Teachers at one elementary school in Michigan have discovered that how tests are used makes a difference for students, and for the understanding and measurement of what students understand and know.
At Holmes Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, teachers Christine Woodson and Jackie Moray saw a difference in the measurement of how their students understood double digit subtraction. The shift was from 81 percent of the students not understanding to 68 percent having a firm grasp.
The key is having teachers trained in assessment literacy. This doesn’t mean literacy in the sense that normally means reading ability; it means a focus on testing and how it applies to instruction.
It might seem obvious that students should be assessed on what they are taught in class, but that is not always the case. “We’re in an era where our expectation is that all kids grow and learn,” said Norman, WISD assistant superintendent for achievement and student services. “I think that this is a way to really be making sure that each and every child is making growth and knowing that you’re doing it in a very systematic way.”
Some texts and curriculum provided for teachers do not line up with state standards, and the standards are what the children are tested on. It’s important for teachers to have the ability to create their own assessments, and know what is expected in state academic standards.