Teaching Is The Core Grant

April 1, 2015

Under the guidance of LCI, the building principal and staff developer of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Junior-Senior High School, looked at assessment items from the 7-12 Social Studies department that included midterms, finals and in-class-end-of-unit assessments. Additionally, assessment items from the 7-12 English department including midterms, finals and summative in-class assessments were also examined.

While these assessments reflected English and Social Studies Standards, alignment to those standards was not explicit. Careful examination of the summative assessments prepared faculty and building leadership to strengthen alignment between summative assessments and the standards.

The analysis revealed the need for increased teacher feedback on formative assessments (exit tickets, research analysis, drafts of papers, etc.) and student reflection on that feedback in order to improve performance on summative assessments like research-based papers, local exams, presentations, etc. The analysis also revealed that multiple choice tests by and large preclude opportunities to provide meaningful feedback to students in the absence of a test blueprint indicating which standards are assessed by each question.

As a result of the work on the Teaching is the Core Grant with the Mattituck Junior-Senior High School, the following teacher-constructed assessments have been eliminated and replaced with new, standards-aligned, teacher-constructed local exams: midterm exams in grades 9, 10 and 11 which were administered in January 2015. English faculty will also create new local final exams for grades 9 and 10 that will be administered in June 2015. Additionally, Social Studies faculty is developing a 10 week 7th grade Social Studies course that requires students to use primary and secondary documents to explore historical events, create historical theories, present findings, and synthesize information in a persuasive presentation. This course will be offered to students beginning in September 2015. In the 2015-2016 academic year, Social Studies faculty will work on aligning local mid-year and final assessments to the standards.

Under the guidance of LCI, the building principal and staff developer of Cutchogue East Elementary School, looked at items from K-6 end of unit math assessments. Additionally, the STAR assessment was also examined.

The analysis revealed that teachers are using the assessments to drive instruction that allows for identification of individual student's strengths and needs. Most of the assessments included at least two different cognitive demands. The STAR assessment for grades 2-6, yields data that is shared with multiple stakeholders in order to target instruction for diverse learners. While our current assessments provided teachers with useful data, the analysis revealed a need for common mid and end of unit mathematics assessments. In order to ensure alignment, reliability and validity, mathematics curriculum documents will guide quality assessment criteria.

As a result of the work on the Teaching is the Core grant with the Cutchogue East Elementary School, current curriculum documents are being strengthened, and in some cases, revised to ensure alignment and reliability. We will use our existing knowledge of unit design in order to develop quality assessments that provide teachers and students with feedback necessary to build strategies and skills in order to meet the standards. This revised curriculum will contain common end of unit mathematics assessments for all students within a grade level. We intend to include varied assessments, such as performance tasks, that will elicit evidence of student learning with a focus on student reflection/analysis.

Related Files

District Action Plan