Principles of Effective Assessment
Assessments are presented in a variety of formats in order to serve different purposes, all of which may be utilized to inform instruction and programmatic decisions (e.g., curricula, professional development) in order to accelerate achievement for each and every student. Four general types of assessments within the balanced assessment framework are used in Seattle Public Schools:
The School Board recognizes the need to select both formal and informal assessment tools that are high-quality, culturally responsive, provide valuable data, and are free from bias. All assessments for district-wide use will be reviewed for approval by the School Board, with the exception of any test that is mandated for state or federal accountability. District-wide assessments are those that are funded centrally and used by all applicable district schools. All assessments that have contracts exceeding the threshold set forth in Policy No. 6220 will be reviewed for approval by the School Board. Assessments should be reviewed with input from stakeholders, in alignment with any applicable procedures outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, with consideration for how each assessment reflects our district’s commitment to a balanced assessment framework.
The SPS-SEA Joint Assessment Steering Committee will review and identify standardized or common assessments to recommend for building, regional, or district-wide use, as well as developing recommendations for reducing the impact of testing on instructional time and student access to resources. Assessments recommended by the SPS-SEA Joint Assessment Steering committee will contain a discussion of why the assessment was chosen, including why the test is valid, reliable, and unbiased, with consideration for the needs of students receiving special education and English Language Learner services. In order to implement a balanced assessment framework, the SEA-SPS Assessment Steering committee will consider the time and impact of assessments on students. In addition, an Assessment Advisory Committee will be formed annually with representatives from Teaching and Learning, SEA, PASS and the community to provide implementation recommendations to the SPS-SEA Joint Assessment Steering Committee. In service of transparency, an annual assessment report will be prepared for the full board which indicates all assessments being used district-wide within Seattle Schools, as well as an overview of the selection process being utilized for assessments not mandated by State or Federal Requirements.
The District will implement and comply with the administration of all student assessments required by Washington state and federal law.
The Board of Directors of Seattle Public Schools, in alignment with Policy No. 0010, Instructional Philosophy, believes that students have a right to a safe, secure, and supportive environment for instruction and assessment. Students have a right to participate in an assessment environment that is conducive to their best performance. Students who do not participate in district or state assessments for any reason have a right to appropriate learning activities and shall not be subjected to punitive or exclusionary treatment for non-participation.
Seattle Public Schools recognizes that families have a right to be informed of the assessments being utilized to support student learning and measure progress along standards. In addition, the School Board recognizes the right of parents/guardians to be notified of all state and district-mandated student assessments, including objectives and educational benefits, rights of refusal and effects of non-participation, and to receive the results from these assessments in a timely manner.
The district will make available a public calendar of required state and district assessments by August 15th of each year. Parents/guardians have the right to view their students state testing records per guidelines by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and appeal assessment scores required for graduation. Student information as related to assessment is protected under the guidelines of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).