The proper role of testing in our nation’s schools has been a hot topic of conversation this week. It all started last Saturday when the Council of the Great City Schools released a study of 66 urban school districts that found students take about 112 mandatory standardized tests between pre-K and 12th grade. That averages out to about eight tests per year and consumes about 2.3 percent of students’ total class time. The study found a great deal of redundancy and overlap among the tests that students take each year. Perhaps most importantly, the study pointed out that there is no correlation between the amount of mandated testing time and student test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card.”
Prompted in part by the release of the Council’s study on Saturday, the Department of Education released a Testing Action Plan on the same day, while President Obama emphasized the need for smarter testing in schools. Most notably, the Testing Action Plan calls for a two percent cap to be placed on the amount of classroom instructional time that is dedicated to test-taking. However, this cap doesn’t address the large amounts of time schools spend on test preparation prior to students actually taking the tests. The plan advocates for fewer and smarter assessments by ensuring that any tests administered be high-quality, time-limited, and properly aligned to the content and skills students are currently learning. The Department wisely points out that a well-designed test is not used only to assess what students know at one point in time, but is part of a broader strategy to inform and guide additional teaching. The Department has promised to issue clear guidance by January 2016 on best practices for using testing as a learning tool.
Available at: http://www.edcentral.org/testing/
This study examined associations among Teachers, TAs, and Observational ratings of children’s disruptive behavior. Alignment between Teachers and TAs did not predict observational measures above a single teacher’s ratings. Teachers and TAs were equally aligned with observational measures, except for ratings of oppositionality. Findings point to the importance of a multi-method assessment that gathers information from various sources, including TAs.
Source: The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Curry School of Education
Available at: http://curry.virginia.edu/uploads/resourceLibrary/Assessing_Preschoolers_Disruprive_Behavior_Associations_Among_Teachers%2C_TAs_and_an_Impartial_Observer.pdf
This report provides an overview of the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (QCCIIT) observation tool, which was designed to measure the quality of caregiver-child interactions in child care settings serving infants and toddlers. The tool can be used across different types of settings and measures caregiver support for infant/toddler social-emotional development, cognitive development, language and literacy development, as well as areas of concern (negative caregiving behaviors).This report provides a detailed explanation of the tool itself, as well as its development and its psychometric properties. The authors provide an overview of the conceptual framework that formed the basis of the development of the tool. They then describe the dimensions that the tool measures. They provide information about the development, administration, scoring, and potential uses of the QCCIIT (e.g. professional development, evaluation, and research), as well as observation methods, interpretation and use of results. The end of the report focuses on the psychometric field test, including reliability and validity findings.
Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families
Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/measuring-the-quality-of-caregiver-child-interactions-for-infants-and-toddlers-q-cciit
A high-quality, research-based curriculum provides learning goals and activities in key areas of childrens development that reflect support for school readiness goals. A curriculum provides guidance on what to teach content and how to teach learning experiences and teaching practices. The content is drawn from current child development science, the interests and ideas of the children, and the values of the community.
Source: National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning
Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/practice/curricula
Explore this tip sheet to learn the purpose and process of ongoing assessment for infants and toddlers. Program administrators, staff, and parents will learn the key elements of a successful assessment process. The “Questions to Consider” has two parts: Planning and Programming, and Assessment Tool. The tip sheet also includes applicable Program Performance Standards and resources.
Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center and Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehsnrc/cde/saeo/EHSTip52.htm
A new study shows that a 20-minute classroom assessment can reliably measure classroom instruction and predict students’ standardized test scores. The assessment also provides immediate and meaningful feedback—making it an important new tool for understanding and improving instructional quality, according to researchers at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute FPG and the University of Rochester.
The EAR Protocol—short for Engagement, Alignment, and Rigor—already has been used in more than 100 schools, but this current study is the first to test its objectivity and ability to predict student learning as measured by standardized tests. Developed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education, the 15-item tool focuses on three aspects of instruction: the engagement of students, how closely schoolwork aligns with state and local standards, and whether coursework is appropriately challenging.
“The assessment captures surprisingly complex and fundamental qualities of teaching,” said Diane Early, a scientist at FPG. “It’s easy to use, and 20 minutes is short enough for administrators to fit into the confines of their busy workday. And it’s adaptable for all grades and subjects, from math and English to art and physical education.”
Source: FPG Child Development Institute
Available at: http://fpg.unc.edu/news/quick-class-evaluation-captures-vital-signs-teaching
Early education programs are increasingly being promoted by states and the federal government as an integral part of their efforts to ensure that all children enter school ready to learn. As these programs and their enrollments have grown in recent years, so too have efforts to monitor their quality and performance. A common focus is on documenting the quality of children’s learning experiences through the collection of classroom observation data. In order for these data to be useful for informing the monitoring process, however, they need to demonstrate evidence of being appropriate and defensible for their intended interpretation and subsequent uses.
In this new Policy Information Report, Debra Ackerman examines the variety of state PreK classroom observation policies on program decisions that are informed by observation score data, the protocols being used, and how often such data are collected from classrooms. Just as important, the author reminds us of the particular validity and reliability challenges that are inherent in relying on classroom observation score data for a variety of low- and high-stakes decisions.
It is our hope that this report will cause policymakers, school leaders, and practitioners to reflect on their early education program classroom evaluation policies, whether they meet acceptable levels of validity and reliability, and what actions they can take to improve the usefulness of data collected to improve the quality of children’s early learning experiences. As federal and state efforts to improve access to high quality early education continue to grow, it will be increasingly important to monitor this critical segment of our education pipeline.
Source: Educational Testing Service
Available at: http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/PIC-STATE-PRE-K.pdf
These 15-minute in-service suites were designed as a resource for professional development in busy, active early childhood centers and programs. The in-service suites are organized around one topic or big idea and address effective teaching and assessment practices that map onto the NCQTL HOUSE Framework.
Each in-service consists of a short video supplemented with handouts. A trainer version is available for use by Early Childhood Education Specialists and other training and technical assistance providers and includes a PowerPoint presentation, learning activities and other training materials.
The in-service suites can be used in a variety of ways to meet the needs of varied audiences. Staff can view the shorter version directly on the website. The trainer version can be used as part of a workshop presented alone, or combined with other in-services.
Source: National Center for Quality Teaching and Learning
Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/center/practice/ISS
We wish to thank the families and early childhood education teams who have partnered with us to create the videos in the Results Matter Video Library. CDE professionally produces these videos and obtains voluntary written permission from all parties who appear in these video clips. The videos are developed to raise awareness about the importance of high quality early childhood education, to share promising practices in the field and as professional development supports to help early childhood providers better understand ways to use observation, documentation and assessment to inform practice.
You can watch the clips online or download QuickTime versions of the videos for use in educational and professional development activities.
Use of these Videos in Professional Development Activities
Below each video, there is a DOWNLOAD VIDEO link which can be used to download an Apple QuickTime .MOV file for use in professional development activities. IMPORTANT NOTE: 1) You may not use any of the videos on this site for commercial purposes; 2) You may not edit, alter, transform, or build upon any of the videos on this site; and 3) You may not post a copy of any of the videos on this site to any web site.
Source: Colorado Department of Education
Available at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/resultsmatter/RMVideoSeries_PracticingObservation.htm#top