Assessment Literacy Standards for District Administrators

Crosswalk to the Michigan District Improvement Frameworks
District Improvement Framework/Assessment Literacy Standards Crosswalk (DIF/ALS for District Leaders)

Assessment Literacy Standards – District-Level AdministratorsAssessment Literacy Standards graphic - for district administrators

I. Dispositions

District Administrators who are assessment literate believe:

A. All educators must be proficient in their understanding and use of assessment.

B. An effective assessment system must balance different purposes for different users and use varied methods of assessment and communication.

C. When assessment is done correctly, the resulting data can be used to make sound educational decisions.

D. Multiple measures can provide a more balanced picture of a student or a school.

E. Quality assessments are a critical attribute of effective teaching and learning.

F. Results should be used to make instructional decisions that impact learning.

G. Clear learning targets, understood by students, are necessary for learning and assessment.

H. Students should be active partners in their learning and assessment.

I. Students can use instructionally-sensitive assessment results to improve their learning.

J. Users of assessments require time to learn to select, develop, and administer the assessments, as well as use the assessment results appropriately, and resources are needed to carry out these activities.

K. Good classroom assessment and quality instruction are intricately linked to each other.

L. Grading is an exercise in professional judgment, not just a numerical, mechanical exercise.

M.Appropriate, high-quality assessment practices should be used in all buildings.

II. Knowledge

District Administrators who are assessment literate know:

A. A balanced assessment system consists of both of the following:

     1. Different users have different assessment purposes

     2. Different assessment purposes may require different assessment methods

B. There are different purposes for student assessment:

     1. Student improvement

     2. Instructional program improvement

     3. Student, teacher or system accountability

     4. Program evaluation

     5. Prediction ofPrediction future performance/achievement

C. The definitions of and uses for different types of assessments:

      1. Summative assessment

      2. Interim benchmark assessment

      3. Formative-assessment practices

      4. Criterion vs. norm-referenced assessment interpretations

D. The differences between the types of assessment tools:

     1. Achievement 

     2. Aptitude

     3. Diagnostic

     4. Screening

E. The different types of assessment methods and when educators should use each:

     1. Selected response: Multiple-choice, True-False, Matching

     2. Constructed response: Short or Extended written response

     3. Performance: Written responses, presentations or products

     4. Personal Communication: Observations and interviews

F. Non-technical understanding of statistical concepts associated with assessment:

     1. Measures of central tendency

     2. Measures of variability 

     3. Reliability

     4. Validity: a characteristic of the use of the assessment, not the assessment itself

     5. Bias/sensitivity

     6. Correlation vs. causation

G. How to develop or select high quality assessments:

     1. Determine the purpose for assessment

     2. Determine the standards or learning targets to be assessed

     3. Select the assessment methods appropriate to learning targets and assessment purpose(s)

     4. Design a test plan or blueprint that will permit confident conclusions about achievement

     5. Select or construct the necessary assessment items with scoring guides where needed

     6. Field test the items in advance or review them before reporting the results

     7. Improve the assessment through review and analysis to eliminate bias and distortion

     8. Assessments can be purchased or developed locally; each approach has advantages and challenges

H. There are two ways to report results, and specific circumstances when each is useful:

      1. Normative interpretations

      2. Criterion-referenced interpretations 

I. The multiple sources of assessment data that validly reflect a teacher’s effectiveness

III. Performance

District Administrators who are assessment literate are able to:

A. Use assessment data within appropriate, ethical and legal guidelines.

B. Understand and communicate levels of proficiency accurately.

C. Use assessment results to make appropriate instructional decisions for groups of students.

D. Collaboratively analyze data and use data to improve instruction.

E. Use multiple sources of data over time to identify trends in learning.

F. Use data management systems to access and analyze data.

G. Communicate effectively with students, parents, other teachers, administrators and community stakeholders about student learning.

H. Seek to increase their knowledge and skills in assessment.

District Administrators who are assessment literate promote a culture of appropriate assessment practice by: 

A. Promoting assessment literacy  for self and staff through:

     1. Professional Learning Communities

     2. Targeted and Differentiated Professional Development

     3. Walk-throughs (data collection – goal setting)

     4. Educator evaluation practices (i.e., program, teacher, and administrator)

B. Providing time and support for staff to implement a balanced assessment system by providing opportunities to develop skills in:

     1. Using instructionally embedded formative assessment

     2. Selecting, creating, and developing assessments

     3. Administering assessments

     4. Scoring/Analyzing results

     5. Developing instructional plans based on results

     6. Developing school improvement plans based on results

C. Instituting policies with supportive resources (time and budget) to implement a balanced system in the district.

D. Assuring that each and every staff member is:

     1. A confident, competent master themselves of the targets that they are responsible for teaching

     2. Sufficiently assessment literate to assess their assigned targets productively in both formative and summative ways.

E. Holding building-level staff accountable for implementing the high quality assessments.

District Administrators who are assessment literate promote the use of assessment data to improve student learning through the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment by: 

A. Developing learning progressions to implement the district-wide standards.

B. Assuring horizontally and vertically aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the building.

C. Clearly explaining how to analyze and use assessment results.

D. Leading dialogues with staff in interpreting results and creating goals for improvement.

E. Assisting teachers in collaboratively analyzing and using data in a professional learning community.

F. Using assessment results, including subgroup performance, to influence the district’s curriculum and instructional program.

G. Using multiple data sources over time to identify learning trends.

H. Using assessment data to reflect on effectiveness of principals’ instructional leadership.

I. Incorporating assessment knowledge in evaluation practices (i.e., program, administrator).

J. Clearly communicating results to various constituents through a coherent system that uses a variety of methods.

K. Using data management systems to access and analyze data.