Paterson Public Schools Partners With Performance Matters on Formative Assessments in Priority Schools and Across District

New Jersey’s third largest district uses Performance Matters web-based assessment and data management system to analyze student data from six-week formative assessments district-wide.

Winter Park, Fla. — Dec. xx, 2012 — With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, New Jersey has established rigorous new curriculum and assessment requirements for the state’s lowest-performing “Priority Schools.” To meet these requirements and bolster efforts to close achievement gaps, Paterson Public School District has formed an innovative partnership with Performance Matters™ to help all 54 of its schools — including six Priority Schools and 16 Focus Schools — monitor progress toward student learning objectives (SLOs) and give teachers the timely, accurate data they need to drive their instruction.

New Jersey now requires Priority Schools to use a state-approved curriculum or the state’s own model curriculum in English language arts and mathematics to help students meet the CCSS and New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. The model curriculum includes grade-level content standards organized into five units of study, each with targeted SLOs. At the end of each six-week unit, Priority Schools must administer formative assessments to measure how well students have met the targets and what students still need to master.

“We have been using Performance Matters to manage all of our district and state assessment data for the past three years,” said Lauren Kazmark, Ed.D., interim director of assessment, planning and evaluation for Paterson Public Schools. “Although the state requires that we use the new unit assessments in our Priority Schools only, we have been pleased with these assessments and decided they would be beneficial for all 54 schools in our district. The NJDOE also permitted us to use Performance Matters to manage data from the new unit assessments.”

Using Performance Matters, educators can print out bubble sheets, administer the six-week formative assessments, and scan in the bubble sheets when they are complete. Performance Matters immediately scores and grades the student tests, and makes the data available for use in the classroom and at the school and district levels.

“We conducted our first assessment in October in grades K-12. With Performance Matters, our schools are able get immediate feedback without having to wait for the district to analyze the results,” said Kazmark. “The Item Analysis report is especially helpful, because it gives teachers the data they need to differentiate their instruction and interventions to meet students’ needs.”

In addition, Performance Matters combines the results from the six-week formative assessments with all other relevant student data into color-coded reports and dashboards. Using these tools, educators can instantly disaggregate and analyze the data for any student or group, track progress toward SLOs, and make informed instructional decisions.

“Performance Matters provides us with a comprehensive view of student performance and growth. We can compare performance across our state and local assessments from the individual student level to the district level,” said Kazmark. “Performance Matters is also user friendly. It saves us time in pulling together information and creating reports, which frees us up to analyze the data and make recommendations.”

Paterson Public Schools plans to transition to online scoring using the Performance Matters system in 2013. “This will eliminate the need to scan the assessments, which will save even more time,” said Kazmark. “Performance Matters has been a tremendous help to our district and our relationship has been a true partnership.”

About Paterson Public Schools
The Paterson Public School District is a diverse urban school district located in northern New Jersey. As the third largest school district in New Jersey, the district enrolls approximately 29,000 students in 54 schools to accommodate students in Pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The school district’s strategic plan focuses on four priorities: Effective Academic Programs; Safe, Caring & Orderly Schools; Family & Community Engagement; and Efficient & Responsive Operations. For more information, visit www.paterson.k12.nj.us.


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