Data Analysis

Assessing to Learn: 4Sight Benchmark Initiative

  • June 9th, 2011
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The 4Sight Benchmark Initiative is an effort that allows the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and its Intermediate Units to collaborate to provide 4Sight Reading and Math Benchmark Assessments in grades 3-11, that are aligned with the PSSA in reading and math, to school districts across the commonwealth. This initiative allows districts to benefit from the use of benchmark assessments. The PA 4Sight Benchmarks are aligned to the PSSA and provide an estimate of student performance on the PSSA as well as diagnostic sub-skill data to guide classroom instruction and professional development efforts.

Following the initial introduction of this program, many of the participating Intermediate Units expressed an interest in expansion to other districts in their Intermediate Units, as well as other school districts in Intermediate Units that did not initially submit an application. As a result, now any Intermediate Units or school districts interested in participating in the Assessing to Learn: Pennsylvania Benchmark Initiative and utilizing the 4Sight Benchmarks may do so at a reduced cost. Additionally, many of the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) districts and those with Accountability Block Grants (ABG) who are interested in using 4Sight as a standard measure across their schools may also participate and use the funding as outlined in program guidelines.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) would like to thank each of you for your efforts, support and diligence in making the first two years of the Assessing to Learn: PA Benchmark Initiative a great success! The 4Sight Benchmark Assessments have proven to be an invaluable tool utilized across our commonwealth to drive instruction, focus professional development efforts, identify program needs and improve student achievement. Vital to the success of this massive project, has been the collaboration between school districts, intermediate units, the Success for All Foundation (SFAF), and the PDE. As of May 2010, the PA 4Sight Benchmarks were administered in over 1,400 schools across more than 400 districts. The PA 4Sight Benchmark has been used to assist districts in promoting change, addressing program needs, initiating data discussions, and fostering a data-driven culture. In addition, 4Sight has focused prevention and intervention efforts and provided a consistent reporting system for Pennsylvania districts involved in the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) Tutoring Initiative. As with the implementation of any new initiative, there have been many challenges to face and your perseverance, professional insight, and prolific suggestions have been critical to improving services.

Due to the expansive participation and overwhelming positive response from teachers, tutors, administrators, parents, curriculum specialists and program coordinators, we are pleased to announce that the 4Sight Benchmark Assessments for Reading and Mathematics will be available to school districts and intermediate units across our commonwealth for the upcoming school year. 4Sight Benchmark Assessments for Reading and Math have been revised to reflect the changes in the Assessment Anchors.

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