Assessment Literacy

A renewed focus at RHS is the idea of aligning all assessments to our curriculum and standards.  As we continue to review and revise our curriculum outcomes and goals to be in line with our state learning standards, we also need to be sure that the daily assessments we give our students are hitting the mark with regard to assessing what our curriculum states we should be teaching.  This is not a new process by any means but one that must stay at the forefront of what we do.

There are certain steps necessary to ensure this takes place.  It begins with “unpacking” our curriculum and identifying the intended learning outcomes for each unit of instruction and mapping those specific outcomes onto a table of specifications – otherwise referred to as a blueprint.  After each question of every assessment gets mapped onto this table,  teachers will be able to analyze what is and isn’t and what should and shouldn’t be on each unit assessment.   The table will also visually illustrate the relative emphasis on each area of the unit as well as the reliability and validity of the assessment.  While this process is tedious and time consuming, it will help us ensure that all areas of our curriculum are being assessed appropriately and allow us to make adjustments where needed.

A large part of this process will include utilizing tools such as Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

This process began with our November 5th early dismissal day when we hosted a workshop by Dr. Leslie Grant, Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Associate Professor for Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from the William & Mary School of Education.  Dr. Grant will be returning to RHS on February  7th to work with small groups of staff and administrators.  We will continue this critical work as a high school staff throughout the remainder of this school year.