Student Work and Evaluation Criteria
Examining student work during the Initial Implementation stage gives educators essential information about learning, instruction, and how well the new units and lessons address the standards. Evaluating student work against criteria provides evidence of the teacher's understanding of the curriculum, the quality of instruction, and the rigor of expectations. Student work also illustrates if and how well students have learned the knowledge and skills articulated in the standards and benchmarks. Without this examination of student work, the standards and benchmarks are merely goals without any evidence of student growth and mastery.
Several sets of tools assist in examining student work. They include content- and benchmark-specific rubrics that detail student learning targets and mastery; quality assessments that tightly align to standards; benchmarks that provide evidence of learning; work exemplars that illustrate a span of performance levels; and a teacher discussion protocol to examine and collect student data.
Rubrics assist teams in evaluating student work in a variety of ways. One way is to ensure that accessible instruction aligns to the standards within the units and lessons as intended. When instruction is not aligned, student work will reflect the instruction, not the intended outcomes or mastery of the learning required in the standards and benchmarks. Lessons and units must also be clearly articulated, provide sufficient scaffolding for learning, incorporate Universal Design for Learning and student needs, and require that students generate valid and reliable evidence of learning.
Rubrics used to evaluate student work should provide clear performance criteria for students and for multiple teachers evaluating the same standard in different content areas. These rubrics must be applied consistently by all teachers and should include definitions of what mastery and growth towards mastery look like.
Progress monitoring is another useful tool for making instructional decisions. Progress monitoring data is most useful when it is regularly collected with valid and reliable measures, and analyzed in a timely manner. In progress monitoring, teachers collect student-performance data frequently, usually every other week, but at least every month. Teachers graph individual student scores and draw trend lines. The trend line is the rate at which the student makes progress toward achieving competence in the grade-level curriculum, given the frequency of the data collected. Student trend lines help teachers make instructional decisions based on pre-determined decision rules.
Progress monitoring is most often used with students participating in supplemental interventions and receiving special education services. The purpose of progress monitoring for supplemental intervention is to determine whether a student’s learning in response to the evidence-based supplemental supports is adequate.
Students whose trend line increases towards grade-level expectations can often exit their special education or supplemental program when trend lines indicate their progress is self-sustaining with only core instruction. Students whose trend lines flatten out or decline, even when they receive high-quality, evidence-based instructional supports that usually work for most students, may need an alternate evidence-based practice in order to make adequate progress. When determining whether an intervention meets a child’s needs and accelerates the rate of learning sufficiently, pre-determined decision rules such as cut-points or growth rates must be consistently applied.
Engage NY: Tri-State Quality Review Rubric and Rating Process
(http://www.engageny.org/resource/tri-state-quality-review-rubric-and-rating-process/). This website provides links to criterion-based rubrics and review processes. Teachers can use these examples to evaluate the quality of lessons and units that address the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy.Text-Dependent Questions: Using Evidence
(http://www.achievethecore.org/ela-literacy-common-core/text-dependent-questions/). The Common Core State Standards expect students to use evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Student understanding can be assessed using text-dependent questions. On this page, teachers can find tools to help write and evaluate text-dependent questions, as well as a link to lesson materials with examples of text-dependent questions included.UDL Curriculum Self-Check
(http://udlselfcheck.cast.org). This website helps teachers check curriculum for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) alignment and explore ideas on how to build options and flexibility into each element of curriculum.Protocols for Examining Student Work
(http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109037/chapters/Protocols-for-Examining-Student-Work.aspx) is an online version of Chapter 3 of Lois Easton Brown’s book, Protocols for Professional Learning. Step-by-step protocols for examining student include the Tuning Protocol, Rounds Protocol, Vertical Slide Protocol, and Collaborative Assessment Conference Protocol.ATLAS: Learning from Student Work
(http://www.nsrfharmony.org/protocol/doc/atlas_lfsw.pdf). This four-page protocol informs teachers about how students learn and think. This tool is based on the Assessment Communities of Teachers Project.Academic Progress Montoring
(http://www.intensiveintervention.org/chart/progress-monitoring). The National Center on Intensive Intervention offers this list of tools used to assess student performance, quantify the rate of student improvement or responsiveness to intervention, and evaluate the effectiveness of intervention. Psychometric Standards, Progress Monitoring Standards, and Data-based Individualization Standards include ratings on the technical rigor of the tools.Using Academic Progress Monitoring for Individualized Instructional Planning
(http://www.intensiveintervention.org/webinars/2013March). This webinar discusses various approaches to progress monitoring with a focus on the value and implications of using progress monitoring to track the growth of students with intensive academic needs. The webinar provides a step-by-step walk-through of the process for using progress monitoring data to make instructional decisions for individual students. It also provides student level examples.RtI Implementers Series: Progress Monitoring
(http://www.rti4success.org/resourcetype/rti-implementer-series-module-2-progress-monitoring). This second module in a three-module series, provides background knowledge on Response to Intervention (RtI) and in-depth information on the use of progress monitoring. It discusses using progress monitoring to improve student outcomes and to make decisions about instruction and interventions. It also covers how to develop guidance for the use of progress monitoring data and provides tools and resources to assist with progress monitoring.