Monday, March 5, 2012

How can teachers use student assessment data to improve student learning and target their individual needs?

This excerpt from Tools to Reform, discusses the challenges related to elevating student learning faced by Creighton School District and how the district overcame the challenges with the help of WestEd and ATI. Read the full story here.

At the Creighton School District in Phoenix, Arizona, educators wanted an assessment system that could guide teachers to make the best instructional decisions for each child. There was urgency for the task: In 2008, the Arizona Department of Education had designated Creighton as a failing district, slated for state takeover. Six of its nine schools had been labeled “Underperforming” and one as “Failing to Meet to Academic Standards.”

… [In that same year, Creighton] launched a reform initiative that led to a remarkable turnaround: Today, eight of its schools have been relabeled “Performing Plus” and one is “Highly Performing,” based on Ari-zona Learns achievement profiles. Creighton is no longer a failing district. How did Creighton achieve this dramatic improvement? A key ingredient for their success, say district leaders, was changing how they assessed students and, more importantly, how they analyzed results to fine-tune instruction. “This district,” says Dr. Lynne Spiller, Creighton’s Director of Research and Evaluation, “believes profoundly that there is no reason to assess a child if you are not going to use the data to determine the best instructional decisions for that child.”

Integrating assessment with instruction and curriculum was a cornerstone of the district’s reform plan. Creighton wanted to build a system that gave classroom teachers immediate data—not just a test score but assessments that were diagnostic, showing student misconceptions about learning objectives and how to address them. The system was developed in partnership with WestEd, a nonprofit research and service agency, and Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI), whose Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement System (IIS) provided a powerful and innovative technological compo¬nent for the reform effort. *Dr. Jason Feld, Vice President of Corporate Projects at ATI, describes Gali¬leo as a comprehensive set of assessment, reporting, instructional, and intervention tools “designed to support educator goals to elevate student learning.” These tools, he adds, are research-based, reliable, and aligned to both state standards and the new Common Core State Standards.

*ATI began developing Galileo assessment technology in Arizona and currently provides Galileo to pre-K programs, K-12 districts, and charter schools in 35 states. In Arizona, they currently partner with 182 K-12 districts and charter schools.
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:
  • Common Core and School Improvement Symposium hosted by Pearson with an ATI presentation “Elevating Student Achievement: A Close-Up Look at Galileo and Common Core Assessments in Hawaii” March 5 at the Sheraton in Waikiki Oahu, Hawaii and March 6 at the Wailea Beach Marriott Maui, Hawaii.
  • 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.

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