All the recent talk of assessments can leave teachers reeling. In her recent article, The Most Important Question Every Assessment Should Answer, Terry Heick clearly reveals a path for teachers to use as they move from assessments of learning to assessments for learning.
The difference between assessment of learning and assessment for learning is a crucial one, in many ways indicative of an important shift in education.
Traditionally, tests have told teachers and parents how a student “does,” then offers a very accessible point of data (usually percentage correct and subsequent letter grade) that is reported to parents as a performance indicator. Class data can be gathered to imply instructional effectiveness, and the data from multiple classrooms can be combined to suggest the performance of an entire school, but a core message here is one of measurement and finality: this is how you did. This was the bar, and you either cleared it or you didn’t. Article Continued…
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