Assessment and Testing
District Assessment Coordinator: Travis Nagel / 218-334-3181 ext. 4625 / [email protected]
A question that is often asked is: “Why are there so many different assessments, and how do they impact classroom instruction?”
The key is that they are part of the instruction. Teachers use a variety of assessment data to monitor progress and individually adjust their instruction to meet the needs of each and every student. Yes, it’s a lot of work; important, necessary, and effective work. Frazee-Vergas School District has been working to build a strong comprehensive assessment program balancing “Assessments for Learning” and “Assessments of Learning.” These assessments are used to produce far more informed and effective instruction and help gauge the effectiveness of our curriculum and programs.
“Assessments for Learning” are formative assessments that happen while learning is occurring. They are used to diagnose student needs, plan instruction, and provide students with feedback they can use to improve their work. An example of this would be an assessment given during a unit to measure student progress towards the identified learning targets so that the teacher can modify instruction accordingly.
“Assessments of Learning” are summative assessments used to sum up achievement at a particular point of time. These occur after learning has happened. These assessments are used to measure achievement status at a point in time for the purpose of reporting and accountability. For example, unit tests and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments are examples of Assessments of Learning. The results of unit tests are used to identify grades reported to parents on report cards. The results of the MCA’s are reported to the state and are used as an accountability measure for schools across the state.
By creating a strong assessment program that balances Assessments of Learning and Assessments for Learning, the Frazee-Vergas School District shows its commitment to continually monitor student progress and improve instruction.