Step 2. Form an Assessment Team

This lesson covers one of a series of steps appropriate for districts or schools wanting to establish a system of common assessments. See the "Step 1. Where to Start on Your Road to Common Assessments" lesson if you wish to start at the beginning. Otherwise, keep reading.

Answer 2 Key Questions

Answer 2 Key Questions

1. How big will your Assessment Team be?

While it helps to involve varied stakeholders, large committee sizes (e.g., 20+) can become unmanageable (e.g., if this is a district-wide endeavor). You might wish to start with a smaller "Core Assessment Team" that does most of the groundwork before taking options to a larger "Assessment Team." This manual refers to a single Assessment Team, but please divide and/or repeat tasks as necessary.

2. What will the team's main goal and timeline be?

These may be tentative and evolve as the team progresses. However, a starting goal and timeline will give members direction. Here is a draft of a goal you might edit and use:

The assessment team will select and/or develop a common K-12 assessment system, administered at regular intervals (beginning with the 2012-2013 school year), to facilitate the analysis and improvement of student learning.

A more specific timeline with milestones will be developed later, though determining general meeting times (e.g., after school? 7 times during the year?) and guidelines (e.g., will participants be compensated?) at this point is helpful.

Recruit Team Members

Recruit Team Members

Remembering your team's desired size, consider how many (if any) of the following team members you want to recruit, and write in names if they come up:

  • Teachers (leaders, varied grade levels and subject areas)
  • Curriculum heads
  • District leaders (EL, Special Ed., Assessment, etc.)
  • Site administrators (Principals, Assistant Principals, Counselors)
  • Learning coaches
  • Teachers on Special Assignment
  • "Hard to please" staff members

See the previous lesson for details on why participant variety is needed.

You might need help recruiting. Site administrators are an especially good source for ideal candidates. Consider copying and pasting the following recruitment form into an email sent to them (personalize all underlined sections):

Dear Principal,

[District/School] is forming an Assessment Team to tackle the following goal:

The assessment team will select and/or develop a common K-12 assessment system, administered at regular intervals (beginning with the 2012-2013 school year), to facilitate the analysis and improvement of student learning.

The team will ideally be comprised of educators with varied backgrounds, skill-sets, and job assignments and will meet approximately [number/e.g.,7] times during [the school year], generally [time/e.g.,after school] (participation is voluntary, and [compensation/e.g.,team members will not be paid any stipends]). We are currently in need of [role/e.g.,teachers]. Please provide the following information for [number/e.g.,2] [role/e.g.,teachers] at your site you wish to nominate:

Name:

Site:

Grade Level(s) and/or Content Area(s):

Special Expertise (e.g., EL, data whiz, GATE, Grade Level Coach, Special Ed., etc.):

Approximate Years of Experience:

Please email this (and any questions) to [email address] by [date]. Due to committee size restraints, not all nominees will be selected to participate. However, we appreciate your role in forming a list of valuable applicants from which a team with balanced backgrounds, skill-sets, and job assignments can be formed.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Finalize List

Finalize List

Once you have a list of nominations and your own list of ideal candidates, finalize your list of Assessment Team participants. Remember notes above concerning size and the possibility of splitting your committee.

Next Steps

Next Steps

Once your Assessment Team is formed, you are ready to establish meeting times and milestones. Refer to the next document/lesson in this manual for support.