Since our schools differentiate the pacing of content standards according to student ability, we use computer-adaptive, nationally normed interim assessments (Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress, or “NWEA MAP”) and a responsive Report Card to track and monitor that student progress is continual. We are then able to address stagnation or declines as quickly as possible.
The Academies CMO sees two primary benefits of such an approach:
1) To encourage a mastery orientation for students and model the belief that learning is progress on a continuum, a life-long endeavor.
2) To produce the most valid measurement of student learning and use that data to inform our teaching practice and instructional design.
This growth model for measuring student learning includes:
· Evaluation via projects, performances, collaborative work, teacher observation, Socratic seminars, art, and drama in addition to paper and pencil outputs.
· Student portfolios, a collection of work samples from content areas for the duration of the school year that also include a reflection piece to each work sample provided. With reflection provided to each piece, during each trimester, families and teachers can see evidence of growth over the year.
The culture of a “mastery orientation” at The Academies (like growth mindset) applies not only to students, but also to our staff. Teachers will set professional goals, participate in staff development and other trainings, and use student performance data to continually improve their instructional practice.