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Assessment, Student Confidence, and School Success

Abstract

This excellent paper focuses on the importance of classroom based assessments. In this era where so much attention has been given to state tests and accountability, this article on teacher generated assessments offers a needed balance.

"We have focused so heavily on the development of ever more sophisticated psychometrics and test development tactics for our high-stakes tests that we have almost completely ignored the other 99% of the assessments that happen in a student's life. These are the assessments developed and used by their teachers in the classroom. If we seek excellence in education, then the time has come to invest whatever it takes to ensure that every teacher is gathering dependable information about student learning day to day and week to week and knows how to use it to benefit students. This action must be central to all future school improvement efforts, because, if assessment is not working effectively in our classrooms every day, then assessment at all other levels (district, state, national, or international) represents a complete waste of time and money...In this article, I question the notion that intimidation by assessment will lead to more effective schools. Then I offer an alternative vision in which we use assessment to build student confidence in the service of school improvement."

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