Mohonasen Central School District has been working to implement the action plan developed through the Teaching is the Core (TiTC) grant, a $399,946 grant from the New York State Education Department that aims to support improvement of assessment practices in regional schools. Through the grant, a consortium of 12 districts, led by Capital Region BOCES, is collaborating with Learner-Centered Initiatives consulting group to review and improve testing practices in participating districts.
District teams have conducted reviews of current district assessments, learned to develop high-quality assessments and scoring rubrics and created action plans to begin to implement improved testing practices. Information about this process can be found here.
On March 5 and 6, district teams participated in all-day professional development, focused on the creation of high-quality tests and consistent scoring rubrics and how test results can be best used to meaningfully inform instruction.
Later in the month, consultants from eDoctrina met with district teams to review the capabilities and use of the software system, which can be used to streamline curriculum planning and learning goals, support meaningful analysis of student assessment data and implementation of targeted interventions.
All consortium districts, including Mohonasen, met individually with LCI consultants in early May to review and strengthen the district action plan [View district action plan (pdf)]. In June, districts will collaborate through peer review sessions to share feedback on plans and address challenges and successes of putting them into action.
Ongoing professional development will continue throughout the month of June, including further exploration of scoring rubric design and the creation of multiple choice questions that meaningfully assess student learning.
The TiTC grant period concludes June 30; however, the knowledge gained through the grant will allow Mohonasen to sustain the ongoing review and improvement of testing practices to strengthen instruction and student learning.
“The assessment training the teams have received has helped focus on developing a better variety of methods for students to ‘show what they know’ when they are asked to take a test or assessment,” said Lisa Cutting, Mohonasen Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “The assessments teachers have developed move away from paralleling NYS exams, and focus on more authentic tasks which fit seamlessly with their learning. The assessment has become part of the learning process instead of a stand-alone item. We look forward to sharing the knowledge learned within our larger school community throughout the upcoming year.”