Assessment

  • The purpose of assessment in Spring Lake Park Schools is to gather data about student learning for a variety of uses. Assessment data is analyzed to measure and monitor progress toward student learning, to communicate academic growth, to personalize and engage students in learning, and to evaluate educational programs. 

    Spring Lake Park’s comprehensive assessment program balances Assessments FOR Learning and Assessments OF Learning. These assessments are used to produce informed instruction, to help gauge the effectiveness of curriculum and programs, and ultimately to improve student learning.

    Assessments FOR Learning are formative assessments that happen while learning is occurring. They are used to diagnose student needs, plan instruction, and provide students with feedback they can use to improve their work. An example of this would be an assessment given during a unit to measure student progress towards the identified learning targets so that the teacher can modify instruction accordingly. 

    Assessments OF Learning are summative assessments used to sum up achievement at a particular point of time. These occur after learning has happened. These assessments are used to measure achievement status at a point in time for the purpose of reporting and accountability. For example, end-of-trimester tests, MAP tests, and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA-IIIs) are examples of assessments OF learning. 

    A battery of assessments is necessary because they provide important information to a variety of stakeholders. By providing an assessment program that balances Assessments OF Learning and Assessments FOR Learning, Spring Lake Park Schools show a commitment to continually monitor student progress and improve instruction.

  • Assumptions and Beliefs that Guide Our Work

    • The fundamental purpose of assessment is to ensure equitable learning experiences and to improve student learning.
      “High Expectations, High Achievement for All. No Excuses” is achieved when assessment data is used to inform instruction to improve student learning. Most important are the assessments that inform the day-to-day decisions of students, teachers, and leads to improved student learning.

    • Students must be involved in the assessment process.
      When students are active participants in the assessment process they are able to reflect upon and respond to their assessment results.

    • Assessment results must be shared with all stakeholders.
      The purpose of assessments in Spring Lake Park Schools is to inform teachers, students and parents about student achievement. Reports will reflect the objectives of the assessments and district standards.

    • Assessments must provide a complete picture of student achievement.
      In order to measure student learning a variety of assessments and assessment strategies are needed to provide evidence of student growth and achievement over time. Progress reported is based on evidence toward mastery of learning targets. Assessment of other factors such as behavior are measured and reported separately.

    • Assessments must help to measure growth over time.
      By evaluating student achievement data over time, we can determine the impact of curriculum and instruction on student performance regardless of individual differences in starting points or levels of prior knowledge.

    • Assessment data must be ethically collected and managed.
      We are committed to the ethical and timely use of data. Data collected concerning individual students and student groups will be used to enhance student learning. 

    • Assessments must be reliable, valid and culturally responsive.
      Assessments are useful only when they provide quality information. Standards of quality must dictate the selection of tests, scoring guides and the development of standardized district assessments. Alignment of district, site, and classroom assessments with district, state and national academic standards is necessary to maximize student learning.

    • Training and support must be provided to teachers in assessment literacy.
      In order for teachers to be able to use assessment information to guide instruction, the district must provide professional learning and resources.