As many of us face the challenges of preparing for the Common Core State Standards, schools are searching for digitally advanced technology solutions to play a central role in accelerating skill development, assessing that progress in real-time, and delivering personalized instruction to support student outcomes. These programs must not just deliver results, they have to deliver results you can be confident will align to your school and district’s mandated high-stakes tests and, of course, CCSS.
What follows is a list of factors our district considered as we moved to our “assessment without testing” methodology:
1. Got Culture? Some educators want to hang on to traditional “paper and pencil” testing methods. Help your staff understand the benefits that come with the ability to assess student progress in real time.
2. Hardware Ready? To support a robust environment of embedded assessment, be sure your district has the correct hardware configuration.
3. In Alignment or Out? Ask yourself: “Is the embedded assessment solution we’re considering aligned to the summative and formative assessments we currently use?”
4. Predictive vs. Retrospective. With the right embedded assessment technology in play (we use Lexia Reading),the program can help educators prescribe the right amount of instruction so that students are continually progressing.
5. Teacher-Ready, Set, Go! Teachers need an action plan--one that provides the roadmap for differentiated instruction that will increase a student’s likelihood of reaching end-of-year benchmarks.
Dr. Chiae Byun-Kitayama is the instructional director for the Education Service Center for East Los Angeles and former principal at the city’s Cahuenga Elementary School. The district uses Lexia.