Assessments provide educators with valuable information about what their students know and are able to do. There are various types of assessments that can be used for different purposes. Students take periodic assessments several times throughout the school year to give teachers more information about what students have learned whereas yearly assessments provide an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, and administrators to measure progress against shared expectations for student achievement.
Periodic assessments provide educators with information about what their students know and are able to do so teachers can adjust instruction throughout the school year to address their students’ diverse needs.
Elements of a strong periodic assessment program include:
- Engagement in the inquiry cycle—collecting data, analyzing the data, making instructional adjustments and then repeating the process to understand how students are progressing
- Real changes to teaching practice based on data and analysis
- Periodic assessments that are conducted throughout the school year, including beginning- and end-of-year MOSL-eligible assessments and interim assessments
- Data tools that allow teachers to reflect on their practices in light of their data and dialogue with colleagues about teaching practices
- Space for educators to develop assessment literacy, which includes:
- Knowing the basics of assessment design in order to thoughtfully choose assessments that present a holistic picture of student learning
- Understanding how to engage with the data and interpret what the data says about what students know and are able to do
Yearly assessments provide an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, and administrators to measure progress against shared expectations for student achievement.
Yearly assessments can take many forms and serve a variety of purposes, including:
- Gathering data on student mastery of standards to inform decisions regarding promotion and graduation
- Determining student admission to selective programs
- Helping put students on track for college success by giving them practice for the SAT exams, which many colleges require for admission
- Evaluating how well schools are serving students
- Helping schools evaluate their programs and determine which instructional standards to focus on
- Determining whether students should receive special services to help them learn English
Information about yearly assessments taken by New York City students, including grades 3-8 State math and ELA tests and high school Regents exams, is available here.