How do we define success?
Defining success is a central theme for us as we examine best practices to assess student learning, whether we are discussing local assessments, State assessments and national standardized tests such as SATs, ACTs, and Advanced Placement exams. This provides us with a framework for ensuring that we do not let others outside our system define who we are, as students, teachers, and leaders.
To this end we must expand our understanding of student assessments beyond standardized testing. Our goal is to integrate a district-wide systemic approach for analyzing student performance data to better comprehend learning needs and foster achievement. One way we are currently achieving this is through our exploration and use of Performance-Based Assessments. PBAs are typically interdisciplinary, actively engage students who must produce and present a product, are graded based on a clearly defined rubric tied to higher order thinking skills, and are authentic, i.e., tied to a real life purpose.
We also continue to use other data that provides an even clearer picture of how Pelham prepares students for college and careers. This includes the use of exit interviews of our graduates and alumni surveys.