I devoted today to getting caught up on school work! I wouldn't say that I am caught up, but at least my mind is back in the right place, and wrapped around the fact that Christmas break is over ... sleeping in is over, and all day long yoga pants wearing is over : (
Before the break, all of our standardized test materials came back. Since I work in a private school, we take our tests more towards the beginning of the year, in October. The theory behind this, is to see where your class is needing some extra instruction, and what areas of the curriculum you need to beef up to get your students up to speed in areas they may be lacking. The test as used as an assessment on the class, rather than a job performance indicator for the teacher.
As the Vice Principal of Academics, it is part of my job to be the test coordinator, and analyze the results when they come in. This year especially, seeing as how we are up for accreditation, it becomes even more vital to represent the data properly. I put all of the information I gain into pretty little graphs that look at trends over the years, and trends within the quartiles.
The next step in my process is to share the information with the other teachers. We have a lot of new teachers on staff, and I want to make sure that they fully understand how to read and analyze the results. On top of that, and most importantly, I want them to truly gain knowledge from the reports and use it to inform their teaching. Next Friday, we will be having a staff meeting, and I decided to come up with a form that will help the faculty look at the results with a critical eye, and make goals based on the information they acquire.
I think that too often, we look at our test scores, and analyze them, but nothing tangible comes out of the process. I'm not saying that standardized tests are the end all be all to understanding and analyzing student achievement, but they are a tool, a little window we can peak into to inform our teaching. If we take the time to interrupt our school schedules and spend a couple weeks immersed in these tests, then we should give them the proper attention when the results come in.
How do you analyze standardized test data at your school? Do you feel like it is efficient and gets the results you are looking for? I would love to hear how other schools do it!
If you would like a copy of this form to use with your faculty, click HERE