In response to the 10/23/2013 post, Common Assessment Review,” a teacher writes:

SC,

We recently had our 9-week assessment. Up to this point my students have concentrated on a novel and the elements therein; expository writing based on the novel; and argumentative writing. The assessment had a poem and an expository piece about a poem. How does this help me assess what my students know about what we have learned?

SC Response Great question.  And the answer is either “Everything,” or “Nothing.”  Let me explain…

I am going to assume that your district provides you with a common scope and sequence.  If your district does not, then honestly, the assessment was a waste of instructional time and the results really tell you little of value.

So if the district provides a common scope and sequence and the assessment was aligned to the scope and sequence, then what you taught was either out of sequence, off pace or not required.  If this is the case, then the assessment tells you everything you need to know, “You have to get your instruction aligned and on pace, now.”

Now if the district provides a common scope and sequence and the assessment was NOT aligned to the scope and sequence, then the assessment tells you nothing. Performance data on what you haven’t taught does little to inform our next instructional decisions.  In this case, what I would suggest is notifying the person who built the assessment and let them know that there seems to be an alignment issue at play.  It happens, especially with campuses and districts that are early in the common assessment implementation process.

I hope this gives you some direction. If not send me some details and a new set of questions. 

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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