Step 2: Identify available assessments being used in your district to evaluate student learning throughout the year.
In Step 1, districts determined what they expected their students to know and be able to do. In Step 2, districts identify different types of assessments commonly used across multiple schools/grades/courses to measure what students know and are able to do. The purpose of this step is to help districts identify:
- The assessments that are measuring what students are expected to know and be able to do
- Which assessments are being used to measure student learning across the district, and
- Grades and subjects where no formal assessment exists to evaluate student learning.
The inventory of assessments used by the district will likely consist of a range of assessments teachers use to evaluate student learning in their classrooms every day as well as other standardized assessments selected by the school or district. Teachers use the information generated from these types of assessments to inform instruction, check student progress, determine a student’s level of mastery by the end of the instructional period, and to assign grades.
Once an assessment inventory has been completed, districts may use the following questions to identify the assessments that will be considered in educator evaluation:
- Which assessments are aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards?
- Which assessments best measure student progress toward district/school/course learning expectations, described in Step 1?
- Which assessments are deemed most valuable by educators to provide information to help inform their instructional decisions?
To further assist districts as they answer the above questions, CDE has provided an Assessment Review Tool. This tool allows users to evaluate the quality of assessments based on the following criteria: Alignment to Colorado Academic Standard and Depth of Knowledge, Scoring, Fair and Unbiased, and Opportunities to Learn.
Districts are advised to keep the assessment selection process simple by selecting the assessments that are aligned with school and district goals, generate results that educators use to make the greatest impact on student learning, and most importantly, are aligned with what students are expected to know and be able to do.
Tools/resources to assist with Step 2:
- The Assessment Inventory tool is an Excel spreadsheet that helps teachers and district staff identify assessments that might be used in educator evaluation.
- The Assessment Review Tool is an Excel spreadsheet that walks educators through a series of criteria to help ensure whether an assessment is fair, valid and reliable. The criteria includes: Alignment to Colorado Academic Standard and Depth of Knowledge, Scoring, Fair and Unbiased, and Opportunities to Learn.
- The District Questions to Consider document is a series of questions for districts to support their work in determining measures of student learning.
- The MSL Guiding Questions document (developed by the Colorado Education Initiative [CEI]) presents questions for districts to consider while developing and improving their systems.