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Balanced Assessment Systems

Balanced Assessment Systems
Leadership, Quality, and the Role of Classroom Assessment

First Edition
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September 2016 | 136 pages | Corwin

Build a balanced assessment system and support ESSA implementation!

It has never been more important to develop balanced assessment systems that can provide meaningful information, improve teaching practices, and help students learn. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) increases assessment flexibility and responsibilities for states and districts—an opportunity to change assessment for the better.

Authors Chappuis, Commodore, and Stiggins have helped thousands of teachers, principals and other educational leaders in becoming assessment-literate and developing assessment systems built on quality assessment. This comprehensive new guide provides clear steps and strategies for developing an assessment system, and includes many interactive exercises designed for professional development and system implementation. Readers will learn how to:

  • Create a balanced assessment system and analyze the progress being made within your school or district toward it
  • Develop and implement assessment systems that are both formative (measuring learning in progress) and summative (verifying learning that has taken place)
  • Take specific leadership actions that advance the balance and quality of assessment systems
  • Help teachers integrate formative assessments into classroom instruction
  • Empower students by involving them in the assessment process

Take action now to make proactive, positive changes in your school or district’s approach to assessment!

About the Authors
Part 1. Balanced Assessment Systems and Student Learning
Today’s Assessment Environment  
Assessment and the New School Mission  
Building Local Assessment Systems for Balance and Quality  
Inside the System  
Levels of Assessment Use  
Classroom Assessment  
Interim/Benchmark Assessment  
Annual Assessment  
Activity 1.1: Formative or Summative?  
The Benefits of Balance  
Learning Targets for Readers  
Thinking About Assessment: Support Resources for Part 1  
Activity 1.2: Embracing the Vision of a Standards-Based School  
Activity 1.3: Discussing Key Assessment Concepts With Faculty  
Part 2. Five Assessment Actions for Balance and Quality
Action 1: Balance Your Assessment System  
Is Your Assessment System in Balance?  
Strategies for Balancing Assessment Systems  
Activity 2.1: Conducting an Assessment Audit  
Action 2: Continue to Refine Achievement Standards  
What Is the Current State of Your Achievement Standards?  
Student- and Family-Friendly Learning Targets  
Activity 2.2: Deconstructing Standards Into Classroom-Level Achievement Targets: Practice for School Leaders  
Action 3: Ensure Assessment Quality  
How Can You Ensure Assessment Quality?  
Activity 2.3: Indicators of Sound Classroom Assessment Practice  
Action 4: Build Effective Systems for Communicating Assessment Results  
Action 5: Link Assessment to Student Motivation With Assessment for Learning Strategies  
Assessment for Learning: Bringing Students Onboard  
Activity 2.4: Assessment for Learning Self-Evaluation  
Thinking About Assessment: Support Resources for Part 2  
Activity 2.5: Local Assessment System Self-Evaluation  
Part 3. Individual Leadership Actions for Balance and Quality
Individual Leadership Actions  
Individual Leadership Action 1: Deepen your personal understanding of a sound and balanced assessment system and the conditions required to achieve it.  
Activity 3.1: Merging Local and State Assessment Systems  
Individual Leadership Action 2: Promote the necessity and use of clear academic achievement standards in every subject and grade level with aligned classroom-level learning targets and the understanding of their relationship to the development ....  
Activity 3.2: Implementing the Written Curriculum  
Individual Leadership Action 3: Promote and communicate standards of quality for student assessments, helping teachers learn to assess accurately, and work to ensure that these standards are met in all school/district assessments.  
Activity 3.3: Verifying Teachers’ Content Knowledge and Assessment Competence  
Individual Leadership Action 4: Deepen your knowledge of formative assessment practices that involve students and work with staff to integrate them into classroom instruction.  
Activity 3.4: Communicating Learning Targets in Student-Friendly Language  
Individual Leadership Action 5: Create the conditions necessary for the appropriate use and reporting of student achievement information, including report card grades.  
Grading and Reporting  
Activity 3.5: A Rubric for Sound Grading Practice  
Activity 3.6: When Grades Don’t Match the State Assessment Results  
Individual Leadership Action 6: Form or participate in peer learning groups to practice observing and evaluating teacher classroom assessment competencies.  
Activity 3.7: Should Teachers Be Held Accountable for Assessment Competence Through Evaluation?  
Individual Leadership Action 7: Review and examine current school/district assessment-related policies for alignment to sound assessment practice, and encourage revision as needed.  
Activity 3.8: Using School/District Policies to Support Quality Assessment  
Thinking About Assessment: Support Resources for Part 3  
Activity 3.9: Auditing for Balance in Classroom Curriculum and Assessment  
Activity 3.10: Assessment Leadership Success Indicators  
Activity 3.11: Action Planning for Assessment Balance and Quality  


Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1 Balanced Assessment Systems and Student Learning

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ISBN: 9781506354200