Monday, January 27, 2014

Benchmark Assessments Despite Unanswered Questions

As the Educational Management Services Director, I am frequently asked by assessment directors what content to include on benchmarks that will provide reliable and valid data for predicting how students will do on state tests. 

As the pilot testing of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments approach, there are still many unanswered questions:
  • What will the final items on the tests look like?
  • What will the verbiage be on the new material?
  • How will the final assessments behave? 
  • How will the new technologies lead students through the new innovative items?
  • When and how will the results of the tests be communicated to educators?
  • How will the results of the new tests be segmented into student achievement labels?
The list continues.

As a teacher or an administrator responsible for how students perform on these measurements - which are still being created and finalized - what can be done to ensure that students will be successful? I believe the answer lies in the standards. Common Core State Standards describe skills and knowledge that students will need in order to be college/career ready. The state tests are assessing these skills no matter how items are formatted and no matter what methods are chosen to administer the assessment. Teaching students these skills will ensure that students have the best possible chance to perform well on any type of test which may be administered.

Galileo K-12 Online benchmarks can help by assessing growth in student learning and standards mastery of Common Core State Standards, either by creating custom assessments which mirror district curriculum maps or by creating assessments that assess the standards on the released state blueprints, despite current uncertainties.

- Karyn White, M.A.
Educational Management Services Director

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Galileo School Readiness Scales for Birth to 3 years

Children acquire capabilities during their formative preschool years that have a profound effect on their successful transition to school as well as on maintaining success while attending school. One of the fundamental goals of ATI is to assist programs in meeting the school readiness needs of children. To help programs target these valued educational goals, ATI has created the Galileo School Readiness Scales.

Now available, in addition to the school readiness scales for 3- through 5-year olds, are school readiness scales designed to document the kindergarten-readiness progress of children ages birth to 3 years. Programs can now report on a child's developmental progression from birth through 5 years of age.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions: Galileo School Readiness Scales and Reporting Tools for Ages Birth-5 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Galileo K-12 Online Dashboards and Instructional Effectiveness

To support instructional effectiveness (IE) initiatives, ATI has restructured the Galileo K-12 Online Dashboard based on task sets.  The views were formerly role based into “administrator view” and “staff view.”  The new views are “Instructional Effectiveness View,” “School Performance View,” and “Teaching View.”
  1. The Instructional Effectiveness View is for all IE-related information. There are two tabs with the IE Administration tab containing tools for staff evaluation, available to staff with appropriate permissions, and the Staff IE Results tab with data for individual staff members (available to all user levels for themselves as well as other staff when appropriate permissions are in place).
    a.    Reports on the IE Administration tab include:
        i.    Administer Proficiency Ratings
        ii.    Score Compiler Summary
        iii.    Proficiency Rating Scale Results by School
    b.    Reports on the Staff IE Results tab include:
        i.    Student Growth and Achievement
        ii.    Proficiency Rating Results
        iii.    Score Compiler Report
  2. The School Performance View contains data summative at the school level, displaying data that gives an overview of different student growth measures (available to school-level users and above).  Reports on this view include:
    a.    Categorical Growth Summary
    b.    Student Growth and Achievement by School   
    c.    Value-Added Model
  3. The Teaching View is for accessing classroom-level instructional tools and assessment results.  There is a Home tab with widgets for working with classes and intervention groups and is available to all user levels with access to any given class or intervention group.  Reports on the Teaching View include:
    a.    Recent Events
    b.    Upcoming Events
    c.    Class Roster
    d.    Class Risk Level Summary
    e.    Student Growth and Achievement by Class
Learn more about the Galileo K-12 Online dashboards here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Webisode: Integrating Nonfiction in Common Core

In our conversations with users, we have learned that educators have a growing interest in digital professional development opportunities focusing on student engagement and achievement. We at ATI are developing educational webisodes that emphasize the integration of technology and teaching strategies relevant to Common Core with the goal of increasing student involvement in the learning process.

Our latest webisode, Nonfiction in Common Core, introduces a discussion centered on the role of nonfiction reading in high school English language arts curriculum and most specifically, on the question “Does your curriculum meet Common Core’s requirements for nonfiction?” The webisode also shares the steps as outlined in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers curriculum framework on how nonfiction should be integrated. 

View the webisode now