Using school assessments to improve curricula and student results - Ralph

May 10, 2022

The use of mandatory testing for school assessment has been questioned for years. Are they the best measure of student or school achievement? Do they affect curriculum changes that benefit students? In the Cinicinnati Enquirer, Ford School writing instructor Alex Ralph gives an example of a school that uses the testing data proactively, creating mock assessments and continuously adjusting to what they show the students are accomplishing.

He writes, "How Evanston Academy uses its assessment data is what distinguishes it. Over multiple mornings each week from September to March, the entire school has the same schedule for its 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. block. It’s when teachers implement lessons to target what they’ve gleaned from their mock assessments."

The results? Since 2015-16 when the school received an F for achievement, it was one of four schools in Ohio to receive a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award in 2020.

He continues, "Such an instructional setup requires continuous dialogue and coordination among Evanston Academy teachers and administrators... The lesson from Evanston Academy is that a school needs to know what to do with the data. And knowing what to do means having a staff trained in what to look for, the time to look, and the scheduling that permits them to act upon the takeaways."

The full article can be seen here.