We are always examining how best to assess student learning in Wyckoff. Several different methods of assessment that continue to be used across the district include formative assessments, summative assessments, and standardized tests. Some assessments inform instructional practice, while others are used to gauge academic progress of individuals or groups of students. It is important for you to know that assessment happens in our schools every day, and that not all assessments are used for the same purpose. In Wyckoff, we believe that no single measure is sufficient to judge school performance or to guide instruction. We will continue to use a combination of appropriate assessments to plan our curriculum so it meets the needs of each and every student.
Summative assessments are assessments of learning and are used to report academic progress at various points throughout the year. A summative assessment may be a test, a written report, a project or other activity that demonstrates learning. The information derived from these assessments is very important, but is still only a sample of student learning and doesn’t provide thorough evidence of a student’s academic performance.
Formative assessments are assessments for learning and teachers use them every day. They are evaluations done along the way as a part of the instructional process and provide information to students and teachers about student understanding at a point when changes can be made to lessons. These assessments may include observations, journal writing, quizzes and student writing conferences. The purpose is to help students understand how to improve.
Standardized assessments, like NJASK and the new PARCC assessment with its open-ended questions and performance-based questions, provide us with only one part of a student’s college and career readiness. To provide us with additional information to guide instructional decisions, we will implement the online Cogat7 test in grades 3 and 5, and in K, 1 and 2, when needed.