The West Ottawa staff continually work to improve instruction, seeking ways to help all students succeed. Analysis of student achievement data is used to review and revise curriculum standards and instructional strategies. It is also used to guide staff professional development.
Recognizing no one measure can capture the full range of student learning, West Ottawa uses a variety of methods to assess student progress and academic achievement, to monitor mastery of skills, and to provide valuable data regarding the curriculum’s effectiveness in providing students with the knowledge, facts and skills deemed essential by the Board of Education and Michigan Department of Education.
West Ottawa Public Schools utilize the following methods for measuring student achievement:
The Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests were developed for the purpose of determining what students know and what students are able to do as compared to state standards at key checkpoints during their academic career. We use MEAP tests to measure how well our curriculum aligns with the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and High School Standards in the five content areas: mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing. The MEAP tests are given at the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th grades, and at 11th grade the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is used as the assessment tool.
Additional Assessment Methods
To accommodate students’ different learning styles, West Ottawa Public Schools also assesses students using the following methods:
- Authentic projects
- Common assessments
- Constructed and extended responses
- Running records and DIBELS
In addition, students are at times allowed a choice in the way they demonstrate their understanding of core concepts. We continually monitor these assessments to plan for student instruction and curriculum reform. It is our goal to provide the students of West Ottawa with a curriculum grounded in research that promotes academic excellence.
Adequate Yearly Progress
Schools are expected to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in improving student achievement and minimizing achievement gaps. AYP is a component of the federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). NCLB and the current state accreditation program, Education YES!, are intended to hold schools more accountable, to expand options, and to ensure every student is provided with the tools they need to be successful, productive citizens.
In Michigan, AYP is primarily determined by MEAP test results. Attendance and retention rates are also factors. To make AYP, a school must show that all students meet or exceed the established MEAP proficiency requirements in both math and English/language arts (which includes reading).
For more information on NCLB and Ed YES!, call the Teaching and Learning Office at 616-738-5730 or visit the Michigan Department of Education website and click on “School Assessment and Accountability.”