Assessment system for students, teachers

At Douglas County School District, a balanced assessment program is helping students acquire knowledge and skills to become responsible global citizens. An educator evaluation system focused on continuous improvement is supporting the development of competitive compensation packages and robust professional development activities to boost teacher and leader effectiveness.

Introduced during the 2010-2011 school year, this new system-wide, performance-based evaluation model – technically called the “system performance framework” – sets a higher bar for teaching and learning assessment.

“By collecting, evaluating and implementing improvements based on authentic information collected from all levels – student, teacher, school and district – we believe we can ensure all students are college- and career-ready,” explained Syna Morgan, Executive Director, System Performance and Accountability Douglas County School District.

Douglas County is the first school district in the country to implement a balanced assessment system built upon a universal view of a student’s data collected through all grades and subject-level performance assessments, benchmarks and state assessments to build authentic learning paths. The corner stone is a new web-based data management platform, Promethean’s ActivProgress, in which a variety of assessments can be used and data are easily accessible, allowing teachers to conduct assessment for learning and put the most effective teaching strategies into practice.

Douglas County school and district leaders use the student data from multiple measures to match appropriate 21st century teaching and learning strategies to establish unique learning paths for all students. Teachers also have more immediate access to information about individual student performance in order to make adjustments or intervene to ensure student success.

Parents are playing a key role in the project as well. An embedded communication program keeps parents and community stakeholders informed and encourage teachers to collaborate more frequently.

“Our goal is to turn assessment information into actionable data that can support continued student learning and inform professional development activities. By looking at the whole picture, we know we can help districts more positively impact the learning continuum at all levels – students through administrators,” said Iwan Streichenberger, President of Promethean Learner Response Systems and Assessment.