Measuring Student Progress

All the talk about changes in the way we measure student progress raises important questions. How do we highlight student strengths when we mandate specific courses of study? How do we measure progress in ways that are meaningful for accountability? What’s the difference between grading, testing, assessing, and measuring?

In this week’s #822Chat, we asked, and educational leaders, teachers, and principals spoke. Here are the top tweets.

Big Ideas About Student Progress

The discussion started on expanding the repertoire of assessment methods. It’s important to consider the overarching goals of ing. This impacts the way we think about assessment.

“Are students becoming autonomous learners through learner experiences in math and reading? Are students developing dreams and passions for possible creative applications of the learning in math and reading?” – Chris Chappotin

If the overarching goals of learning include autonomy and student agency, then the “student progress” takes on a special meaning.

Student progress shows up in many ways, in many places.

“How about book talks/book snaps? Informal critiques of selections/texts? In math, how about using tech to build videos to show mastery? Projects that have real-world implications.” – Cristobal Saldana

Measuring Progress in Reading and Math

In our current system, reading and math are central. They’re so core to the accountability and assessment systems that it’s hard to imagine a system any other way (that’s a topic for another post).

So, other than standardized tests, how can we measure progress in reading and math?

Some specific methods include daily records, goal-setting, and small groups.

“The best way to measure progress with kids is setting up goals with them and then working in small groups to really see how they are applying what they are learning and what areas still need targeted instruction. Then revisit those goals and adjust as progress is made.” – Amaris Scalia

“In regards to reading, we are having success with teachers doing 2 running records a day with students who are below reading level. This shows progress and helps students feel successful because we celebrate and target individual needs.” – Sheila Jurke

“Formative assessment, student goal setting reflection, conferring, running records, informal temperature takers, observation, parent conversations, and student check-ins all yield information. We have to tell the story behind the numbers.” – Erika Garcia

“We must help students to self-assess their own learning where they recognize their strengths and areas of challenge; when students recognize how they learn then there are no limits.” – Chris Legleiter

“We can incorporate fun & engaging activities into our lesson plans that check for understanding. We can also begin class with “” problems, ask students to complete exit tickets before leaving the class, introduce mini quizzes to check for understanding, etc.” – Delaney Stersic

Student progress is also embedded into the school’s clear and focused mission.

“We used to say K-3 reading best measured by our on-time graduation/post-secondary acceptance rates 9-13 years later when the little ones became high school graduates. These rates were very high and always referred to the incredible work from the early years’ team.” – Aubrey Patterson

A common thread in these answers is . Not judgment. Not grading. Not evaluating.

No one mentioned a bubble sheet or a spreadsheet.

It’s important that we expand our assessment repertoires. There are many skills and knowledge students need.

They don’t all need the same learning. They don’t all learn the same way at the same rate. future lives aren’t all going to look the same.

Why shouldn’t we monitor student progress along these lines?

When teachers assess student performance, they're not placing value or judgment on it — that's evaluating or grading.  -Grant Wiggins Click To Tweet

Are you a part of the tribe? We connect. We create. We shape the future of education. Join us.

Add to this post. Leave a comment. Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.