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Education Plan: Formative Assessment Essay

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Aligning Summative and Formative Assessments at Maine West

Students need to be placed in the environment that contributes to their further progress. Therefore, the design of formative and summative assessments must be flexible enough to align with the district standards and at the same time invite opportunities for learners from different backgrounds. Therefore, it is crucial to align the standards used at school with the assessments carried out to test the students’ knowledge.

Standards Used at School and the Sources Thereof: An Overview

At present, The Common Core language Art Standards (grade 9-10) are used in the school. These include Reading (9-10.RL.1-4 and 9-10.RL.6-9), Writing (9-10.W.1-9-10.W4, 9-10.W.7-9-10.W.8), Speaking (9-10.SL.-2-9-10.SL.5), Language (9-10.L.3 and 9-10.L.5), Reading Science and Technical (9-10.RST.1-9-10.RST.10), and Writing History (9-10.WHST.1-9-10.WHST10) standards. The existing standards tend to focus on promoting critical thinking among students. For example, the Reading section mentions the analysis of the writer’s intent (RL.1-4) and culture-related experiences (RL.6-9, RL.11-13). Similarly, the Writing standards embrace the assessment of the students’ ability to engage in a meaningful discussion and provide support for the claims that they make (901-.W.1-9-10.W.4). The Reading Science and Technical standards of assessment also allow shedding light on the learners’ ability to deploy analytical skills since the capability of students to use the available grammatical forms to express their ideas and thoughts to the best of their abilities. Consequently, the framework allows testing the students’ skills of applying particular language tools to give their speech meaning and purpose (“Common Core: Language arts standards, grade 9-10,” n.d.).

The strategies of formatting and summative assessment used at school allow covering some of the gaps in the current assessment framework. For instance, the fact that the approach currently used for evaluating the students’ skills does not include the test of listening and speaking standards is covered by a very strong emphasis on developing the ability to use reasoning and critical thinking in students. Brainstorming, analogies, and concept maps are some of the examples of the tools that support the idea of developing critical thinking and, therefore, align with the suggested assessment system (Regier, 2012).

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Standards: Evaluation

The curriculum used in the specified school setting has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the suggested approach allows for a continuous development of critical skills among learners. On the other hand, it does not seem to offer support to the students with special needs, e.g., ESL students, learners from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, etc. Therefore, the existing standards will have to be altered slightly so that the needs of multicultural audiences could be taken into consideration.

Impact of Alignment with SEDL

When considering merging the standards described above with the SEDL principles, one should bear in mind that the specified process may entail the chances of creating a framework for meeting the needs of diverse learners. While SEDL is admittedly commonplace, it serves as a tool for encouraging student-teacher communication and the active collection of feedback. Therefore, the SEDL-based assessment results will inform the further student-oriented teaching strategies (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2004).

Role of the Leader: Description

The role of an educational leader is rather challenging in the identified context. For instance, it is necessary to make sure that the assessment tool allows retrieving a detailed and accurate description of the target audience. However, as stressed above the lack of opportunities for meeting the needs of diverse learners may make the process of students’ skill evaluation rather convoluted. Therefore, making sure that the current assessment framework aligns with the set standards and at the same time provides essential information about the target population’s needs should be viewed as the primary role of the leader of the institution,

Helping Students Develop Academic Skills

In order to promote the active acquisition of the required knowledge and skills among learners, a leader may want to consider focusing on the culture-specific characteristics of the target demographics. As a result, the opportunities for using Vygotsky’s framework as the means of encouraging the students to engage in the meta-cognition process and learn to study efficiently should be viewed as a grand opportunity (Chappuls & Chappuls, 2008).

Common Core Standards: Suggestions and Personal Opinion

I believe that the framework that is currently deployed in the target educational setting is very efficient and, therefore, very good for students. The existing assessment system helps not only test the learners’ ability to carry out basic tasks but also serves as the means of determining whether they are capable of engaging in the creative thinking process. In other words, the existing system helps determine the presence of analytical skill in students. The identified characteristic of the tool aligns with the current standards and, thus, should be viewed as an important platform for developing new and improved teaching strategies that will help meet the needs of diverse learners.

Developing a Better Understanding of the Standards

There is no need to stress the significance of learning about the crucial standards of students’ performance seeing that the identified knowledge allows building an efficient teaching framework. For this purpose, ones should consider carrying out an experiment and exploring the effects of the said standards in the context of a classroom. Thus, the platform for creating a new and improved assessment tool can be created.

References

Chappuls, S., & Chappuls, J. (2008). The best value in formative assessment. Informative Assessment, 65(4), 14-19.

(n.d.). Web.

Regier, N. (2012). Book two: 60 formative assessment strategies. New York, NY: Regier Educational Resources.

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. (2004). Alignment in SEDL’s working systemically model 2004 progress report to schools and district. Austin, TX: SEDL.

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