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Computer-Adaptive Tests vs. Fixed-Form Assessments

Posted by Adam Jones on February 21, 2018

 

As technology makes adaptive testing easier than ever, do fixed-form assessments still have a role? K-12 education leaders, especially assessment and curriculum directors, must make difficult choices regarding which screeners, diagnostics, formative assessments, and summative exams to use. By comparing the benefits and drawbacks of computer-adaptive testing and fixed-form assessments, it’s possible to select the right tool for the right job.

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Topics: assessments, data analysis, formative assessment

5 Reasons Your School Needs a Data Warehouse

Posted by Adam Jones on April 20, 2017

What do you think of when you hear the word data? Do you envision numbers rapidly scrolling on a computer screen like in The Matrix? Or of spreadsheets with endless rows and columns filled with figures and formulas? Even worse, maybe the word is anxiety-inducing because you’ve heard the phrases data-driven instruction and data-driven decision-making a few too many times.

What do you think of when you hear the word warehouse? Do you imagine forklifts carrying pallets of cardboard boxes across dusty concrete floors? Or a place where things go to be stored, perhaps indefinitely?

Despite some of these connotations, a data warehouse designed for educators is a platform for exploring questions tied to improving teaching and learning. A data warehouse built for teachers should bring together multiple sources of student information so that strengths and areas for improvement become clear. Any single source of information is likely insufficient to draw conclusions. But by storing, sorting, and synthesizing summative, diagnostic, and formative assessment results, a data warehouse can help educators identify problems and solutions more effectively and efficiently.

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Topics: assessments, Data Warehouse, educators, Pivot, education, teaching, school improvement

Who Should Really Be Taking Algebra I in Middle School?

Posted by Schauna Findlay Relue on April 5, 2016

The idea that we should accelerate students' math curriculum to ensure they can complete Calculus before graduation was a trend in the early 2000's that we now are able to see the results from. Requiring students to take Algebra I in middle school has proven problematic because there are many students being accelerated without the required foundational skills for future math success.

While these students may be able to earn a passing grade and pass the state test for Algebra I, the lack of foundational skills and many standards which are left unmastered eventually catch up with students as they pursue higher math courses. With our shift to college- and career-readiness standards, we must rethink how we are determining placement into accelerated math classes for middle school students and how we are designing the middle school curriculum to ensure students do not have gaps in their learning.

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Topics: Algebra, assessments, curriculum, Data Warehouse, educators, math, Pivot, Pivot INSPECT, Software