedback on the inventorys utility and impact.11 12. Step 4: Download the Student AssessmentInventory12 13. Step 5: Open Writable PDF of StudentAssessment InventoryNote: Adobe Reader XI is required to use this resource as a writable pdf. Adobe Readeris XI is free and can be downloaded here: 14. Components of the AssessmentInventory 15. Reflect and planConduct theinventoryAnalyze theinventoryMakerecommendationsThe process includes four major stages15 16. Reflect and Plan: Building a strong teamDistrict leaders should ensure that they have the necessary district and school staffinvolved in an inventory leadership team. These roles are highly recommended:16 District Assessment Director/Coordinator Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction District financial staff School board member Data Coach or other role that works with school-based staff around data School leaders including principals, instructional coaches, and lead teachers Teachers School counselors ParentsGiven that assessmentdecisions have often been madein silos, it is particularlyimportant that the team crossesoffices and responsibilities toensure a holistic approach 17. Reflect and Plan: Building a strong team17It is also critical that the team have the support they need to meet thegoals of the inventory process. Team members will need access to assessment information, includingpractice tests, sample items, specifications, test windows. Team members will also need access to contract, vendor, budgetinformation. The team needs to have the authority to make recommendations to theright decision-makers. District leaders, including the superintendent and school board, shouldcommunicate internal to the district and to the community about thepurpose and importance of the inventory process. 18. Reflect and Plan: Guiding QuestionsDistricts use a set of guiding questions to initiate the planning process.18 What is the district context in which the inventory is being considered? What are the objectives of the student assessment inventory? Who will collect the information needed for the inventory table? How willthey access that information? What is the scope of the inventory? Which assessments should be includedand excluded from the inventory table? What individual or entity has the authority to act on the results of theinventory? Who will be making the recommendations?Note: Answers to guiding questions can be typed directly in the document(writable pdf format requires Abode Reader XI). 19. Conduct the InventoryThe Inventory Table is designed to capture information the districtcollects about the assessments. It is openly licensed, which allows formodifications as needed to suit the districts goals and context.19 20. Analyze the InventoryIn analyzing the inventory, it is critical to do several levels of analysis. Developing a student-level perspective by looking across allassessments students take at a particular grade level or grade band, andthen by particular student needs and characteristics. Identifying assessments that district will continue to administer, and clarifyif any need changes to ensure they are helpful for intended uses. Identifying the assessments that seem to be on the table for eliminationor significant changes. Helping districts build toward recommendations while reengaging withkey stakeholders to review potential options and decision points.20 21. Make RecommendationsBased on the inventory analysis, what recommendations will the districtmake to streamline and/or strengthen its assessment program?Note: This table can also be filled out using the documents writable .pdf format.21 22. Inventory Table 23. Inventory Table Overview23 The inventory table is a chart that guides districts in compilinginformation about assessments. Like the guiding questions and make recommendations table, theinventory table is in a writable PDF format, meaning that users cantype directly onto the table and save changes (note: Adobe AcrobatReader XI is required to save changes). The inventory table (as well as the entire assessment inventory tool)is openly licensed, allowing for modifications to be made as needed tosuit the districts goals and context. Districts are free to modify the toolto better meet their needs. Districts can translate the table intodifferent electronic formats, including online survey tools. Users cantranspose columns and rows, or create additional snapshots of theinformation such as a calendar view. 24. Inventory Table Overview There are three types of questions being asked in the table: Basic information questions Use/purpose questions Operational questions Some information to complete the table will not be directly available from testspecifications and will require communicating with users of the assessment,especially with respect to issues of assessment use. A short survey or set offocus groups is strongly recommended to better understand howassessments are being used by multiple audiences.24 25. General guidelines Initially focus on summative, interim, and benchmark assessmentsgiven across multiple classrooms or schools rather than individualclassroom-based formative assessments (e.g., quizzes) It is more important to provide key details of each assessment than tospend significant time classifying an assessment as, for example,benchmark or interim. For more discussion on the research base on suchassessments, please see this framework by the National Center for theImprovement of Educational Assessment. Several inventory use questions are addressed in the FAQ on p. 9 of theassessment inventory tool.25 26. Inventory Table: Basic information questions26 27. Inventory Table: Basic Information Questions Information on most basic information questions should be available fromtest specification booklets and other information provided by vendors, orfrom state and district policy documents (e.g., contracts and/or budgets). For the question, To which content standards is the assessment aligned?,basic information may be available from the vendor or state (if commonlyused across districts), or districts may undertake an independent alignmentprocess. Your district might also


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