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The impact of on-going assessment data on teacher practices
With the rising demands for improvement and accountability required under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools are beginning to see the value of making data-based decisions to dramatically increase student achievement on high-stakes tests. Unfortunately, the information from these end-of-the-year tests often arrives too late to afford teachers the time to analyze the resultant data and make necessary curricular adjustments, both for specific students and groups as a whole. In an effort to make annual yearly progress, many educational agencies are starting to make data-driven decisions to help struggling students make the necessary academic gains to be successful on high stakes tests. In order to assess the Common Core State Standards and ensure that students are meeting these benchmarks, some schools utilize formative assessments called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), designed by Northwest Evaluation Association. The disaggregated assessment data provided by Measurement of Academic Progress highlight the strengths and weaknesses of every child and provide teachers with the necessary information to target instruction. The aim of this study was to reveal if and how teachers at a highly successful school used assessment data to make instructional decisions, and what impact, if any, this had on the school’s on-going high performing status.