In my school district we keep being told that we are “ahead of the curve” in the development of SLO’s (student learning objectives). Most of us just feel lost and without any guidance. This is not to put down our department or building leaders. They simply do not have the information available from the state. It has been frustrating, but I had a moment last week where I actually got excited about my SLO.
We were required to give a pre-assessment in the course(s) for which we were writing a SLO. There is no precedence on this and therefore we have no idea what these pre-assessments should look like. We have been advised not to give an old Regents Exam or even part of an old Regents Exam for the course. Obviously, the students would do poorly and by the end of the year the students would do better and show remarkable growth. Frustratingly. some of my math colleagues are doing just this. I decided to build a 15 question pre-assessment. Five of the questions were old Integrated Algebra Regents questions. Five of the questions were old Geometry Regents questions. I tried to select these ten questions that demonstrated requisite skills for Algebra 2 with Trigonometry. Lastly, I selected five questions from an old Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Regents. I decided to exclusively use multiple choice questions so that the students could complete the pre-assessment in one period and also so that I could grade it in a reasonable amount of time.
I entered all of the scores into excel and created a distribution based on these base scores. My fellow Algebra 2 with Trigonometry colleague and I decided to try to raise these scores by 10% on the June 2013 Regents Exam. I then multiplied all of the students scores by 1.10 to develop “target scores.” Next, I looked at this new distribution. I compared this with our Part I score from last year. Although we hoped for similarities, we could not have imagined results that were as aligned as this.