As an International Baccalaureate school, we use a variety of assessments to assist the learning process. From the IB web site:
“Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher’s feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.”
- Formative assessments help the student – and the teacher – understand the concepts, how much progress they are making, and what they need to do in order to improve.
- Summative assessments are a final assessment of learning, for example at the end of a unit of work, or at the end of the school year. Teachers use rubrics to assess student learning, and they share those rubrics with the students at a grade-appropriate level so students know what is expected of them.
Teachers give grades using the rubric so students can see exactly where they need to focus for improvement.
While the International School of Portland limits its use of standardized testing, each 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade student does take the ACT Aspire Test each Spring. The ACT is a commonly used college readiness exam. The ACT Aspire test is an elementary-based assessment model that is linked to scores of older students taking the ACT and determined “readiness” benchmarks. Over one million students across the country take the ACT Aspire. At ISP, the subjects tested are English, Math, and Reading.
ISP does not use these ACT Aspire scores for purposes of assessing any individual student or teacher. However, these scores are somewhat valuable as a means by which to compare overall ISP student performance with other schools in the state and nation. The Educational Leadership Team analyzes the data to see trends, areas in which we do well, and areas in need of improvement.
- Overall, the percentages of ISP students that meet or exceed these standards is significantly higher than those taking the test nationwide.
- ISP students generally perform well on these tests, even though these tests are administered in English and ISP students are primarily immersed in Spanish, Chinese or Japanese.
Below are the school’s overall performance ratings alongside the performance of all students who took the ACT within each grade: