Note: This is a section of a larger set of policy and practice proposals before our board and community. Contact our office for additional information and to provide feedback or become involved. Sections will be updated as changes are made.
Highlights of proposed actions:
- Affirmative assessment policy
- Affirmative assessment and data practices
- Responsive temporary redistribution
- Responsive temporary redistribution (cont.)
- Initial and bi-yearly review of assessment practices
- Job-embedded professional development
- Student categorization to support rather than deny
Proposed Section in Full
Section 3 (d): Actions Related to Data, Assessment, and the Distribution of Resources
i. Adopt, maintain, and enforce policy that requires assessment data to be used as a tool for identifying strong practices and resources to advance the learning of all, especially marginalized and under-supported students. The identified practices shall aim to do more than simply fulfill the law.
ii. Require the district and schools to be intentional about the gathering and presentation of data, both qualitative and quantitative, in ways that easily illustrate possible disparities in achievement by clear markers such as race, socioeconomic status, disability, gender, and home language proficiencies.
iii. Ground decision making at all levels, from the classroom to the Board, in intentional and honest data as described in the first and second clause of this section. Decisions will be made informed by this data, with equity and affirmation in mind rather than tradition or blind equality. This approach may entail the temporary re-distribution of resources toward students whose needs are not being met as well as others at that given moment in time and according to the data.
iv. Make budget and personnel assignment decisions for each upcoming year with specific school needs in mind: the most effective and experienced staff as well as the most resources shall be reassigned to the areas or departments with the highest student need or underachievement.
v. Task the superintendent or designee with a comprehensive initial survey of assessment practices that measures whether students’ backgrounds, funds of knowledge, and unique gifts are considered when measuring their strengths through assessment practices in classrooms and schools. Similar analyses shall be performed at least every two years after that. Assessment practices to be reviewed include teacher-created tests, proficiency measures, teacher reports to families, formative assessments, student support forms, and any other forms of assessment of knowledge, skills, attitude and disposition that may be performed within the school. Reviews will serve purposes of analysis, planning, institutional reflection, and professional growth, rather than as evidence for punitive measures against particular individuals.
vi. Provide job-embedded professional development either through formalized or through existing in-house capacity for teachers and staff to become proficient in culturally sustaining practices that recognize, respect, and capitalize on the strengths of the communities served and the unique identities of all students.
vii. Use the designation of special categories such as “English Language Learner” to provide a robust set of supports in addition to, not in place of, strong core instruction and opportunities provided to students in the general education program. Special designations shall not be used to prevent students from accessing rigorous courses and standards-based age-appropriate materials.