Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment and Hope: Not an Oxymoron

The words assessment and hope are not often used in the same sentence. The mere mention of the word assessment can cause stress and angst.  At the Assessment Center we aim to change that visceral reaction. At its core, assessment fosters hope, builds efficacy, and increases achievement (Shepard, 2000; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011; Brookhart, 2013; Andrade, 2010; Hattie & Timperely, 2007; Brown & Harris, 2013). Read more


Leading for Assessment Literacy

It isn’t about grades. We must stop focusing our conversations on grading and what a paradigm shift it is to grade based upon standards. Certainly we have been grading “against standards” for years, otherwise against what measure are we grading? The purpose of assessment, and the importance of the proper use of it, is about educating the children of today and ensuring that they are ready for life beyond high school. Read more


Observation as Assessment and Feedback

My sister was helping out in her Kindergartener’s classroom. I had previously shared with her a bit about my work and passion in helping teachers use assessment to see students as possible and then tap that information to engage them to learn.  She wondered if her story had anything to do with my work.  It is an incredible example of the kind of observations that changes students’ lives. Read more


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Hope and Assessment – Advocates or Adversaries?

How do students view assessment in your classroom or school? Is assessment something that elicits hope and a belief that students can grow? In my experience as a student, any type of assessment was the end game, whether it was a test, project, or essay. It was the last thing in a unit and the score was final. Assessment was not only a stopping point; it indicated we were moving on to a new unit or topic without looking back. Read more


Assessments Must Build Efficacy

When you come upon a seemingly insurmountable challenge, do you give up or do you persist?  If you tackle such moments, then you have a strong sense of efficacy.  Efficacy requires belief (I can do this) and action (I will take the risks, even though failure is a possibility).  It is the foundation learners require if they are to develop deep understanding and personal skill. Read more


Five Questions About Feedback

Assessment for the sake of doing assessment is an incomplete (even misguided) instructional goal. For assessment to fulfill its role as an integral part of the instructional process, teachers must use assessment results with clarity and purpose. Read more


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Zero Influence – Zero Gained!

Zeros don’t work; never have, never will!  While a good number of schools/districts have already addressed this issue through a shift in policies and practices, the knowing-doing gap is still alive and well. No topic exemplifies the emotional nature of grading discussions quite like a discussion about using zeros. Read more




Assessment: The Game Changer

This is a guest post by Natalie Romero, Principal, Moriarty Elementary

At Moriarty Elementary School in Moriarty, New Mexico, our process of collaborating professionally has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. When we began the journey, the idea of gathering grade-level members together was not frightening; however, our typically brief conversations were not deeply academic or very student centered. Read more