What is the Galileo Assessment System?
Have you heard students and teachers talking about the Galileo Assessment System and wondered what it was all about? Galileo is a website where students can log in individually and be assessed in math and reading throughout the school year to measure progress. This system was piloted by Tucson International Academy last year. The information Galileo provided helped to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and also identified areas where teachers should target their instruction for each student.
The Baseline Assessment
In the first quarter of school, students do a baseline assessment to discover where they are starting out. This initial assessment shows the student, parents and teachers where students may have weak areas in their knowledge and where they have strengths. This provides the information needed to be able to set attainable goals in the areas that need improvement. Having the students involved in the planning and goal-setting of their own education has proven to be a powerful tool toward success. They see what needs work and are able to break the goals down into achievable steps. Having that much clarity and involvement in addressing areas that need improvement has empowered students in remarkable ways.
A Powerful Assessment Tool
The assessments are scientifically designed to measure very particular and targeted skills. The Galileo assessment is so accurate that it can show for example, whether a student trying to solve a multiplication word problem has trouble decoding the word problem itself, or if she understands how to set up the problem, but struggles solving the problem mathematically. Being able to zero in so specifically on the areas that need attention truly benefits both student and teacher when it comes to targeting the instruction needed. The Galileo assessment can also identify larger, more complex areas of need for a student.
After that initial assessment and goal setting, benchmark assessments occur as the school year progresses and goals are re-evaluated and realigned as needed. At the end of the year there is a final assessment to measure the year’s progress toward the identified goals for each individual student. Last year, a senior in precalculus set a goal of 15% to 20% improvement for each assessment. By the last assessment of the year, the student had scored 100%!
Not only does the Galileo Assessment help students, teachers and parents identify areas that need work, the results also inspire, motivate, and guide the students in achieving measurable goals. Additionally the tests provide an indicator of how students will perform on the AZMerit test and gives them practice for this test.
Sharing the Results
This year TIA will add the Galileo Assessment System results to student report cards so parents can see how their child is performing. The assessments are not entered as part of the student’s GPA and do not enter into the decision on whether the student will be promoted the next grade level. They are just a tool to help teachers, students and parents identify weak areas that need attention and also to identify strengths the student can build upon to enhance their chances of success.