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 Assessment

The Assessment Office in Learning Services coordinates the student academic achievement testing program for Academy School District 20. Our staff provides test administration and data interpretation support for schools related to state and national assessments. We also work closely with schools to use assessments to improve student learning.

 

For more information, please contact the Assessment Office at (719) 234-1335.

 Academy School District 20 System of Beliefs about Assessment

​Adopted by the Board of Education -- Spring 2001

 

Definition:

Assessment is a systematic sampling of behavior taken to allow inferences about an individual’s knowledge, skill, ability, or other trait. It is often used to describe the process of identifying what students know and can do.
 
1. A well-conceived system of testing and assessment yields information meaningful to the learner, the teacher, and the parent. There are four perspectives on performance. Assessments address the "compared to what" question by comparing achievement to:
o A standard;
o Past performance;
o Predicted achievement; and
o Performance of peers.
2. Assessment serves varied purposes: some are primarily for accountability and program evaluation; others guide instruction and learning.
3. From a diagnostic standpoint, assessment is an integral part of instruction because it tells where instruction should begin or continue.
4. From a summative standpoint, assessment tells how much was learned and whether curricular targets were met.
5. High quality classroom-based assessments are often indistinguishable from good teaching.
6. High quality large-scale assessments are conducted under standardized (consistent) conditions, so the data are comparable.
7. Multiple measures are appropriate when making decisions about students because no single assessment provides a complete picture of student performance or ability.
8. All achievement data contain some degree of measurement error. Our interpretations should take into account this variability in scores.
9. Results from large-scale assessments can be used effectively to reflect on and to inform instruction.
10. Accountability mandates that focus on assessment results should not be used to narrow the curriculum.
11. Assessment results need to be communicated in a way that is understandable to different audiences (e.g., parents, students, community).
12. Student achievement will be maximized when teachers have regular opportunities to discuss assessment and instructional issues as part of horizontal and vertical teams.
13. All teachers and administrators should be able to demonstrate proficiency in:
a. Ethics as related to assessment administration and data use
b. Understanding the strengths and limitations of assessment results
c. Appropriate data interpretation
d. Using bodies of evidence to make decisions about student proficiency
e. Test administration
f. Communicating about a-e (above)