In Policy 2135 three key terms are used extensively. They are defined below to promote clear understanding:
a. Assessment is the process of gathering information that reflects levels of student achievement. It is primarily gathered at the classroom level.
b. Evaluation is the process of judging achievements (results of assessment) to see if they match desired results.
c. Communication is the process of transforming assessment and evaluation results into information for decision making.
All educational staff shall take responsibility for articulating how the knowledge, thinking, behaviors, products, and affective targets they teach and assess contribute to student progress toward the essential learnings. All assessments not calculated to contribute in a clear and appropriate manner are regarded as unsound and shall be discarded.
The superintendent shall provide annual evaluation of schools and evaluation of programs and services to the board as directed. Acceptable data sources shall include, but not be limited to: standardized testing, criterion testing, teacher observation, attitude surveys, teacher judgment, and student self-evaluation.
Assessment Roles and Responsibilities
Each participant in the educational process listed below is acknowledged to have the right and responsibility to use assessment results to inform decisions specified in the following listing of roles and uses. Each user has the responsibility to understand what constitutes sound assessment, the role of assessment in their context, and how to use the resources at their disposal to assure that assessment plays its intended role.
Decision Maker - Uses Assessment Results to Define
School Board Member - Are district resources being allocated so as to promote goal attainment? Is the superintendent setting and implementing policies that promote goal attainment?
Superintendent - Which goals and essential learnings are being attained and which need attention? Which programs, services, and schools need attention?
Curriculum and Instruction Department - Which targets need attention? Which instructional programs need attention? Which standards and indicators need review?
Research Department - What measures can be improved or changed to get better information about targets and programs? Which programs need better measures? Which standards and indicators need review?
Principal - Which targets need attention in this school? Which programs need attention? Which teachers need help?
Teacher- Which targets need attention? Which students need help? How shall they be helped?
Instructional Assistants - How students shall be helped?
Counselor - Which students need help? How shall they be helped?
Student - What targets need attention? What help do I need?
Parent/Community - What does my child need? What other students, teachers, principals, programs, superintendents, and board members need my attention?
All instructional staff will understand their own uses of assessment, the importance of the uses of others, how their uses relate to the uses of others, and what kind(s) of assessment results are needed to fulfill their responsibilities.
Standards for Conducting Evaluation/Research
To respect the privacy and protect the rights of all individuals participating in evaluation or research projects conducted by the Research Department or their contractors, the department maintains the following professional standards:
1. The evaluation/research report will be complete and fair in its presentation of strengths and weaknesses of the object under investigation.
2. Only information directly related to the purposes of the evaluation/research will be accessed.
3. The intended audience(s) for final reports will be determined prior to data collection activities.
4. At the outset of evaluations the Research Department will establish an agreement identifying editorial control and who will release intermediate and final reports.
5. The indicators and standards used in the report will be identified at the outset of the evaluation.
6. Oral and written evaluation/research reports will present a thorough airing of the questions, with particular sensitivity to any factors that may bias the findings and will also include a discussion of the limitations of the study.
7. The Research Department will strive to protect the privacy of individuals involved in evaluation/research activities conducted by the department. The Research Department reserves the right to release information about illegal practices and serious infractions of board policy should such information be obtained.
Accountability for Schools, Programs, and Services
Evaluation of schools will be annual. Programs and services will be evaluated on a schedule adopted by the board. However, each school, program and service needs to self-assess their progress and share the results of their assessment with participants on an on-going basis.
School sites shall be accountable for all students in terms of their attainment of essential learnings as determined by the Highline School District. Evaluation of such performance shall be provided to the superintendent and the public annually. Additionally, schools will be accountable for information required by the state and federal agencies on student performance, opportunities for learning, and demographic information. School accountability will reflect national and state standards, address key variables as identified from research and practices, and be based on clear targets. Indicators and standards adopted by the board will be employed in evaluations of schools. Additionally, cost analysis information will be included.
Review of school evaluation information will be made in light of adopted indicators and standards. A plan of action will be required from schools not meeting the standards adopted by the board. These plans will be submitted to the superintendent who will report to the board on the success of the actions taken by the school(s).
Program and Service Accountability
All program and services shall be accountable for all students in their purview in terms of the students' attainment of essential learnings as determined by the Highline School District. Evaluation of such performance shall be provided to the board and the public annually. Additionally, programs and services will be accountable for information required by the state and federal agencies on student performance, opportunities for learning, and demographic information. Accountability for program and services will reflect national and state standards, address key variables as identified from research and practices, and be based on clear instructional targets. Indicators and standards adopted by the board will be employed in evaluations of programs and services. Additionally, cost analysis information will be included.
Review of program and services evaluation information will be made in light of adopted indicators and standards. A plan of action will be required from program and services not meeting the standards adopted by the Board. The superintendent will report to the board on the success of the actions taken by the program(s) and service(s).
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: January 1995