Make Assessment Matter


NWEA is proud to present new research that helps us understand what teachers, students, and district administrators believe about assessment. This second edition of our public opinion research, conducted by Grunwald &Associates, is intended to help inform the dialogue on assessment and keep the focus on student learning.

Students, teachers, and administrators all agree that learning needs to be the focus and they all agree on what works to improve learning –especially students themselves.  Teachers and administrators have different perceptions and levels of understanding about the role of assessment in their work, and students demonstrate a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of assessment than their teachers believe. 

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Based on our findings, the report puts forward these five recommendations.

  1. District administrators, educators, and policymakers need to engage with students in policy development processes, especially when making testing mandates at the state, district, and classroom levels.
  2. Realign assessment priorities in support of teaching and learning.
  3. Establish formal learning opportunities on assessment literacy for every teacher, principal, and building administrator. Assessment literacy, in teacher preparation and professional development, is a significant area of need, especially since teachers’ communications are most important to students and parents regarding testing.
  4. Improve student learning by making educator collaboration a priority in every school and district.
  5. Prioritize technology readiness in every district, focusing on infrastructure and addressing glitches.


Read our 2012 study "For Every Child, Multiple Measures: What Parents and Educators Want From K-12 Assessments"