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The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship has to be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable, multiple sources of information. In 2002, the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act (the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) required more tests and it raised the stakes of those tests by meting out sanctions if students failed to reach each state's minimum levels of improvement. The emphasis of the law really was on documenting proficiency, and unfortunately that did not necessarily translate into improving assessment overall. When ESEA is reauthorized in the coming years, testing is likely to remain a key part of the law.
In our Assessment 101 show, we looked at the meaning and purpose of assessment, the different types, and how they are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback (or not), adjust teaching-learning activities, and contribute to student achievement overall. In this episode, we discuss the future of assessment and how the current accountability model must evolve from one that is punitive, prescriptive, and often overly bureaucratic to one that is truly learning-driven, informative, promotes supportive learning communities and cultures of continual improvement, and rewards achievement. You'll hear from
- Susan Brookhart, an ASCD Faculty member, author, and senior research associate in the School of Education at Duquesne University. Brookhart has spent the last 20 years studying and writing about classroom assessment and specializes in combining research-based strategies and practical applications, working with classroom teachers and administrators to customize strategies for their schools.
- Deborah Gist, the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and member of the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K–12 assessments in English and math anchored in college- and career-readiness. Gist began her career as an elementary school teacher in Texas and has also served as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education.
- David Griffith, the director of public policy at ASCD who leads the development and implementation of ASCD's legislative agenda as well as ASCD's efforts to influence educational decision making at the local, state, and federal levels. He has 20 years of political experience as a congressional aide and on several political campaigns. Prior to joining ASCD, Griffith was the director of governmental and public affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education, where he oversaw the organization's advocacy and political activities as well as media relations.
What is your vision for the future of assessment?