How should educators demonstrate the effectiveness of instruction relative to student achievement in an age of accountability?
Classroom assessments form the core of all assessments, especially in a standards-based system. For the effectiveness of instruction relative to students’ achievement in this age of accountability, it is vital for classroom assessments to test the same knowledge and skills as the district accountability test and national standards, though testing format or strategy may be different. Overall, it is paramount for the classroom assessment to be aligned with the district level accountability assessment and content standards or national technology standards (DIANE Publishing Company 48). Assessments, especially the standardized ones, assist teachers in acquiring accurate information about their students’ progress and their need for improvement in certain areas, all of which are aimed at improving teaching and learning in our schools (Westwood 80).
Classroom assessment, which consists of formative assessment and summative assessments, forms the backbone of the district, content standards, and other assessments. Thus, to achieve standards, teachers, and pupils in classrooms are the main targets for all changes aimed at improving content standards or national technology standards.
Studies have revealed that this approach is quite fruitful since the formative assessment is an essential component of classroom work and its development can significantly improve standards of achievement (Black and Wiliam 81). The standards from national groups are focused on producing students with uniform education that can be recognized within the country and the outside world. These standards also serve another major role of gauging students and school performance within the country a factor that can be used in categorizing schools.
In America, there have been great emphases on the adoption of the national assessment of children, with the 2001 results of national assessment being quite encouraging, leading to the Congress to adopt a bill that supported enforcement national assessment standards that strengthen state standards (SENATE 17095). In our state, the NCLB tests have truly demonstrated student achievement towards content standards since they have greatly helped students and schools to improve their performance, especially from the period following the 2001 review.
Content standards have greatly improved learning in our country, with studies showing that most teachers believe that the standards have helped students to learn important concepts and big ideas, and their evaluation of students understanding of concepts (Sunal and Wright 350). NCLB efforts at standardizing content serve as a continuity bridge for college-bound students and broaden curricular choices to meet needs for all students (Lowe 1).
Teachers/educators are very crucial to students learning as they are charged with the responsibility dispensing educational instructions and evaluating the students to gauge their understanding of the imparted instructions. Apart from these traditional roles, teachers also serve as mentors, coaches, help in students’ guidance and counseling and they can assume a collaborative role with students in discussions. The result of this is the improvement of assessment, thus enhancing student learning and positive interaction experiences among all parties (Guzzetti 145). Teachers being custodians of education and being able to influences students in various ways, they should also be assessed or appraised regularly to check whether they meet standards that are important in ensuring that they can effectively impart and evaluate the standard contents.
The administrators and managers apart from their management responsibilities are essential in evaluating the effectiveness of instructions for student achievement relative to national standards. First, as required by the ISLLC Standards, they should manage the school and its resources, with the major emphasis being on student success. This can involve creating and promoting a conducive learning environment for the students. Additionally, should look at their institution’s performance in comparison to the district and national assessment and then gauge where their school and students lie. Upon this analysis, they should be able to come up with policy and management adjustments that can improve student achievement relative to the national standards.
Black, Paul and Wiliam, Dylan. “Kappan Classic: Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment.” Phi Delta Kappan, 92(1), 2010: 81.
DIANE Publishing Company. What’s Noteworthy on Learners, Learning & Schooling. NY: DIANE Publishing, 1998. Web.
Guzzetti, Barbara J. Literacy in America: An Encyclopedia of History, Theory, and Practice. NY: ABC-CLIO, 2002. Web.
Lowe, Eric. “At what level has standards-based education reform initiatives influenced Oregon high school history instruction and classroom practices?” Diss. Oregon State University, 2010.
SENATE. “Congressional Record.” Government Printing Office, 2004. Web.
Sunal, Dennis W. and Wright, Emmett. The impact of state and national standards on K-12 science teaching. NY: IAP, 2006. Web.
Westwood, Peter S. What Teachers Need to Know about Teaching Methods. Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research, 2008. Print.