Assessment Literacy Standards for District Administrators

Crosswalk to the Michigan District Improvement Frameworks
District Improvement Framework/Assessment Literacy Standards Crosswalk (DIF/ALS for District Leaders)

Assessment Literacy Standards – District-Level AdministratorsAssessment Literacy Standards graphic - for district administrators

I. Dispositions

District-Level Administrators should believe that:

A. Quality assessments are a critical attribute of effective teaching and learning.
B. There needs to be uniformity in assessment expectations and practice across buildings.
C. Clear targets that are understood by students are necessary for learning.
D. Students should be an active partner in their learning and assessment.
E. Students can learn to use assessment results to improve their learning.
F. When assessment is done correctly, the resulting data can be used to make sound educational decisions.
G. All educators must be proficient in their understanding and use of assessment.
H. Users of assessments require time to learn to select, develop, and administer the assessments, as well as, use the assessment results appropriately, and resources are needed to carry out these activities.
I. Assessment results should be used to make instructional decisions that impact learning.

II. Knowledge

District-Level Administrators should know:

A. A balanced assessment system consists of both of the following:
       1. Different users have different assessment purposes
       2. Different assessment purposes may require different assessment methods

B. There are different purposes for student assessment:
       1. Student improvement
       2. Instructional program improvement
       3. Student, teacher or system accountability
       4. Program evaluation
       5. Prediction ofPrediction future performance/achievement

C. The definitions of uses for different types of assessments:
       1. Summative assessment
       2. Interim benchmark assessment
       3. Formative-assessment practices
       4. Criterion vs. norm-referenced assessment interpretations
       5. Differences between the types of assessment tools— achievement, aptitude, diagnostic, screening and placement.

D. The different types of assessment methods and when educators should use each:
       1. Selected response: Multiple-choice, True-False, Matching
       2. Constructed response: Short or Extended written response
       3. Performance: Written responses, presentations or
       4. products
       5. Personal Communication: Observations and interviews 

E. Non-technical understanding of statistical concepts associated with assessment:
       1. Measures of central tendency
       2. Measures of variability
       3. Reliability
       4. Validity: a characteristic of the use of the assessment, not the assessment itself
       5. Bias/sensitivity
       6. Correlation vs. causation

F. How to develop of select high quality assessments:
       1. Determine the purpose for assessment
       2. Determine the standards or learning targets to be assessed
       3. Select the assessment methods appropriate to learning targets and assessment purpose(s)
       4. Design a test plan or blueprint that will permit confident conclusions about achievement
       5. Select or construct the necessary assessment items with scoring guides where needed
       6. Field test the items in advance or review them before reporting the results
       7. Improve the assessment through review and analysis to eliminate bias and distortion
       8. Assessments can be purchased or developed locally; each approach has advantages and challenges

G. There are two ways to report results, and specific circumstances when each is useful:
       1. Normative interpretations
       2. Criterion-referenced interpretations

H. The multiple sources of assessment data that validly reflect a teacher’s effectiveness

III. Performance

District-Level Administrators should promote a culture of appropriate assessment use by:

A. Instituting policies with supportive resources (time and budget) to implement a balanced system in the district.
B. Promoting assessment literacy with staff through:
       1. Professional Learning Communities
       2. Targeted Professional Development
       3. Walk-thru (data collection – goal setting)
       4. Educator evaluation practices (i.e., program, teacher)

C. Assuring that each and every staff member is:
       1. A confident, competent master themselves of the targets that they are responsible for teaching
       2. Sufficiently assessment literate to assess their assigned targets productively in both formative and summative ways

D. Providing time and support for staff to implement a balanced assessment system by providing opportunities to develop skills in:
       1. Selecting, creating, and developing assessments
       2. Administering assessments
       3. Scoring/Analyzing results
       4. Developing instructional plan based on results

E. Holding building-level staff accountable for implementing the high quality assessments.
F. Promoting student engagement and involvement in assessment from the district level.

District-Level Administrators promote the use of assessment data to improve student learning through the alignment of curriculum and instruction by:

A. Developing learning progressions to implement the district-wide standards. (Building Administrators ensure that these get implemented.)
B. Clearly explaining how to analyze and use assessment results.
C. Leading dialogues with staff in interpreting results and creating goals for improvement.
D. Assisting teachers in collaboratively analyzing and using data in a professional learning community.
E. Using assessment results, including subgroup performance, to influence the district's curriculum and instructional program.
F. Using multiple data sources over time to identify learning trends.​
G. Using assessment data to reflect on effectiveness of principals' instructional leadership.​
H. Incorporating assessment knowledge in evaluation practices (i.e. program, administrator).
I. Clearly communicating results to various constituents through a coherent system that uses a variety of methods.
J. Using data management systems to access and analyze data.