Assessment Types and Characteristics
The measures chosen for this assignment are represented by Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment (PARCC). Both of the chosen measures are used to assess students’ abilities in relation to their academic proficiency in the English language and mathematics. Mathematics was chosen as the domain for an in-depth statistical analysis. Regarding the type, PARCC can be characterized as a performance-based tool. DLM, on the other hand, aims to measure the extent of the student’s level of conformance with regular standards of knowledge and skill suitable for a certain grade. It uses primarily multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Both of the assessments align with Common Core standards. PARCC serves more as an evaluation of students’ preparedness for college at different stages of school education. DLM is rather a method of school performance evaluation in conjunction with their task of addressing the education needs of mentally handicapped students. PARCC can also reveal challenges of educators and point to specific themes in which students have learning gaps.
The credibility of these sources of data is backed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the United States Board of Education. The former officially issues guidelines, policies, standards of administration, and interpretation, etc. Both tools were developed with the help of national grants. Despite the fact that DLM and PARCC were elaborated by private companies, the recognition, adoption, and monitoring of the assessments on the national and state levels provide a solid level of credibility.
DLM Results Analysis
The recovered data on DLM testing in mathematics for 2015, 2016, and 2017 contains results worth investigating. In 2015, when the program was first commenced, the results seem to be unsatisfying. The majority (52%) of the district’s students with special learning needs demonstrated a lack of compliance with Common Core standards (ISBE, n.d.a). Only 20% reached the desired minimum of understanding and ability. The results speak vividly of the need for reform and adjustment in the CUSD 204 learning model for such students. In 2016-17, the results showed even further lack of compliance with Common Core. The number of students who demonstrated only emerging levels of understanding and abilities increased by 20-25% (ISBE, n.d.a). This may indicate that the schools have not yet taken steps towards recovery or fully implemented them.
PARCC Results Analysis
Students who undertook the PARCC assessment in the same year showed the opposite results. About 60% either met the expectations or exceeded them. Only 4% of the student mass did not pass the test as expected (ISBE, n.d.b). These results appear to indicate the high quality of instruction and curricula in the schools within the Indian Prairie CUSD 204. Within the two following years, the schools demonstrated practically unchanged percentages in all clusters. This illustrates the steady level of quality as well as the lack of progress. However, a small 3% increase was documented among students who exceeded expectations, which may lay a foundation for better cultivation of bright minds in CUSD 204 (ISBE, n.d.b).
Achievement-Related Patterns of Results
Three-year data on DLM indicates no positive change in students’ levels of knowledge and skills. In fact, the students’ achievements appear to have declined with time. Different observations can be made regarding PARCC. This assessment shows acceptable levels of performance, which are steadily maintained throughout the school district. On the other hand, positive trends are also absent, which may indicate a certain stagnation. 60% of students who meet the Common Core standards could be a disappointing result, yet, in comparison with the state level, the Indian Prairie school district produces a double amount of successful students (ISBE, n.d.b).
The data is based on an unstated number of students. It is said only that the sample size consists of more than 10 students (ISBE, n.d.a; ISBE, n.d.b). It partly undermines the validity of the data set and adds to its limitations as a measurement tool. The data is collected and processed by the ISBE which ensures its credibility. Among the strengths, one may name the usability and availability of the data. Another strength is that PARCC results correlate with Algebra I tests which also contributes to validity. The same cannot be said about DLM, as it is practically the only assessment of students with special learning needs utilized in the district. The only thing that reinforces its validity as a measurement tool seems to be its repeatability in different settings across the state.
One of the main recommendations regarding the usage of these data is that it should be utilized to enhance the local education programs. As the trends demonstrate, the situation has not changed for the better according to PARCC and even changed for the worse according to DLM. ISBE needs to consider creating official correctional policies based on a thorough analysis of the statistics and encourage districts to do the same. In addition, the quantity of each cluster should be made public. A balanced Assessment System could be created provided the statistical data covers more students and the numerical values are available.
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). (n.d.a). DLM. Web.
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). (n.d.b). PARCC. Web.