national averages and that many students, regardless of their economic advantage or disadvantage are not achieving well.
Finding 4.3: The Assessment Plan Is Inadequate to Provide Direction, and Assessment Data Are Ineffectively Used for Curriculum Management and Decision-making.
The purpose of assessment is to determine the effectiveness of programs in attaining results desired by school district officials. Assessment efforts must be coordinated within a system-wide framework based in policy in order to ensure consistency and congruity in testing, data analysis, data dissemination, and data-driven decision-making. A comprehensive written assessment plan is crucial for providing direction for a school system in terms of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data for decision-making about the design and delivery of a district’s curriculum. The assessment plan provides essential guidance for school district personnel as they make judgements about student learning in order to maintain effective programs and to modify or terminate ineffective ones.
Auditors gathered data from a variety of sources. Auditors requested a copy of the student and program assessment plan for the Clover Park School District, but none was provided. Auditors reviewed documents related to use of student and program assessment data, including board policies and administrative regulations; board presentations; district data books, reports, and plans; individual school plans; and curriculum guides and syllabi. Auditors also interviewed school district personnel, board members, and community members to gather additional information about use of assessment data for curriculum management across the Clover Park School District.
Assessment Planning in the Clover Park School District
Auditors reviewed board policies and administrative regulations for references to student and program assessment. Collectively, Clover Park School District board policies provide only vague direction to district personnel to undertake assessments and to use those data to make instructional and programmatic decisions. No policy fully addressing use of student and program assessment was presented to the auditors. The following policies were found:
Board Policy 4001: Policy Series—Curriculum: Curriculum states: “All students will be assessed on a regular basis to ensure that appropriate educational progress is being made.”
Administrative Regulation 4001-R3: Policy Series--Curriculum, Assessment of Standards states: “The standards which serve as student learning objectives in the Clover Park School District will be assessed annually.” The regulation continues, describing the general form of assessments to be used for the various curricular areas: “Formal tests will be used to evaluate mastery of the standards specified for K-9 reading, language arts, and mathematics. Standards for K-9 art, business education, foreign language, health, home economics, industrial arts, music, physical education, science and social studies, and for all 10-12 courses will be measured utilizing appropriate assessment tasks compatible with normal instructional activities.” It mandates implementation of the district’s assessment program to “meet or exceed the time line” promulgated by the office of the State Superintendent of Public Education. Finally, this administrative regulation identifies to whom results will be provided: “Assessment results for individual students will be reported to parents, and performance statistics for classrooms, schools, and the district will be compiled.”
Administrative Regulation 4001-R4 Policy Series—Curriculum: Academic Testing references the purpose for standardized testing, specifically “to evaluate individual academic achievement and the strengths and weaknesses of school and district programs.” It states, “Achievement test results are used to compare the general level of academic achievement of students in individual schools and the district as a whole with the achievement of students in the national norm group.” The administrative regulation next indicates results will be used to “assess individual achievement.” This regulation also addresses use of criterion-referenced test results by teachers
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 91