The Collection and Use of Assessment Information in Schools (March 2007) 01/03/2007

Next Steps

To increase the effectiveness of assessment practices in schools, ERO recommends that schools:

  • develop and establish a school-wide agreement about the purpose and practice of assessment across all teaching and learning programmes;
  • review the collection and analysis of student achievement information to make sure that the information collected is worthwhile, reflects the learning priorities of the school, and accurately demonstrates students’ achievements and progress;
  • interpret and use both formative and summative assessment information to:

- determine when and how to respond to students’ learning needs;

- evaluate and improve teaching programmes;

- develop suitable achievement expectations for individual students, groups of students and the whole school; and

  • engage more effectively with their families and communities about students’ progress and achievement.

To ensure teachers’ assessment capabilities, ERO recommends that teachers be given advice and support on:

  • understanding the purposes of assessment and what this means for their practice;
  • analysing and interpreting assessment data;
  • developing tools and processes to assess primary school students’ progress in curriculum areas other than literacy and numeracy; and
  • collecting, interpreting and using assessment information for students in Years 9 and 10.

In addition, ERO recommends:

  • setting clear criteria for assessment-related professional development programmes to help strengthen their impact on the development of school practice, particularly those aspects identified in this study as needing improvement; and
  • further investigation into the particular challenges facing low decile schools in collecting and using assessment information.

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