Educators in Harrisonville Public Schools believe that assessment must be an ongoing, systematic, standards-based measure of student learning. Information about student learning and development will inform instruction, direct resources and lead to improved student achievement.
The district supports the establishment of the Assessment Plan as one indicator of the success and quality of the total education in Harrisonville Public Schools. The assessment plan is designed to provide information for the following per Policy IL:
School and District Evaluation
The Harrisonville School District Assessment Program consists of a variety of assessment types and formats including norm-referenced tests, criterion-referenced tests, nationally developed tests, and locally-developed assessments in core content areas. The primary goal of the assessment program is to monitor and improve student performance and achievement. The plan also serves to provide the necessary information to improve curriculum and instructional practices. These two goals are inextricably linked and cannot be considered separately.
No single assessment or assessment type can serve all the needs for information; therefore, the assessment program includes a wide range of instruments and procedures. Using multiple sources of assessment information can frame the answers to key student performance and school improvement questions including:
Are Harrisonville students achieving at high levels academically?
What academic areas are in need of improvement?
Are district and building educational programs improving learning outcomes for students?
Are Harrisonville’s educational programs achieving the results for which they were designed?
Which students are in need of alternative instructional strategies?
How much value is being added for Harrisonville students?
The answers to some questions carry high stakes for individual students and schools (i.e. district, state, and national accountability). The higher the stakes, the more vital it is to ensure that assessments used to gather information are reliable and valid for the intended use and administered in a standardized manner. Lower stakes questions can be answered with frequent, informal assessments and varying assessment types because the answers to these questions do not carry such serious consequences (i.e., questions about trying a different instructional strategy). The purpose of an assessment is always considered when selecting/developing an assessment instrument and interpreting results.