Focusing More on Learning and Less on Test Scores

Effective implementation of the multi-step instructional process of formative assessment shifts the focus of students to their own learning by making them more responsible for it and by using grading practices that encourage learning rather than inhibiting it. Administrators have important roles to play by supporting professional development in formative assessment, by improving school grading…

Interim Assessments and ESSA

In the name of flexibility and innovation, ESSA allows the use of interim assessments, the results of which would be aggregated for purposes of ESSA accountability. However, there are good arguments for why both general achievement measures used multiple times during the school year and benchmark tests covering recently taught material would be poor choices…

A Tool to Observe/Evaluate Formative Assessment Practice

Ten dimensions of formative assessment practice are described. For each dimension, a rubric is provided for use in observation and self reflection with the goal of improving instructional practice. The ten dimensions are: I. Learning goals II. Criteria for Success III. Tasks and Activities that Elicit Evidence of Student Learning IV. Questioning Strategies that Elicit…

Unreasonable Expectations of State Assessments

Local educators, parents, and others generally want more information on student performance from their state assessments than those programs give them. This is not surprising given the high stakes now associated with state assessment results. Furthermore, current and previous federal laws have required that reports of individual student test performance be diagnostic. For several reasons,…

Scaled Scores and Performance Levels

For purposes of comparability and reporting, scaled scores must be computed that reflect student performance on commercial tests and state accountability tests. However, concerns about scaled scores not providing information about what students know and can do have been addressed by the use of performance level reporting. Based their scores, students are put into categories…

Under the Hood of Computer-Adaptive Testing

Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) was first created to generate a total test scaled score (or estimate of ability) as efficiently as possible – that is, with as few items as possible administered in a very short time. Each item selected to be administered to a test taker is selected by the computer based on the test…

Measures of Student Academic Growth: More Problematic than Many Realize

A student’s test score is only meaningful in relation to something else – 1) information on the performance of a particular group of students, 2) some pre-established standard of performance, 3) a test score reflecting previous performance of the student, or 4) a prediction of performance based on previous testing. The last two of these,…

More Information from Shorter Tests? Riiiight!

“I promise to replace our current accountability assessment with a single, summative, formative, adaptive, diagnostic general achievement test that measures growth and yields immediate results that teachers can use right away to modify their instruction.” Over a period of four decades, the stakes associated with state assessment results have increased dramatically.  At the same time,…

What does “balance” mean in a balanced assessment system?

It’s fitting that an early post in this blog is a piece on “balanced assessment systems” because it’s an all encompassing concept relative to the assessments experienced by students. We can zero in on specifics throughout the year.  The term has become a widely used one, yet when folks are asked to define it, the…

RMC Welcomes Dr. Stuart Kahl

To better address the needs of educators across our states, RMC has initiated a blog series that will focus on assessment. Although assessment is a critical activity at all levels — from statewide testing to classroom testing by teachers – schools of education cannot possibly cover the full domain of assessment literacy in their pre-service…

Menu