Measuring success in District 196
The District 196 Student Testing and Assessment Center is responsible for all district wide achievement testing. The assessment center staff work on implementation of state graduation standards; administer district, state and national tests; collect other information to support revision and development of curricular and instructional programs; and report data to the School Board, the Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Council (CIAC), and the public.
Our mission is to collect meaningful information, report it in a timely way, and communicate the results in a clear and helpful style. The District 196 Assessment Plan articulates a balanced system of assessment that:
- Aligns with Minnesota and district standards
- Supports our district mission
- Provides assessment information that is compatible with information from previous grades
- Provides data to be used by Professional Learning Communities for strengthening instructional approaches
- Utilizes an array of assessment methods which provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding and knowledge
Assessments are an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding. Assessments inspire us to ask these hard questions: "Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?" "Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?" "Is there a way to teach the subject better, thereby promoting better learning?"
For Minnesota’s statewide assessments to reflect the full impact of district- and state-level implementation of the applicable standards, as well as district-level success at teaching the standards, it is important for all Minnesota students to take the statewide tests. The impact of this data spans the state, impacts each district, and demonstrates clear trends across time. The data on today’s third graders, for example, helps us understand those same students learning in fifth, ninth, and 12th grade. Also, today’s third graders help us understand every third grade class for years to come, and whether changes to curriculum, efforts toward equity, and emphasis on inclusion make a substantial difference to our students. In addition, English learners must take the ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS to exit English language instruction. Without these test scores, students will continue to receive English learner services.
Parent/guardian guide and refusal for student participation in statewide testing: