Standard 2: Assessment
Knowledge about all forms of assessment is essential for educators of students with gifts and talents. It is integral to identification, assessing each student’s learning progress, and evaluation of programming. Educators must establish a challenging environment and collect multiple types of assessment information so that all students are able to demonstrate their gifts and talents. Educators’ understanding of non-biased, technically adequate, and equitable approaches enables them to identify students from diverse backgrounds. They also differentiate their curriculum and instruction by using pre- and post-, performance-based, product-based, and out-of-level assessments. As a result of each educator’s use of ongoing assessments, students with gifts and talents demonstrate advanced and complex learning. Using these student progress data, educators then evaluate services and make adjustments to one or more of the school’s programming components so that student performance is improved.
Gifted learners must be assessed to determine appropriate educational services. Many diplomatic onlookers have wondered at the wisdom of establishing a formal process for identifying gifted students within a public school. They believe that avoiding the "gifted label" will help to avert controversy and misleading perceptions about giftedness and gifted students. However, what these well-intentioned diplomats have overlooked is that gifted programming is only as effective as the degree to which student needs are matched to appropriate educational options.
Therefore, to ensure quality programming, student assessment for gifted identification must be an organized, systematic, reciprocal process that seeks to identify student needs for purposes of matching students to programming options.
Student Learning Progress
Program assessment is the systematic study of the value and impact of services provided. The effectiveness of services to gifted students is likely to be improved if decisions about the development of all program components are guided by careful decision making based on valid and reliable evidence of what works and what does not work across all the major aspects of program operation. Hence, the most robust provisions for gifted learners will evolve from careful collection of data regarding the context in which the services are delivered, the adequacy and appropriateness of resources available, the quality of activities carried out, and finally, the degree to which goals and objectives have been achieved.
Ensuring Student Outcomes for Assessment with evidence-based practices
There are 6 Student Outcomes with accompanying Evidence-Based Practices included in the Assessment Standard:
Standard 2 Description: Assessments provide information about identification, learning progress and outcomes, and evaluation of programming for students with gifts and talents in all domains.
|2.1. Identification. All students in grades PK-12 have equal access to a comprehensive assessment system that allows them to demonstrate diverse characteristics and behaviors that are associated with giftedness.
||2.1.1. Educators develop environments and instructional activities that encourage students to express diverse characteristics and behaviors that are associated with giftedness.
2.1.2. Educators provide parents/guardians with information regarding diverse characteristics and behaviors that are associated with giftedness.
|2.2. Identification. Each student reveals his or her exceptionalities or potential through assessment evidence so that appropriate instructional accommodations and modifications can be provided.
||2.2.1. Educators establish comprehensive, cohesive, and ongoing procedures for identifying and serving students with gifts and talents. These provisions include informed consent, committee review, student retention, student reassessment, student exiting, and appeals procedures for both entry and exit from gifted program services.
2.2.2. Educators select and use multiple assessments that measure diverse abilities, talents, and strengths that are based on current theories, models, and research.
2.2.3. Assessments provide qualitative and quantitative information from a variety of sources, including off-level testing, are nonbiased and equitable, and are technically adequate for the purpose.
2.2.4. Educators have knowledge of student exceptionalities and collect assessment data while adjusting curriculum and instruction to learn about each student’s developmental level and aptitude for learning.
2.2.5. Educators interpret multiple assessments in different domains and understand the uses and limitations of the assessments in identifying the needs of students with gifts and talents.
2.2.6. Educators inform all parents/guardians about the identification process. Teachers obtain parental/guardian permission for assessments, use culturally sensitive checklists, and elicit evidence regarding the child’s interests and potential outside of the classroom setting.
|2.3. Identification. Students with identified needs represent diverse backgrounds and reflect the total student population of the district.
||2.3.1. Educators select and use non-biased and equitable approaches for identifying students with gifts and talents, which may include using locally developed norms or assessment tools in the child’s native language or in nonverbal formats.
2.3.2. Educators understand and implement district and state policies designed to foster equity in gifted programming and services.
2.3.3. Educators provide parents/guardians with information in their native language regarding diverse behaviors and characteristics that are associated with giftedness and with information that explains the nature and purpose of gifted programming options.
|2.4. Learning Progress and Outcomes. Students with gifts and talents demonstrate advanced and complex learning as a result of using multiple, appropriate, and ongoing assessments.
2.4.1. Educators use differentiated pre- and post- performance-based assessments to measure the progress of students with gifts and talents.
2.4.2. Educators use differentiated product-based assessments to measure the progress of students with gifts and talents.
2.4.3. Educators use off-level standardized assessments to measure the progress of students with gifts and talents.
2.4.4. Educators use and interpret qualitative and quantitative assessment information to develop a profile of the strengths and weaknesses of each student with gifts and talents to plan appropriate intervention.
2.4.5. Educators communicate and interpret assessment information to students with gifts and talents and their parents/guardians.
|2.5. Evaluation of Programming. Students identified with gifts and talents demonstrate important learning progress as a result of programming and services.
||2.5.1. Educators ensure that the assessments used in the identification and evaluation processes are reliable and valid for each instrument’s purpose, allow for above-grade-level performance, and allow for diverse perspectives.
2.5.2. Educators ensure that the assessment of the progress of students with gifts and talents uses multiple indicators that measure mastery of content, higher level thinking skills, achievement in specific program areas, and affective growth.
2.5.3. Educators assess the quantity, quality, and appropriateness of the programming and services provided for students with gifts and talents by disaggregating assessment data and yearly progress data and making the results public.
|2.6. Evaluation of Programming. Students identified with gifts and talents have increased access and they show significant learning progress as a result of improving components of gifted education programming.
2.6.1. Administrators provide the necessary time and resources to implement an annual evaluation plan developed by persons with expertise in program evaluation and gifted education.
2.6.2. The evaluation plan is purposeful and evaluates how student-level outcomes are influenced by one or more of the following components of gifted education programming: (a) identification, (b) curriculum, (c) instructional programming and services, (d) ongoing assessment of student learning, (e) counseling and guidance programs, (f) teacher qualifications and professional development, (g) parent/guardian and community involvement, (h) programming resources, and (i) programming design, management, and delivery.
2.6.3. Educators disseminate the results of the evaluation, orally and in written form, and explain how they will use the results.