The primary goals for assessment and evaluation are to provide further information about student learning and to inform instruction. Data-driven practice begins with the collection of a variety of student learning data (some gathered through assessment and evaluation), then proceeds to the analysis of the data gathered. Teacher observation and recording of growth and development are essential parts of the whole analysis. We analyze multiple sources of data to inform our decisions within a framework of both universal design for learning (UDL) and the individualized educational interventions for specific learners. Further, we believe that assessments and evaluations only become meaningful when our findings are combined with effective action.
We use standardized testing to gain perspective on our students, both as individuals and as a class group. The data provide us with valuable information about the ability level of our students and how they compare with other same-aged peers, particularly in other independent schools. Most importantly, the data help us review our curriculum and create realistic academic expectations for individual students. The following are the two primary programs we use for such work.
We believe in the importance of familiarizing our students with the process of formal test taking. To that end, we administer standardized testing each spring (for approximately 4–5 days), in the form of the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP), which is developed by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Tests are administered to students in Grades 3 through 6. Grade 3 also takes the math portion of the CTP in the fall.
Comprehensive standardized assessments give us a snapshot of students’ academic progress as measured by quantitative indicators. The process also familiarizes students with the idea that standardized testing is an integral aspect of their educational experience; it's another opportunity to display what they've learned. Furthermore, the ERB is a bridge to the Independent School Entrance Exam which is a core component of any child's application to Middle School.
It is important for our students and our families to understand what standardized tests are not: they do not predict success in life; they do not measure loyalty, kindness, or the ability to benefit from or contribute to a community; they do not offer a profile of a student as a learner over time. Our Parent Conferences, reports, and portfolios provide that essential information. These tests are a “snapshot”—in Kingsley’s case, a snapshot of a child at a specific point in their year. The results are valuable in the way they help us to see measurable areas of strength and measurable challenges.
The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (F&P) is an assessment used to identify a student's reading (accuracy, fluency, and comprehension level) and progress along a gradient of text levels over time. The classifications (instructional reading level and independent reading level) are used to inform instruction and create leveled reading groups, whether those are occurring within classrooms or through the support of the Student Support Team. Furthermore, the levels serve as a guide in choosing independent reading books and informing instruction. Parents will receive scores at conference times and on Progress Reports.
From year to year, Kingsley utilizes several other diagnostic tools to assess students in Math, Reading, and Language. In addition, the School reserves the right to administer other forms of diagnostic testing to more closely review a student’s learning needs. If there is a concern about the learning of any student, the results will be shared with parents. Parents may schedule an appointment with their teacher and/or Education Director to review and discuss any test results.