Student assessment in the Scarsdale Public Schools
includes both classroom assessment and standardized testing. While in some minds “standardized testing” is
synonymous with “student assessment,”
student assessment actually encompasses a variety of ways to determine
how students are progressing in their learning.
Student assessment begins in the classroom. Each teacher evaluates students informally every day, observing their responses to questions, classroom contributions, interactions with other students, and acquisition of specific skills and concepts. The teacher uses these informal observations to answer these questions:, “Are the students learning the specific skills? Have the students understood the concept I was trying to teach?” If the answer is “NO”, the good teacher looks for another way to illuminate the skill and concept, either for the whole class or for the individual student. If the answer is “Yes”, then the teacher can move on to new skills and concepts.
- One type of assessment measures students’ ability to answer well-structured, unconditional questions (e.g., true/false, multiple-choice, short answer, essay questions, or math problems).
- An alternative type of assessment evaluates students
using a variety of indicators and sources of evidence, for example:
- Performance Assessment - a teacher’s evaluation of the process students use to solve a problem or
complete a project demonstrating their knowledge and skills, as well as the
evaluation of the product they create.
- Portfolio Assessment -
involves teacher evaluation of a collection of samples of an individual
student’s work showing progress over time.
Another way to characterize assessments is by purpose:
- Assessment OF Learning is a summative measure of what a student has learned after instruction has ended, such as: unit test, mid-year exam, final exam.
- Assessment FOR Learning is a formative measure of what the student already knows and does not know so the teacher may plan future instruction accordingly, such as with STAR.
- Assessment AS Learning occurs when the assessment is the learning activity, such as the 5th grade Capstone project, an activity or project designed to also be a measure of learning. These are also known as performance assessments and typically include a scoring rubric.