Office of Data and Assessment
Dalton Public Schools Office of Data & Assessment
Coordinator for School Improvement and Data Analysis
The purpose of the Georgia Student Assessment Program is to measure student achievement of the state-adopted academic content standards and to use assessment results to improve teaching and learning. Results from the assessment program are utilized to identify the extent to which students have mastered the state's academic content standards, to provide teachers with feedback about instructional practice, and to assist school districts in identifying strengths and weaknesses to establish priorities in planning educational programs.
The Georgia Student Assessment Program includes a set of both formative and summative assessments that work together to provide insights to improve teaching and learning. Different stakeholders need different data – the right data – to meet their needs. For example, classroom teachers need detailed, real-time data to inform their work with students while leaders and policymakers need aggregated, high-level data to inform decisions about policy and instructional programs. This balanced approach to assessment provides data for a variety of stakeholders to inform decisions, whether at a policy, district, school, or classroom level to support the improvement of Dalton Public Schools’ education system.
Dalton’s balanced approach to assessment maintains a purposeful amount of accountability and insights on how Dalton's students are doing while also focusing time and resources on improving student learning at the classroom level during the school year.
GKIDS 2.0 is a progression-based formative assessment, integrated into classroom work, that is aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE). GKIDS 2.0 is organized around big ideas and learning progressions.
A big idea describes the integration of concepts and skills from the kindergarten standards that are most important for success in first grade.
A learning progression shows where the student is in the learning continuum of content and reasoning development regarding the big idea from the GSE.
Learning progressions provide the big picture of what is to be learned across the year, relate increased reasoning of standards within the grade and across grades, and support instructional planning.
GKIDS 2.0 provides teachers with one source of real-time information to adjust instruction, by identifying what a student already knows, what the student needs next, and by allowing the teacher to monitor growth.
ACCESS for ELLs is administered, annually, to all English learners in Georgia. ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners’ social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains. ACCESS for ELLs meets the federal requirements that mandates states to evaluate EL students in grades K through 12 on their progress in learning to speak English.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is a recently developed, individually administered test. It is intended only for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities that are severe enough to prevent meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment. Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is not intended for ELs who can be served with special education accommodations on ACCESS for ELLs. Decisions regarding a student's participation must be made by an IEP team.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) require that states ensure all students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities, have access to challenging academic standards and participate in the state’s assessment program. The U.S. Department of Education defines alternate achievement standards as establishing performance expectations that differ in complexity from grade-level achievement standards. These standards must be aligned with the state’s content standards, promote access to the general content standards, and articulate the highest achievement levels possible for the individual student. This means teachers may customize learning expectations for students who participate in alternate assessment.
The Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) 2.0 is comprised of standardized performance tasks and is intended to provide tiered participation within the assessment for students working at various levels of complexity. The GAA 2.0 is designed to measure the degree to which students with significant cognitive disabilities have mastered alternate achievement standards in the core content areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
The GAA 2.0 is administered to all eligible students in the following areas:
Grades 3-8, and high school will be assessed in English language arts and mathematics.
Grades 5, 8, and high school will be assessed in science.
Grades 8 and high school will be assessed in social studies.
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System is a comprehensive summative assessment program and represents a single system of summative assessments that span all three levels of the state's educational system – elementary, middle, and high school. The system is designed to send consistent signals about students' preparedness for the next level, be it the next grade, course, or endeavor, such as entering college or beginning a career after leaving the K-12 educational system.
|Georgia Milestones||ELA||Mathematics||Science||Social Studies|
|End-of-Grade (EOG)||Grades 3-8||Grades 3-8||Grades 5&8 High school physical science (Grade 8 only)||Grade 8|
|End-of-Course (EOC)||American Literature and Composition||Algebra I/Coordinate Algebra||Biology||U.S. History|
For more than 50 years, information on what American students know and can do has been generated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It is the only ongoing effort to obtain comprehensive and dependable achievement data on a national basis in a uniform and scientific manner. Commonly known as “The Nation's Report Card", NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. MAP is a three-part test that measures student knowledge in reading, language usage, mathematics, and science. All students in grades K – 8 will be taking the MAP every year in the fall, winter and spring.
