In response to the 1/16/2015 post, “Common Assessment Reflection,” a old school LYS Superintendent writes:

LYS Nation,

What to do with common assessment data?  What a question.  And a good answer was provided.  But I think Cain’s response can be substantially expanded.  First, keep in mind there is a big difference between data and information.  I have seen too many schools collect data and gather no information. That is called DRIP: Data Rich, Information Poor.

So, what’s the difference?  Data turns into information when it changes adult practice as well as the very structure of your school.  Cain’s approach to using common assessment data to improve instruction is an excellent start.  Also, his suggestion to use common assessment data to address the weakest SE’s identified by the common assessments is also very valid, and is an example of turning data into information.

Still, there is more information that can be squeezed out of the common assessment.  In our district, common assessments are one of several factors that drive our support and intervention program (RTI). 

RTI Level 1 might be interventions; in class, pull-outs and/or push-ins for a short period of time in order to intervene on the specific deficiencies identified in specific children. 

Level 2 may last longer and involves some contact with a specialist.  Maybe a special education teacher works with the child for an hour a day for a few weeks, one on one (yes, even if the child is not special education). 

Level 3 results in heavy support, all year long.  In Level 3, the child will work with specialists as well as regular education teachers.  We have RTI classes built into the schedule across the district so we can adjust the child’s schedule in order to meet identified needs.  Before and after school tutorials are not a part of our formal plan.  Our theory: if you don’t get it done during the regular school day, it probably won’t happen.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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