A single test score does not define student success or the effectiveness of curriculum or instruction. But assessment data can be incredibly useful to educators, helping them refine their practice and ensure that classroom time is being maximized. For assessment results to empower teachers, there are key principles to consider. One is that using data to make adjustments in teaching and learning can be shared between students and teachers. Another is that student assessment data needs to be timely to be effectively connected to instruction. These principles will help teachers create a cohesive plan to support learning goals.
For some students, a test is a test. Formative, summative or interim. High stakes or low stakes. Yet many students have a solid understanding of the purpose of classroom and state tests, and most students want feedback that helps them stay on track. Engaging students in understanding different assessment types and assessment purposes, and communicating with them, will help connect the assessment to their learning goals.
Student success requires a strong partnership between teachers and parents. As parents were once students themselves, many think they understand assessments and what the results mean. But a lot has changed on the assessment landscape! Talking about assessments with parents is a great opportunity to educate them on the purpose of assessment and how it is connected to your classroom teaching and their child’s learning.