The MAP measures your child’s academic progress or growth. By having precise measurement of student achievement, teachers and others can monitor academic progress. This testing keeps you informed on the progress of your child in basic skill areas. Each Measure of Academic Progress is made up of parts, which are called goals. These goals are closely aligned to reflect progress toward the standards.
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) uses scores to measure growth in each of the academic areas assessed. Scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question. When you, your child, and your child’s teacher look at MAP results, it may become apparent that certain goal areas need more attention than others.
The computerized tests are leveled to meet the needs of children at each grade level. Then within the grade level the tests are again adjusted to match a student’s current level of achievement. Although every test has questions covering the same goal area, not every test has the same questions, and the test questions vary in difficulty. In a computerized adaptive test, the difficulty of the test is adjusted to the student’s performance, so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the students answer incorrectly, the questions become easier. Prior to the testing, students in each class will receive explanation of how to do the testing and why we are testing and how the results will be used.
The MAP testing is very important because it measures the growth of your child in essential skills. If a child needs help, we know exactly what skills on which to focus. Because we test both in the fall and in the spring with the MAP, we have a picture of a student’s progress during that year in each of the goal areas. These tests will also give a long-range picture of a student’s learning as they progress through the grades.
Reading the results is straightforward. After each test administration, you will receive a Parent Report showing your child’s score in each subject. The RIT score is a measure of the difficulty of the material with which your child has been successful. Further, the Parent Report indicates whether your child’s achievement is high, average, or low in each of the goal areas. Over time you will be able to keep track of your child’s RIT scores (academic growth) the same way many people make marks on a chart to record a child’s height. The best use of results will occur through collaboration among you, your child, and your child’s teacher(s).
Preparing for Test Days
The best preparation is to keep in mind that school is important every day of the year, not just on test days. Let your child know that you expect and appreciate hard work. During the days just before the testing try to make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Getting up and off to school with plenty of time to spare on test day helps, as well as a good breakfast. Test taking should be taken seriously, but you can help by not pushing the seriousness all the way to test anxiety. We hope that you and your child will see testing as an opportunity to focus on academic strengths and set new goals.
Accountability serves to provide all stakeholders with important information on the performance and progress of Dalton Public Schools. The division also improves communication between schools and stakeholders regarding federal and state education accountability initiatives. The division is also responsible for ensuring the system meets the accountability requirements of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Finally, the division shares and interprets the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) reports.
College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI)
The College and Career Ready Performance Index – CCRPI – is Georgia’s annual tool for measuring how well its schools, districts, and the state itself are preparing students for the next educational level. It provides a comprehensive roadmap to help educators, parents, and community members promote and improve college and career readiness for all students.
The CCRPI includes five main components each scored on a scale of 0 to 100: Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness, and Graduation Rate (high school only). These components, encompassing multiple indicators, are combined for a total CCRPI score on a scale of 0 to 100. The CCRPI also reports other information, such as the performance of student subgroups, school climate, and financial efficiency status.
As the state's P-20 education agency, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement works to increase academic achievement and school completion across the state. The agency maintains an education scoreboard that tracks the effectiveness of the state's Pre-K through college programs, audits these programs to ensure that state funds are well used, and analyzes and shares with the public data about trends in education.
Conducting Research in DPS
CONDUCTING RESEARCH IN DPS
Dalton Public Schools has established guidelines for the research approval process. Applications will be reviewed with respect to the district's goals and mission of ensuring success for each student. All research conducted in Dalton Public Schools must:
- protect the rights and privacy of staff, students, and parents/guardians
- not interfere with instructional time to the detriment of student learning
- support continuous school system improvement goals
Applicants seeking to conduct research as a requirement for a master's or specialist’s thesis or doctoral dissertation should complete the "Application to Conduct Research" and submit these documents to the district for approval.
DPS Research Proposal Application (click to download)