PHSD uses Acuity results in several capacities, including progress monitoring toward GLE proficiency and predicted proficiency of the MAP.
“The standards-based reports let our teachers and principals evaluate their instruction by standard,” said Klein. “Students’ weaknesses can be identified and monitored as instructional interventions are implemented.”
The district also uses Acuity to determine how much progress students must make to exceed the previous year’s MAP scores.
“When we give the first Predictive Assessment in September, we use the scale scores to set goals and then track students’ progress,” Klein said. “If, for example, last year’s third grade class finished at 65 percent proficient and they want to reach 70 percent this year, they can see how much progress each student will have to make to accomplish that goal. Acuity has helped us move from working on hunches to working with concrete numbers.”
Acuity results are also used in students’ own goal setting. “In many classrooms, teachers engage students in setting individual goals,” said Klein. “If we have a goal for a student to improve by 10 scale points, that student might set a personal goal to improve by 15 scale points.”
According to Klein, the scale scores allow educators to accurately assess growth throughout the year and from year to year.
“Acuity is a well-designed set of grade level assessments that accurately predicts future state test performance,” he said. “In addition, because Acuity Predictive Assessments are scaled within and across years, I feel confident about the inferences I make regarding students’ growth. This is the only grade-level expectations-based product for which I could make that claim.”
• Improved MAP scores
• Increased quality of instruction
• Increased motivation and focus on state standards
• Improved data-driven decision making
“Our state test scores have improved since we began using Acuity, and I am confident that Acuity has facilitated the improvement of our instruction,” said Klein. “Our focus has moved toward an emphasis on growth rather than just the end-of-year score. Teachers want to see how much a student improved over the course of a year, not just where they ended.”
During the 2007-2008 school year, for the eighth year in a row, PHSD earned a perfect score on its annual performance review from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and earned the prestigious “Distinction in Performance” award for academic progress and achievement.