Monday, February 27, 2012

What is the DL Score… and, how can it be my Pre-K tool?

Firstly, what is it?

The Developmental Level (DL) Score is a path-referenced score and a summarized measure of ability. This score indicates a child’s position on the path of developmental progress. When generated for an aggregate group of children it will reveal the group’s average position on the path of development. The path is comprised of a series of empirically ordered capabilities outlining a developmental progression for each scale or developmental area.

Secondly, how is it helpful?

When we know a child’s or group’s ability, as summarized by the DL score, we know the kinds of things that have been learned and the things that the child or group is ready to learn now and in the future. The DL score is a data point for goal planning and monitoring progress towards achieving program-wide goals. For individuals, the DL score drives the identification of emerging skills.

Thirdly, how can I make use of it?

After the teacher contributes knowledge of a child’s ability by saving observations, Galileo will identify emerging capabilities as “Ready Now”/“Plan Now” goals. These readiness suggestions provide the basis for planning appropriately challenging learning opportunities. Because developmental ability progress is measured in terms of change in position on a scale, it will be helpful to know how the DL score correlates to achievement levels. Check this link to see the chart detailing each assessment scale’s DL score range and its corresponding achievement level of Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced.

-Deborah Kinzer, Field Services Coordinator

Monday, February 20, 2012

Benefits of Instructional Effectiveness Assessment

As mentioned in a blog last week, in the next few months ATI will release a system for evaluating instruction that integrates data on teacher and administrator proficiency with data on student academic progress. A brief summary of the benefits provided by the Galileo Instructional Effectiveness Assessment System (IEAS) is outlined below. Further details regarding benefits are available in the 2012 white paper titled Instructional Effectiveness Assessment available here.

Benefits include:
  • Valid and reliable IEAS assessments in math, reading/English language arts (ELA), science, and writing.
  • Analysis techniques and reports to evaluate student achievement data in the context of educator evaluation.
  • Support for instructional effectiveness (IE) assessment for non-state tested content areas such as music, art, and physical education.
  • Tools to design customized educator rating scales aligned to educator effectiveness scales such as the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Educational Leadership Policy Standards, and individual state department of education standards.
  • Tools to record and report on data from observations, interviews, and other data sources to rate each teacher and administrator on the elements in the rating scales.
  • Tools with which each school district may customize the relative weights applied to evaluation scores as recommended by individual state departments of education. These tools allow districts to adjust the weights applied to student performance data and educator/administrator rating elements to determine final effectiveness scores.
  • Algorithms and reporting tools that summarize student performance data and educator/administrator evaluation data from many sources to generate an Overall Evaluation Score for each teacher and administrator.
If you would like to participate in the IEAS pilot and are a current Galileo K-12 Online user, please contact your Field Services Coordinator at 1.877.442.5453 to learn more.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teacher and Administrator Rating Scales: A new way of doing things

Ratings of teachers and administrators have long been a part of instructional evaluation. Many districts have written their own tools and rubrics to conduct such evaluations. Others have made use of rating scales devised by outside vendors. Until recent legislative initiatives such as SB 1040 in Arizona, there has been little structure or uniformity in the way ratings are implemented and how the results are used across different districts.

A large volume of research exists to guide the construction of teacher and administrator rating scales. Moreover, a number of instruments have been developed based on the extensive body of existing knowledge regarding instructional effectiveness. The existing body of research on instruction provides a useful foundation for meeting challenges associated with the rapidly growing interest and related legislation aimed at improving the quality of instruction in the nation’s schools.
The major challenge emerging from the new demand for instructional evaluation is the need to integrate information on ratings of teacher and administrator effectiveness with data on student progress. Effective integration requires continuing research evaluating the relationship between ongoing ratings of teacher and administrator proficiency and current measures of student progress. The focus of this research will be to evaluate the extent to which high quality instruction is associated with high levels of student achievement.

In the next few months we will be releasing a system for evaluating instruction that integrates data on teacher and administrator proficiency with data on student academic progress. The new system will bring many advantages that are not available with the traditional way of doing things. One of the most important advantages will be support for the development of customized tools for teacher and administrator evaluation. One size does not fit all. Customization is made possible by the application of the same sophisticated psychometric analyses that are applied to producing customized benchmark assessments for use evaluating student learning. All of this is accomplished by building a bank of rating scale items that are “all on the same scale.” This means that scores may be calculated from any set of items and compared meaningfully to a score from any other set. Progress may be followed and decisions made from the comparison. Progress may be meaningfully followed while still retaining the ability to have a focused tool that taps directly into the skills that are important at any one given time.
The new approach will also provide proficiency scale scores that can be meaningfully applied to understanding what works in the classroom with the district’s own kids. Ratings from scales constructed in this fashion may be brought to bear in analysis of student outcomes. What is truly effective and what is not may be easily identified. 

We are scheduling the release of the new system this spring at which time we will be conducting pilot testing of the new approach.

John Bergan, Ph.D.
Vice President Research and Development

Monday, February 6, 2012

Common Core Standards: Integrating Local Accountability and a Comprehensive Assessment System

The Common Core State Standards call for a new, powerful view of education. Teaching and assessing the standards is not enough. Districts need an integration of systems and a culture of change.

More districts are looking to build a comprehensive assessment model that is driven at the local level. Register for the online webinar “Common Core Standards: Integrating Local Accountability and a Comprehensive Assessment System” hosted by WestEd SchoolsMovingUp, ATI, and Creighton Unified School District on February 29, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. P.T. This webinar serves as a continuation of the WestEd webinar, Common Core Standards: Transitioning to New Rigor.

The speakers will review how districts can think about the new rigor required in building a local comprehensive assessment system. Attendees will learn about:
  • Decisions faced by districts across the country when considering aligning curriculum with the Common Core State Standards and building an integrated assessment system to meet the requirements of the new rigor.
  • Creighton School District's (Arizona) process of thinking about how to approach assessment and working with WestEd.
  • Districts' use of ATI’s comprehensive assessment system in meeting the assessment and instructional challenges inherent in the Common Core State Standards.
Presenters include:
To register, click here.

Experience Galileo K-12 Online during an online overview and see how it provides a better way to address your goal of raising student achievement. To register, visit the Assessment Technology Incorporated website (, call 1.877.442.5453, email, or visit us at the following events:
  • Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) Annual Spring Conference March 11 and 12 at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Windgate Exhibition Hall, Osage Beach, Missouri.
  • California Small School Districts' Association (SSDA) 29th Annual Conference March 28-30 at the Radisson Hotel Sacramento, Sacramento, California.
  • Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Annual Conference April 25-27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield, Illinois.