District Accountability

 

Bellevue School District Launches New Assessment System

To keep pace with changing technology, curriculum standards and assessment techniques, the Bellevue School District is switching to a new screening test this fall.  We are replacing the MAP reading and math tests with the STAR Enterprise system. Like MAP, STAR is a computer-based test that adapts to each individual student. If a student answers a question correctly, the remaining questions on the test become more challenging. If a student misses a question, the questions become easier. Together, the reading and math tests only take around 45 minutes to complete. Teachers can see test results immediately.

The main purpose of the test is to give teachers information about whether individual students are on track to master state standards. The test can also help answer questions such as:

  • Which students need additional support?
  • Are our intervention programs working?
  • Are students progressing at a typical rate?
  • What skills do students already know and what are they ready to learn next?

We’re excited about STAR because it has advanced reporting features that will give teachers better information to use in the classroom. The test is also shorter than MAP so it takes up less instructional time.

The STAR tests will be given fall and spring to all students in grades 3-8 district-wide. Schools may choose to give the tests at additional points during the year to track student progress and identify students needing assistance. The tests will also be used selectively at the high school level.

 

Our Focus

We maintain focus on developing a program that provides all graduates an exemplary college preparatory education, so they can succeed in college, career and life.  Progress toward reaching this goal is measured in multiple ways.  Below is a listing of the indicators we use to assess our performance along with links to the evidence that supports our efforts to be a high-performing school district.

Partnerships:  International assessments and feedback from outside experts guide improvements in the district's curriculum.  The district has established partnerships with organizations and individuals for the purpose of creating the best curriculum possible to prepare students for success in making a transition from high school to college. For example, Bellevue students' results on international math and science tests, given by Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), is guiding changes the district is making in math and science curricula.  

Indicators:  Student test scores on state-mandated tests, grades, on-time graduation rates, PSAT and SAT scores, high school enrollments in challenging coursework and other assessment results are studied carefully, and analyses are used to determine curriculum modifications, changes in academic support programs (special education, English Language Learners, AVID, enrichment, etc.), and improvements in professional development offerings for staff.

According to federal and state law, all students in grades 3-8 plus 10 are assessed in reading and math, plus certain grade levels also take tests in writing and science. Bellevue's performance on the state MSP and HSPE tests is strong compared to surrounding districts and to the state as a whole: State Test Scores Link

The district is in the top one percent in the nation in terms of student participation in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate coursework.  For the Class of 2010, 88% of our graduates completed at least one AP or IB course in high school, and 52% had more than four AP/IB courses on their transcript.  Details: Enrollment in challenging coursework in high school

On December 12, 2011, as a result of conversations' with members of the school board, strategic plan committee, parents and stakeholders in community forums led to the development of a district ‘scorecard.’ The district’s first scorecard is now complete.  Based on student data, the scorecard will be used to track progress as it aligns to the goals of the district.  Click here to view the new on-line version of our scorecard, complete with explanation of measurements.  A printed copy will be available in schools in January.

Initiatives: We also closely examine results of three other improvement initiatives:

  • Consistent support curriculum for students who need extra help
  • National Professional Standards Board Certification for teachers
  • Increased use of technology to share student progress information with parents and aid teachers and principals in making sure the curriculum is implemented.

School Improvement Plans: Required by state law, these are designed to address student achievement, per state test results.  Learn more...