From From Standards to Success by Mark R. O’Shea
“School leaders can analyze state test results to improve instruction. District assessment coordinators use software to disaggregate state test results…to meet reporting requirements. This kind of analysis can be used to target standards where student underperformance is a problem or to identify groups of students who may need extra assistance.” (p. 41)
Ultimately, O’Shea is making an argument for benchmark exams that assess student learning of standards. I agree with this claim. We should be assessing our students regularly to see of they are truly learning the standards we are teaching them, but this only works if you actually test the standards you teach. That’s why curricula is so important. We need alignment from standards, to curriculum documents, to quarterly exams, and back to standards. We need to actually test the standards we have taught and then make every quarterly cumulative, disaggregate the data by standard, and then see what students have retained and what they have learned. We need to do this four times per semester, and keep track of it by standard–not by an amalgamated grade.