District Administration May 2018 - 25

SPONSORED CONTENT

Nikki Eatchel
Chief Assessment Officer
Scantron

Providing educators a comprehensive
picture of student achievement
A holistic assessment strategy gives the portfolio view of student performance
Talk about solutions that help educators understand the
whole student.
When it comes to solutions that are focused on the whole
student, they have to provide variability and flexibility. To
provide assistance, and to get a full picture of a student,
educators must be able to evaluate a variety of content:
core subjects, non-core subjects, and career and technical
education, etc. To get the most accurate measure, they also
need the flexibility to evaluate students in different ways,
such as traditional multiple-choice questions, constructed
response questions and innovative item types. Educators
can also use performance-based tasks, practical exams
and surveys that provide students different ways to
demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Using multiple points of data that come from a
variety of assessments-as well as grades, attendance,
discipline and extracurricular activities-contributes
to an overall perspective that is more accurately
representative of students. In addition, dynamic reporting
and analytics provide educators a more holistic picture of
student performance.
How can a balanced assessment solution support a
holistic assessment strategy?
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, educators and
administrators were focused on a snapshot of student
performance. But as we all know, one picture does not
provide an accurate portrayal of a student, teacher or
school. A balanced assessment solution shows a variety
of snapshots. Those different data points offer educators
valuable information about a student's educational
journey and where they might need help along the way. A
holistic assessment strategy has to be about more than
one snapshot. It should provide a portfolio view with many
pictures of student performance.

assessment simply for assessment's sake is not helpful
to anyone. Assessments are useful only if they provide
meaningful data that drives instruction. Assessments
tied to skills and standards deliver precise information to
educators about how they can target classroom instruction,
where they may need to make shifts or enhancements
in their approach, or where remediation may be required
for certain students. Information on specific skills
and standards also helps educators place students in
cooperative learning groups and provides teachers with
important data to shape individualized learning plans.
What can it mean to educators, particularly under the
Every Student Succeeds Act, to be able to identify
achievement gaps?
Educators have an incredibly tough job with limited time
and resources. Identifying individual achievement gaps for
every student in a classroom is a huge task. Under No Child
Left Behind, the pressure was to identify those gaps in a
limited set of core areas, subjects and grades. Under ESSA,
there is an expanded focus. That means there is increasing
pressure for educators to identify gaps in core subjects,
non-core subjects, college and career readiness, and
career and technical education.
As measures of success for students evolve and change,
the tools available to educators and students have to as well.
Assessments, data programs and tools for educators need
to allow evaluation and intuitive reporting across multiple
measures. If we do not provide these tools to educators and
administrators, we are creating an even more significant
and unnecessary burden. It is our responsibility to give
them the right tools to help ensure that portfolios of student
performance include all of the right pictures.

How does a deep connection between test results and
skills/standards help teachers adjust instruction?
I am an assessment person, but I will be the first to say that

For more information, visit scantron.com/k12
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration May 2018

District Administration May 2018 - Cover1
District Administration May 2018 - Cover2
District Administration May 2018 - 1
District Administration May 2018 - 2
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