By Nancy Thomas Price
State Coordinator of Formative and Interim Assessments
The SDE is asking for volunteer schools that would be willing to provide a group of students to take part in a student focus group regarding assessment. A focus group is a thoughtfully planned discussion designed to obtain perceptions regarding a specific area of interest in a safe, structured environment. The defined area of interest in this case centers on assessment.
There are multiple users of assessments in schools. The primary user of assessment practices is the student. Assessment practices impact students and their learning, yet we rarely ask students to share their perceptions of testing and how it supports their learning. As part of the state's effort to support Idaho schools and districts in the development of sound assessment practices, both formative and summative, the perceptions of students will be investigated. The belief is that students' viewpoints will provide insights not currently being considered but that will optimally support learning. For more information, please visit the Formative / Interim assessment web page.
The Idaho State Department of Education is collecting data on current assessment practices. This will guide future support and professional development offerings as we prepare for new Smarter Balanced assessments and use of assessments in Schoolnet. Please assist us by participating in one of the following surveys, depending on your role.
Educators earn points for implementing formative & interim assessment strategies and sharing successes. Points translate into additional dollars for classroom budgets. Recognition categories established for individual classroom teachers, grade/content teams, and schools. More information is available on the Assessment website.