Office of Assessment and Evaluation
The Office of Assessment and Evaluation (A&E) assists schools and the school district by overseeing the implementation of all major state and local assessment efforts, evaluating district initiatives, assisting in the interpretation of data, supporting the educator performance evaluation process, monitoring external data, evaluation, and research requests, and supporting major grant-writing efforts. The areas of work supported by A&E are detailed below.
Accountability Scorecard / Top-to-bottom
District and School Accountability Scorecards and the Top-to-Bottom school ranking are part of Michigan’s school accountability system. Scorecards reflect school performance and compliance related to the US Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind Act to report Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Top-to-Bottom ranking is Michigan’s federally approved method of comparing public schools based on achievement, improvement, and achievement gap. A&E staff work with district and school leaders to better understand components, policies and calculations in the accountability system, as well as submit appeals related to student assessment data and specific accountability issues.
A&E staff are responsible for the oversight and implementation of all major state and local assessment efforts. Responsibilities include understanding testing requirements, training test administrators, communicating expectations to teachers and principals, ensuring fair and ethical testing practices, collecting and analyzing results, and helping teachers to use test results to improve instructional practices.
Legislation related to the Section 31a of the State School Aid Act was changed. The purpose of this change is to ensure that all ‘at-risk’ students are reading by the end of 3rd grade and are career- and college-ready by the end of 11th grade. A&E staff identify ‘at-risk’ students for accountability purposes only each year based upon state-defined criteria. Section 31a funds may be used to provide services to any student (regardless of ‘at-risk’ status) in order to meet the goals:
A&E staff participate on the district’s evaluation team to develop and refine the teacher and administrator performance evaluations systems consistent with best practices and state and federal requirements.
Evaluation, Research, and Data Requests
Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) partners with universities, foundations, and research institutions to discover practices in education that advance student achievement. Data, evaluation and research requests, however, are secondary to our goal of educating our students. The process for requesting data and performing research or evaluations at GRPS is intended to protect that primary responsibility and to give reasonable access to individuals, institutions, and organizations to conduct approved evaluation and research projects.
All requests, whether from a Grand Rapids Public Schools employee or from anyone outside the district, are required to submit a request through the online application system. Learn more about the request process and submit an application here.
A&E staff are responsible for supporting all major grant-writing efforts at the district level. Staff will provide support for school-generated grant writing efforts upon request.
A&E staff are responsible for the annual evaluation of various district-wide programs, policies, and practices. Many of these are required by external granting agencies, but others are by request of administrators or the Superintendent. All program evaluations are designed to improve practices and outcomes. Most reports follow an internal dissemination process, are presented to the Board of Education, and at that time become public documents.
A&E staff work with Title I leaders and staff from the Business Office to collect data needed to determine funding allocations, and to report on services provided and academic achievement of students receiving Title I services.
Office of Assessment & Evaluation