Using Data at Benton MS/HS

Data Analysis

Data is the catalyst for informing instructional decisions at Middle / Senior High School.   The District analyzes data through four assessment domains to help inform short-term and long-term decisions about the education of our students. These include diagnostic, benchmark, formative and summative assessment data.


Diagnostic Assessment Data

 Diagnostic assessment data ascertains, prior to instruction, each student's strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills. Using this data allows the instructor to adjust instructional practices to meet each student's unique needs.  Benton MS/HS utilizes Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Education in the following content areas for grades seven through twelve: Reading/Literature, Writing/English Composition, Algebra I, and Biology.  In addition to the CDTs, we also utilize Study Island in the areas of 7 & 8 Grade PSSA, as well as Keystone Algebra I, Keystone Biology, and Keystone Literature.


Benchmark Assessment Data

 Benchmark assessment data sets are designed to provide feedback to both the teacher and the student about how the student is progressing towards demonstrating proficiency on grade level standards. Well-designed benchmark assessments measure the degree to which a student has mastered a given concept, skill or application. Reports are developed by referencing standards rather than other students' performance. This kind of data is used to measure performance regularly, not only at a single moment in time.  New this year, the Benton MS/HS is using the Study Island Benchmarking exams in the areas of PSSA Math and Reading for the MS, and Keystone Algebra, Biology, and Literature for the HS and MS students taking Algebra I. 


Formative Assessment Data

 Formative assessment data is used by teachers and students during instruction to provide feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning, and to improve the student's achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Meaningful formative assessment involves collecting the evidence about how a student is learning so that necessary instructional adjustments can be made to close achievement gaps at the classroom level. Formative assessment should be integrated into everyday instruction and learning with both teachers and students receiving frequent feedback. The use of ongoing formative classroom assessment data is vital to the teaching and learning process. Formative assessment examples are the quick comprehension checks teachers administer to students regularly to check for student understanding of learning outcomes.


 Summative Assessment Data

 Summative assessment data is used to measure the overall learning and teaching progress made at the end of a defined period of instruction. This type of assessment is usually considered the high-stakes assessments, and results are usually tied to accomplishments at key points in a student's academic career.  The Benton MS/HS administers the PSSA exam through grade 8, and the Keystone Exam in the areas of Literature, Algebra I and Biology. 

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