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Program Assessment

The Council on Educational Standards and Accountability believes that school programming, from the daily lesson plans to constituents’ views of the school, must be assessed frequently and objectively.  For schools to see continuous improvement, administrators, teachers, and students must always be aware of their performance and progress with respect to objective norms.  Without an accurate understanding of progress on the path to rigorous objectives, neither students nor school administrators can realize the institution’s goals.  While a rigorous program of assessment is often overlooked in schools, CESA believes appropriate attention to assessment is a vital component of excellent schools.  To that end, CESA supports:

…teachers who recognize that the “quality of instruction is a function of teachers’ understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their students”, which requires quality classroom-based assessment consisting of formal and informal assessment strategies (Stiggins).   Quality assessment should:

  • Include frequent formative work with many opportunities to improve the quality of the work 
  • Utilize summative strategies to assess curricular and behavioral goals
  • Act as a feedback loop, such that teacher’s input is used to modify student work just as student work is used to modify teaching 
  • Determine student understanding rather than knowledge


…administrators who recognize the need to understand all stakeholders’ perspectives to provide the highest quality educational experience.  School-wide assessment should:

  • Include annual norm-based student testing, such as ERB’s and SAT’s
  • Be based on a value-added model of student achievement
  • Be used in all curricular, programmatic, and strategic decision-making
  • Include annual parent, faculty, and student surveys