Mastery of Knowledge & Skills - Claim 1:
Smarter Balanced Assessments And Critical Thinking Level
In 2014-15 the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) became the de facto assessments in Oregon and many other states, and educators across the country grappled with the high-level skill and content mastery required by these assessments. At REALMS, we examined these assessments carefully and together, and we quickly realized that they gave our students an opportunity to tackle test items requiring significantly higher level literacy skills and an increased ability to solve more open ended math problems that require application of concepts to new contexts. We also realized that the SBAC assessment items looked more like the kinds of tasks our students tackle in the classroom each day than did the previous generation of assessment items that tended to emphasize content over skill and lower level thinking tasks. Our curriculum was already better aligned to these new assessments than it was to the older OAKS assessments, although there was still work to be done as we looked for ways to revise our curriculum to help students meet the higher bar set by the SBAC assessments.
For the past two years, our students have shown great tenacity and dedication when taking these assessments, and their scores compared to district and state peers reflect their hard work and skill level when it comes to higher level literacy skills and open ended math problem solving. We believe these scores are evidence that our curriculum, our emphasis on high quality student work, and our focus on Habits of Work is working. Students have the skills and the mindsets they need to excel. The graphs below show that not only are our students performance levels high, but more importantly, our “median growth percentiles” exceed district and state averages, showing that REALMS students are moving ahead further and faster!
Other Performance Data:
OR School Report Cards
OAKS, Smarter Balanced Assessments And Critical Thinking
Below are four years worth of standardized assessment data showing consistent excellence across literacy, math and science at REALMS. The first three graphs show school-wide averages for the number and percent of students who meet or exceed grade level benchmarks compared to state and District average. The final graph shows "median growth percentiles" for 2014-15.
Further disaggregated test score and Oregon School Report cards are available at the bottom of the page. Data from graphs below drawn from REALMS Credentialing Data Profile.
It is compelling to us that our students score well on standardized tests as it is evidence that we are making good on our promise that school can be both rigorous and joyful, academically rich and hands-on, and connected to real life learning in the here and now, while at the same time preparing students for success in their future schooling.