Topic: Assessment Architecture


Assessment Transformation in Unprecedented Times

Many are predicting larger-than-ever achievement disparities due to the deep inequities in our system that existed even before this pandemic. 

Achievement gaps are the symptom of educational system deficits that do not serve all students well, in particular our black, brown and indigenous children. Knowing this deepening disparity, our planning and design must be intentional, and dramatically different than anything we have done before. Our district and school leadership teams, collaborative teams, and individual teachers can set up the context that will ensure success for all of our students. I believe in educators. Read more


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Rethinking Pre-assessment: A Pathway to Supporting Learning in the Fall

As we brace for the uncertainties of the fall, it will be important to be as prepared as possible—both for our sanity and our ultimate success. We must adopt a learning stance to find our way through the COVID-19 upheaval. We must find answers to the core questions that ground all learners: 

Where are we going? Where are we now? And how can we bridge the gap between those two spaces? Read more



Student Self-Assessment: Now More Than Ever

When I wrote my last blog post in January, and made self-assessment my personal learning resolution, I did not know that in a few months my brain would be incredibly tired from learning way too many things in a short amount of time.

I do not need to add any words to the uncertainty that we are all feeling. You know it, and you are all feeling it too. Read more


Is it Time to Reassess our Assessments?

Based on Small Changes, Big Impact

Recently, I have witnessed more acts of compassion from teachers than ever before in my career. 

In my own home, I watched my teenager’s face light up as he opened a hand-written letter from his math teacher, merely saying she was proud of him⁠—nothing about math. I watched as my other son’s second-grade teacher changed the lesson for the day, and instead asked the student to write a thank you note to a community helper. Read more



How Do We Do Common Formative Assessments in a School of Singletons?

We define singletons as those teachers who are the only one who teaches a grade level or subject area in their school.  

When schools define themselves as professional learning communities, one of the hallmarks of that work is to work with a collaborative team with whom teachers learn together. Read more



Know Better and Do Better

I plan to explore self-assessment with my blogs this year. One of my favorite things about writing for this blog is that it causes me to reflect and formalize my own thinking about assessment topics. Maybe it is all of the talk about resolutions, or the fact that my own resolutions have not quite taken hold (Sorry elliptical machine! I promise to visit you soon!), or this looming birthday of mine, but the pulls of both reflection and action are pretty strong right now. Read more


Improving Professional Practice Through Assessments

It’s widely supported that using common formative assessments is one of the best ways to systematically improve student learning (DuFour et al. (2016); Reeves, 2004; Ainsworth, 2007). The impact of these assessments is best realized when teams collaboratively unwrap the essential standards into smaller learning targets, use formative measures to monitor student learning of those targets, and use the results to engage students with meaningful feedback and support to propel learning forward (Bailey and Jakicic, 2019). Read more