Comprehensive, Continuous, and Coherent Assessment
Our goal is to educate students who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and who are ready for the demands of college, career, and citizenship. Through a combination of assessments of and for learning, such as growth models; portfolios; criterion-referenced tests; norm-referenced tests; computer adaptive assessments; diagnostic evaluations; and formative, interim, and summative assessments; we get a more comprehensive and continuous picture of student achievement and long-term success.
Another component of balanced assessment systems is coherence. Coherent assessment systems (PDF) are composed of multiple, coordinated, and valid measures that reflect significant learning goals and provide accurate information for intended purposes. When we think of how assessments serve student, classroom, school, and district goals, we can ask ourselves
- Are the assessment tasks aligned with significant learning goals? Fair and free from bias? Accessible for all students?
- Does the interpretation of student responses to the task yield accurate inferences about student learning? Does the interpretation support the intended purpose?
- Does performance on the assessment reflect important capability? Does it transfer to other settings or applications beyond the assessment?
Join us throughout January as we take a look at how assessments can serve a whole child approach to education and inform—not drive—school improvement efforts. Listen to a two-part Whole Child Podcast series on the meaning, 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. Read the Whole Child Blog to hear from guest bloggers, and dive deeper into the latest research, reports, and tools on the assessment topic page.
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