Chapter 14Assessment in Education Leticia Gurrola Fernie Garnica Elizabeth Munoz Veronica Estala
A primary function of counselors in school settings • Assessment programs use a variety of instruments • achievement tests, ability tests, aptitude tests, and behavioral observation
School Assessment Programs • Identify the readiness of kindergarten and first graders • Determine if students have mastered basic and essential skills • Place students in educational programs • Identify students with special needs • Evaluate curriculum • Assess intellectual ability and aptitude • Measure achievement in specific courses and subject areas
Planning a School Assessment • A complex process • Requires widespread involvement from: parents, students, teachers, counselors, principal • Stakeholders want assessment data for different reasons
…Planning a School Assessment • Identify the goals and purpose of assessment program • I identify the types of information needed to make decisions • Identify the types of instruments to be given • Identify the responsibilities of the staff • Develop procedures for disseminating the results • Develop an evaluation strategy to continuously monitor program
Instruments Used in School Assessment Programs • Achievement tests • Intellectual ability tests • Readiness tests • Aptitude tests • Admissions tests • Career assessment instruments
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • Administration and interpretation of standardized achievement test results at all levels. • Make use of formal and informal assessment measures to identify students’ career choices, interests, and attitudes. • Conduct needs assessments to determine the focus of comprehensive school counseling programs. • Conduct evaluations of program and intervention effectiveness.
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • School counselors need knowledge of the process of identifying students with learning disabilities as well as students who qualify for gifted and talented programs. • School counselors provide information to teachers, administrators, and parents on assessment instruments, measurement-related questions and assessment issues. • School counselors must also report on immediate, intermediate, and long-range results, showing how students are different as a result of the school counseling program.
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • Needs Assessments • Assessing Specific Learning Disabilities • Responsiveness To Intervention (RTI) Three-Tier Model • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) • Assessing Giftedness • Consulting with Teachers
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • Needs Assessments- A formal process of gathering information from a range of sources (e.g., students, parents, teachers, and administrators) about the needs of students population. • They help determine the individual students’ needs or desired outcome and identifies the priorities of the school counseling programs. • They also assess students’ needs in three broad areas: academic, career, and personal/social. • Learning Disabilities- A specific learning disability (SLD) is a neurological disorder that severely impairs children’s ability to learn or demonstrate skills in several academic areas: • Oral Expression • Listening Comprehension • Written Expression • Basic Reading Skill • Reading Comprehension • Mathematical Calculation • Mathematical Reasoning
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • RTI- Is a comprehensive, multistep approach to identifying students with SLDs in which services and interventions are provided to at-risk students at increasing levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analysis. RTI is a Three-Tier Model and includes the following: • Tier 1: Instruction • Tier 2: Intervention • Tier 3: Special Education • IEP- Is a written document created by a team of teachers, parents, and other school staff that contains a statement of the student’s present level of educational performance, a list of annual goals, and objectives, and a description of the special education and related services to be provided to the student. • The IEP is reviewed at least once per year to examine the student’s progress toward those goals.
Assessment Activities of School Counselors • Giftedness- This term is used for those students who perform or show potential for performing at exceptionally high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. The process of assessing students for giftedness has two phases: screening and identification. Further assessment is conducted in four areas: Cognitive Ability, Academic Ability, Creative Thinking Ability, and Visual or Performing Arts Ability. • Consulting with Teachers- School counselors can provide in-service trainings or workshop to educate teachers about measurement concepts in general or about new editions of standardized tests. • School counselors may also consult with teachers individually to review and interpret a student’s test scores.
TEST PREPERATION AND PERFORMANCE • Coaching • Test-Wiseness • Text Anxiety
COACHING • Process of training test takers to answer specific types of questions and provide the information required by a specific test. • Focus on test familiarization, drill and practice on sample test items, ors subject matter review. • Provided through offered in public schools; private classes; private tutors; and test books, software programs or videos. • SAT prep courses.
TEST-WISENESS Refers to an individual's ability to utilize the characteristics and formats of a test to receive a high score. Test-wiseness it is separate from the student’s knowledge of the subject matter; it include strategies for time use, error avoidance, guessing, and use of deductive reasoning. SPLASH: 1. SKIM THE TEST – Skim the test to get a general idea of the number of items, the types of questions, and areas of proficiency and deficiency. • PLAN YOUR STRATEGY – This includes knowing time constraints of the test and where to begin. • LEAVE OUT DIFFICULT QUESTIONS – Students should leave difficult questions for the end. • ATTACK QUESTIONS YOU KNOW - Students should first answer all questions they are sure of. • SYSTEMATICALY GUESS - After completing all questions they know, students should make their best guess on the questions they don’t know. • HOUSE CLEANING - A few minutes should be left prior to the end of the exam to fill in all answers, double-check forms, and clean up erasures.
TEST ANXIETY • The general feeling of uneasiness, tension or foreboding that some individuals experience in testing situations such a upset stomach, headache, loss of concentration, fear, irritability, anger, and even depression.Test anxiety inhibits ability to absorb, retain, and recall information. • Test Anxiety Scale for Children (TASC) & Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) • Strategies to consider in test administration: • Make sure students understand test instructions. • Establish rapport and an environment that is relaxed and stress-free as possible. • Conduct group or class sessions on how to take a test. • Relaxation exercises.
NCLB • “No Child Left Behind” Act passed in 2001 signed in 01/2002 • Changes to ESEA (Elementary & Secondary Education Act included • All States required to test in reading, math and science • Grades 3-8 • One grade in high school • Minimum score to go to next grade level
High Stakes Testing • Refers to the impact test result have on students • Affects educational paths • Affects promotion or retention in grade levels • Schools are judged on performance • Affects funding and ranking for schools
Concerns • School curriculum is narrowed • Children with diverse backgrounds become penalized • Atmosphere of greed, fear and stress • Counselors spend more time coordinating / administering tests • No consistency is comparing performance of students from state to state
Counselors Role • Need to be knowledgeable about the process of designing school assessment programs, instruments and strategies • Be aware of other assessment-related issues • Need to know how to engage in professionally responsible assessment and evaluation practices • Need to be skilled in conducting and interpreting statistical information