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British Group Nudges Tests Toward Classroom Assessment

Abstract

"[T]he Assessment Reform Group... has made a concerted effort to balance the focus on large-scale, external testing with efforts to improve the quality of classroom assessments that inform teaching and learning on a daily basis. ... Just measuring children and scoring them doesn't necessarily give them any indication of how they might actually improve their achievement... so we wanted to make this distinction between summative and formative assessment, which we gradually came to call 'assessment of learning' and 'assessment for learning,' the latter being absolutely critical if we want to raise standards. ... In a world where researchers and policymakers often talk past each other like ships passing in the night, the work of the Assessment Reform Group has been surprisingly well received. As such, it could offer a model for educators in the United States."

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