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Standard assessments of student learning

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Alec Hulbert is a new sixth-grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Alec took advantage of the days before school began to review the records of the 20 students who would be in his class. He was pleased to see that most of the students were performing at or above grade level on the standardized tests in reading comprehension, science, and mathematics.

During the first week of school, Alec randomly asked students questions related to the last unit they had covered in the fifth grade to determine what knowledge and skills had been mastered and what might need to be reviewed. Alec was surprised when it became clear that most of the students had mastery of little more than the most basic facts. To get a more accurate assessment of student knowledge and skills, Alec developed a diagnostic assessment that he administered the following Monday. The results were disappointing. They indicated that the class as a whole did not perform at the level that would have been expected given their scores on the state standardized assessment.

Discuss the informal assessments that were presented in this scenario.
Explain why you believe the students scored well on the standardized tests administered in the fourth grade and then performed at a lower level on the assessments at the beginning of the fifth grade. If you were Alec, how would you use the results of the diagnostic assessment to plan for instruction and improved student learning? Explain why your strategies would be effective.

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Standard assessments of student learning are briefly evaluated using this case study example.

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I feel like Alec used diagnostic assessment, kind of like a pre test, to evaluate students' skill levels. He also tried to assess what they retained over the summer and after standardized testing, since a large chunk of time ensued.

As you explain why you believe the students scored well on the standardized tests administered in the fourth ...

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