DULUTH, GA — Dec. 16, 2009 — While high-stakes tests are a critical component of any accountability program, a one-size-fits-all approach to testing cannot deliver everything educators need to improve learning for each and every student. To help educators make informed instructional decisions that positively impact student learning throughout the school year, Curriculum Advantage Inc. today releases a new, comprehensive assessment solution called Focus on Individual Needs and Development (FIND).
A key benefit of the web-based FIND assessment solution is that it automatically links assessment results to targeted instructional activities in the award-winning Classworks® comprehensive K-12 instructional software. Individualized learning paths based on test results immediately engage students in learning to address areas of concern. Classworks includes 17,000 instructional activities drawn from 265 top software titles to motivate students and increase performance. The program’s individualized instruction accelerates learning for mainstream students, brings at-risk students to grade level proficiency, and helps English learners build fluency.
“Our customers are always asking us for a more comprehensive assessment solution that can meet diverse assessment requirements across a school or an entire district,” says Melissa Sinunu, chief operations officer at Curriculum Advantage. “Faced with increasing accountability demands, they need a tool that can provide screening, progress monitoring, benchmarking and more — without having to seek out and purchase multiple programs. FIND, like Classworks, is robust and flexible to cost-effectively meet the unique needs of every district.”
Whether using probes to monitor progress, following a district pacing guide or assessing readiness for the next grade level, FIND provides educators with a multi-faceted approach to gathering student data. The key to this assessment solution is multiple test types designed to provide different data sets for different purposes — from district level accountability to informed classroom decision making.
FIND offers six unique assessments including Benchmark/Summative Assessments, Universal Screeners, Customizable Standards-based Assessments, Learning Style Assessments, Skills Snapshot Probes, and a Placement Test.
Curriculum Advantage partnered with the Scott Elliot Group (SEG) to develop the Benchmark/Summative Assessments and Universal Screeners. Both of these sets of tests are scored on a vertical scale to provide a reliable measurement of growth across grade levels and time. Designed for grades 1-8 and English I, algebra I and geometry, the Benchmark/Summative Assessments can be used to monitor student achievement of grade-level or course-level progress during the school year, and evaluate the mastery of essential skills at the end of the year. The Universal Screeners assess K-10 students’ readiness for instruction and can be used to initiate the Response to Intervention (RtI) process to identify students requiring additional instructional support, or on an ongoing basis as part of an RtI model of assessment and instruction.
“The comparability of scores is an important benefit of the new Classworks Universal Screeners and Benchmark Assessments because it allows you to compare scores from tests at different grade levels and make sure the scores mean the same thing regardless of which form you administer or when you administer it,” explains Dr. Scott Elliot, president of SEG. “A vertical scale offers an efficient way to measure student growth over time and ensure educators that the tests they administer are valid and reliable. Most importantly, vertical scaling is a progress monitoring tool that can be used to match students to targeted instruction and have a greater impact on student achievement.”
FIND also offers a custom assessment with a comprehensive item bank that gives educators the flexibility to design their own tests. Teachers can create tests to measure a small number of discrete skills for formative use. Schools and districts can create pre- and post-tests that are administered every nine weeks to measure a broader scope of concepts and show student growth. Tests can be generated based on state standards, district pacing guides, cognitive complexity levels and concept or skill, providing a reliable means of measuring student performance to make informed instructional decisions.
The Learning Styles Assessment results indicate the dominant cognitive style — visual/text, visual/graphics, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic — for an individual student, allowing teachers to target instruction and assessments to enhance learning. The Skills Snapshot delivers frequent progress monitoring with quizzes to assess students skill by skill and automatically assign specific units of instruction. The Placement Test identifies where a student is in the learning process and quickly places them at the appropriate starting point in the curriculum.
By linking the assessments to research-proven standards-based instruction, Classworks FIND offers a complete accountability solution.
About Curriculum Advantage
Curriculum Advantage Inc. (www.curriculumadvantage.com) is the developer of the award-winning Classworks® system of K-12 reading and mathematics instruction and learning tools. Available as a web-based or networked solution, Classworks’ activities are correlated to national and state learning standards and state tests, and include prescriptive and summative assessment, remediation and reporting tools. Classworks Language Learner Series addresses English as Second Language learning with content that focuses on auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic components.