Assessment Literacy Standards

For Local and State Policymakers


Assessment Literacy is essential for policy makers

Assessment literate policy-makers understand how student assessment can empower them to better carry out their role in education, believe that assessment can improve teaching and learning, and put activities and behaviors in place to act on these beliefs.

Assessment Literacy Standards

Download the full set of standards and the companion glossary.

Dispositions
Policymakers who are assessment literate believe:
  1. Teacher and administrator certification Standards should include competence in assessment as a criterion for licensing.StandardWhat a student must know and be able to do by the end of a course or grade level.
  2. A Balanced Assessment system is essential at the local school district level (using summative and Interim assessments, as well as Formative Assessment practices).Balanced AssessmentBalanced Assessment is the act of meeting the needs of all assessment users equally well. Formative AssessmentInformation collected and used by teachers and students during instruction to improve teaching and learning as it is occurring.InterimAn assessment program that is administered periodically to students, such as at the conclusion of each marking period.
  3. Assessments closer to the classroom usually have a greater impact on improving student achievement.
  4. Teachers and administrators need formal training in the development and use of assessments to increase student success.
  5. Important decisions about schools, educators or students should be made on the basis of accurate and multiple sources of data.
Knowledge
Policymakers who are assessment literate know:
  1. A Balanced Assessment system consists of both of the following:
    1. Different users have different assessment purposes
    2. Different assessment purposes may require different assessment methodsBalanced AssessmentBalanced Assessment is the act of meeting the needs of all assessment users equally well.
  2. There are different purposes for student assessment:
    1. Student Improvement
    2. Instructional program improvement
    3. Student, teacher or system Accountability
    4. Program Evaluation
    5. Prediction of future performance/achievementAccountabilityHolding educators or others responsible for the performance of students, educators, or school programs.PredictionThe use of test results to determine the likelihood of success of an individual in some future activity.Program EvaluationThe use of test results to determine the success of a program and perhaps to suggest improvements to it.Student ImprovementThe use of test results to review past instruction or to alter future instruction provided to the student, due to performance on the test.
  3. The differences between the Types of Assessments in a balanced system of assessment:
    1. Summative Assessments
    2. Interim Benchmark Assessments
    3. Formative AssessmentsFormative AssessmentInformation collected and used by teachers and students during instruction to improve teaching and learning as it is occurring.InterimAn assessment program that is administered periodically to students, such as at the conclusion of each marking period.Summative AssessmentAs assessment of performance, conducted at the conclusion of a course or program completion. Types Of AssessmentDifferent ways of assessing students or programs.
  4. There are different ways to measure student achievement; each has advantages and challenges.
  5. There are two ways to report results, and specific circumstances when each is useful:
    1. Norm-referenced interpretations
    2. Criterion-referenced interpretations
  6. There are several essential technical Standards for High Quality Assessments:
    1. Reliability—Do the assessments produce replicable scores?
    2. Validity—Is there evidence that supports the intended uses of the assessment?High Quality AssessmentAn assessment externally judged to be of superior quality.Quality AssessmentA judgment that an assessment is of high quality.ReliabilityA determination of the internal consistency, comparability or stability of an assessment. A necessary but not sufficient condition for an assessment to be useful.StandardWhat a student must know and be able to do by the end of a course or grade level. ValidityThe collection of evidence to support the intended uses of an assessment. Note: The test itself is not “valid” or “not valid.” It is the uses of the assessment that are or are not valid.
  7. Assessments can be purchased or developed locally; each approach has advantages and challenges.
  8. There are a number of steps in the assessment development process to produce High Quality Assessments.High Quality AssessmentAn assessment externally judged to be of superior quality.Quality AssessmentA judgment that an assessment is of high quality.
  9. There is little evidence to suggest that local, state, national and international Summative Assessments, in themselves, improve education or student learning.Summative AssessmentAs assessment of performance, conducted at the conclusion of a course or program completion.
  10. Users of assessments require time to learn to administer assessments and use the results appropriately; resources may be needed to carry out these activities.
  11. Which student measures are appropriate for teacher and administrator evaluation.
Performance
Policymakers who are assessment literate:
  1. Provide the necessary authorization and resources (time, money and staff) to create and implement quality Balanced Assessment systems.Balanced AssessmentBalanced Assessment is the act of meeting the needs of all assessment users equally well.
  2. Ensure that only High Quality Assessments will be selected/developed and used.High Quality AssessmentAn assessment externally judged to be of superior quality.Quality AssessmentA judgment that an assessment is of high quality.
  3. Strive to learn more about how assessment can be used to improve student achievement.
  4. Support activities to improve their assessment literacy and that of their staff.

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