SMARTER BALANCED READY: Big Idea #5
Sustainable Teams Continuously Improve
District staffs build key relationships among assessment, technology, special education, language specialist, and curriculum staff to support schools with a cohesive approach for sustainability. They make adjustments in preparation and planning for the assessment system based on evidence of student learning and experience with assessment administration. Most districts are able to sustain the assessment system in spite of staff turnover due to clearly defined job-related responsibilities that go with each staff position.
The Comprehensive Assessment Committee has representatives including curriculum coordinators; program directors; special education administrators; school administrators from elementary, middle school, and high school levels; representative teachers from each grade span; and union representatives. Their job is to keep their stakeholders informed about the assessment system and to get feedback to inform improvements in the assessment planning.
Next year they plan more use of interim assessments to support data discussions at monthly collaboration meetings. Once they appreciate the validity of the interim assessments to measure the learning of a cluster of standards, teachers are more likely to buy in to the continued use of interim assessments. District and school staffs have found that emphasizing the benefits of using interim assessments to get valid data to make decisions about instruction has been a successful message.