Minnesota School District 197 To Implement Unify Assessment Platform

As Minnesota gears up for the next generation of online student proficiency tests, districts are searching for new ways to help students prepare for the tests while giving teachers the data they need to improve instruction and student learning. To simplify the assessment process and provide an integrated solution for data-driven decision making, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools (District 197) will be the first in the state to implement the UNIFY assessment platform, part of Performance Mattersassessment and data management system (ADMS).

“We didn’t have a classroom assessment tool that was used district-wide, and therefore no way to accurately view data from a district perspective,” said Cari Jo Kiffmeyer, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for District 197. “We needed a system that would allow us to conduct a standards-based, item analysis for our classroom assessments, and then compare that data to our district and state assessments. We also wanted to develop technology-enhanced items for our assessments.”

District 197 will launch the Performance Matters ADMS this fall. To begin, teachers in grades six through nine will use UNIFY to collaboratively develop and administer online assessments in mathematics. They will then use the ADMS to analyze their classroom assessment data, along with their state and district assessment data.

“Performance Matters will allow teachers and administrators to do their own data analysis, instead of having to ask someone to create a report,” said Kiffmeyer. “At the district-level, it will also allow us to conduct better program analysis as part of our Academic Return on Investment process. We use this process to compare a program’s cost to what the data says about its results.”

District 197 will complete its district-wide rollout of Performance Matters in 2015.