Achievement Testing Interview

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Curriculum and Achievement Testing Interview
A first-grade teacher and recent graduate from college participated in an interview with the author. The interview questions concentrated on the curriculum utilized in the classroom in conjunction with the achievement screening instruments employed within Allen Independent School District (AISD) to determine the placement of students. In conclusion, the author deliberates on the curriculum and achievement tests practiced in the classroom and proposes a recommendation that offers a more suitable match between the curriculum and assessments.
The author conducted an in-person interview with Morgan Sedlacek, who works with Allen ISD as a first-grade teacher in a general education classroom.
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Sedlacek, personal communication, October 16, 2015); therefore, the proprietary curriculum constructed by Allen ISD complies with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the educational standards for grades kindergarten through twelfth. Although the administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) begins in the third-grade, the curriculum taught in all classrooms concentrates on the TEKS. When the author inquired about any other assessments administered besides the STAAR, Morgan responded, “As a non-testing grade level, we use Istation and mCLASS®:Math assessments to determine student placement in intervention and enrichment groups” (M. Sedlacek, personal communication, October 16, 2016). Due to the STAAR not administered until the students reach third-grade, the earlier grades particularly, focus on achievement screening instruments such as Istation (aka Imagination Station) and mCLASS®:Math. According to the Istation website, “Students start with Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP), a computer-adaptive assessment. Captivating characters guide students through ISIP, which measures current skill levels and provides teachers with data to drive instruction in early and advanced reading skills” (Istation, 2015). More importantly, Istation offers various reports, such as priority reports, summary reports, skill growth reports and tier movement reports to assist teachers with intervention decisions, if needed. In addition to the use of Istation, AISD uses mCLASS for math assessments in which “teachers ask questions to uncover students’ mathematical reasoning, and measure fundamental skills required by the Common Core State Standards in mathematics for grades K–3” (Amplify Education, Inc., 2015). In fact, with mCLASS, it

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