How Are Schools Being Assessed?

Schools are formal avenues for learning, providing knowledge and experiences to students, but how are school being assessed? Schools periodically undergo assessment in order to certify that standards established are met and goals and objectives created are observed. This quality assurance process is referred to as educational accreditation. It involves analyzing the operations and services an institution or program is undertaking and comparing data analyses with state standards or proposed operational procedures. Accreditation is instituted to keep up with the dynamic changes in curricular programs, teaching-learning strategies and student-teacher population.

Nationally acknowledged accrediting agencies are given by the US Secretary of Education for higher education as per the Higher Education Act of 1965. These agencies are private educational associations functioning locally or nationally and developing evaluative criteria and conduct personal audits and evaluations. This database secures the public that the institutions by which parents enroll their children to are recognized by the government and have met state/national standards for educational institutions. Once the evaluating agency identifies that all necessary criteria are met, the requesting body is given accreditation. However, no federal government list is created for primary and secondary schools given the number in existence across the country.

How are school being assessed specifically can be in the premise of educational standards maintained, quality of education provided and school management.

As a priority of every institution, student's accomplishments and progress must be tantamount or greater than what other students achieve in other academic institutions. Evaluation covers student aptness in terms of knowledge, cognition and actions and its comparison with students of other institutions. Student punctuality and attendance reports will reflect if the institution allows for students to attend all classes or if the location of the institution may not be well suited for a number of enrolled pupils. Student behaviors are also taken into consideration since schools are grounds for values formation and socialization.

In terms of the delivery of education, how are school being assessed? First, classrooms at which students learn are noted. Ventilation and density must be within acceptable limits. Room size, general condition, and repair must be suitable for learning. The quality of teaching and effective use of teaching strategies is taken into account. This will identify if the teaching-learning process is up-to-date with the current education system in the country and mark any weaknesses observed. The curriculum followed is of equal importance. This will attest that students in each level of education are taught of things they need as mandated by law for such academic level.

Moreover, the evaluator takes note of moral, spiritual, cultural and social development for which every institution should play role into. Student resources like access to library, computers, and other learning aids are noted. How are school being assessed in terms of understanding how the academe fortifies its connection with parents and the community is noteworthy. This will determine if the institution takes social responsibility in the development of the community it is involved in.

In terms of school management, the qualifications and credentials of every employed school staff and management are reviewed in order to guarantee that students receive education from reliable, trustworthy individuals and to assure that the quality of education is maintained if not enhanced. Regular seminars and trainings must be undertaken by staff members to update learning and improve skills.

After analyses on all these factors, the third party evaluator can make summative evaluation as to how the school functions and performs its obligations based on set standards and according to law. Comments on the strengths and weaknesses are laid out, and further recommendations as to means of improving the present system are advised. These evaluations are done periodically and may focus on areas where weaknesses have been previously noted so as to determine compliance and responsibility. This detailed procedural approach is generic as to how are school being assessed.

Educational Literature on Assessment of Schools

School Improvement
  1. Accountability Mechanisms in Big City School Systems- ERIC Document
  2. Accreditation- ERIC Document
  3. Assessing School Counselor Performance- ERIC Document
  4. Assessment Skills of Counselors, Principals, and Teachers- ERIC Document
  5. Education Statistics
  6. Emerging Student Assessment Systems for School Reform- ERIC Document
  7. (ERIC) Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation
  8. Evaluating Educational Programs- ERIC Document
  9. Evaluating Principals- ERIC Document
  10. Faculty Evaluation: Its Purposes and Effectiveness- ERIC Document
  11. Proclaiming and Sustaining Excellence: Assessment as a Faculty Role- ERIC Document
  12. Recruiting and Retaining Rural School Administrators- ERIC Digest
  13. School Consolidation- ERIC Document