The debate over assessments has certainly become heated, as President Obama recently established a “testing action plan” that outlines principles for a more sane approach to gathering evidence of learning. The issue hits home for us in part because it comes at a time when we are launching a series of initiatives around assessment literacy, including the launch of AssessmentLiteracy.org.
In our own research on the matter, it was found that 85 percent of district administrators believe that teachers are not adequately trained to integrate assessment results into their teaching practice. Additionally, 55 percent of teachers say they never took a course on assessment literacy despite their belief it would have helped them use assessment data.
A recent Hechinger Report article by our president and CEO Matt Chapman and Rick Stiggins, founder of the Assessment Training Institute and an advisor on our assessment literacy work, dives into what is needed to make better use of assessment data, and how to make sure teachers enter the classroom with adequate training in this area. As they conclude in their article:
It is time to work together — as teachers, principals, professors and leaders in assessment — to build greater understanding of assessment and its role in driving the outcome that matters most: student growth and learning.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this important topic. Please send us a message via our Facebook page or Twitter (@NWEA).