We focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We often choose one-size-fits-all fixes while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways students learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness must be based on more than just their scores on state standardized reading and math assessments.
We shouldn’t simply teach to the test. We need to teach for understanding, and assessments are tools to gauge that understanding. When used effectively, assessments can facilitate high levels of student achievement by providing ongoing information about students’ grasp of key concepts and how to enhance their learning to help them meet or exceed academic requirements. States, districts, and schools should provide a more comprehensive picture of student achievement through multiple assessments of and for learning.
Listen to a two-part Whole Child Podcast series on the meaning and types and future of assessment, featuring author Nancy Frey, #Edchat founder Tom Whitby, principal Peter DeWitt, researcher Susan Brookhart, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Gist, and ASCD Director of Public Policy David Griffith.
Know that each time we give any assessment, we are actually assessing the whole child.
See the connection between a whole child approach to education and the Common Core State Standards Initiative and issues to consider in implementing the standards, including integration and alignment, a well-rounded curriculum, assessment, and sustainability.
Discuss the latest assessments (and resources relating to assessments) being developed for the Common Core State Standards with Michael Fisher on the ASCD EDge® social network.
Begin differentiated instruction with differentiated homework and assessment. ASCD author and founder of the Leadership and Learning Center Douglas Reeves shares three keys to student motivation and engagement and how homework menus can help you differentiate students' take-home assignments.
Get a comprehensive picture of student knowledge, understanding, and skills with a balanced assessment approach.
Design rigorous and relevant assessments using the components of Authentic Intellectual Work: construction of knowledge, elaborated communication, and value beyond school.
Provide students with verbal and written feedback to formally evaluate mastery learning in place of (punitive) number or letter grades.
Utilize performance-based assessments to identify what students have learned, how well they have mastered it, and how to adapt instruction to help ensure success on formal, secured assessments.
Learn how to make a comprehensive formative assessment system come alive with teachers and students working together to promote learning.
Make students partners in not just learning, but also assessment by having them track their progress using rubrics. Learn more and find out what produces the best results in an article for ASCD's Educational Leadership by Robert J. Marzano.
Discover competency-based learning and how to translate standards into learning targets, assess student work, and track progress over time.
Communicate intellectual accountability to students and learn how to begin implementing and assessing ethics standards in the classroom.
Share your strategies and ideas for using assessment data to maximize student learning at the Assessment FOR Learning (AFL) website and find practical examples to try in the classroom.
Find information on assessments that improve and inform learning and teaching from whole child partners the American Association of School Administrators, Association for Middle Level Education, Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Education Association, National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, and National School Boards Association.
In this video, Edutopia shares a success story from New York's School of the Future, where regular assessments help keep students on track, and teachers strive to tap into students' true interests to bring out their best work.