Assessment of learning and assessment for learning are ‘balanced’ in our practice and systems. All users of assessment information get the accurate information they need to make decisions and one group’s needs do not overshadow the needs of the other users of information (most importantly students). Assessment of learning should provide an accurate depiction of student achievement and be used to benefit students. Large-scale, summative assessments of learning should detect any improvements in the level or rate of student achievement.
These measures provide information once a year, or in the case of interim benchmarks two-three times per year they meet specific and limited purposes. They can reflect large-group increases or decreases in learning on an annual basis, and they tend to be used for high-stakes decisions.
Assessment for learning informs the moment-to-moment, daily and weekly instructional decisions students and their teachers make in order to support and advance learning.
Susan Brookhart explains what is meant by a balanced assessment system.
This case study illustrates how participation in the Michigan Assessment Consortium’s Achieving Better Classroom Assessment (ABCA) helped one administrator define a strategy and create an outline for a three-year plan to build knowledge and understanding of three linked concepts: assessment literacy, a balanced assessment system, and formative assessment as a process. It also describes the detailed implementation plan that allowed her to embed this strategy into the work of the South Redford School District.
This resource describes the impact of the absence of formative assessment in many classrooms.
This paper provides an overview of how effective state assessment systems can be created.
The District Assessment Design Toolkit is a resource developed for local districts by the Center for Assessment. (Senior Associate, Joseph Martineau.) MAC has piloted the toolkit to support facilitation of use. Scroll down to DASD Toolkit on the NCEIA.org Resources page to access the toolkit
This paper describes MAC’s recommendations for the role of assessment to move Michigan into a Top 10 education performing state.
The webinar articulates the if – then arguments that explain in lay terms the psychology of assessment for learning. The process guide supports group reading and study for the book Revolutionize Assessment.
This paper describes how interim assessments can add value to a comprehensive assessment system.
This MAC produced video conference featuring Carol Commodore, co-author of Balanced Assessment Systems, Leadership, Quality and the Role of Classroom Assessment highlights the seven actions needed to achieve a balanced district assessment system.
This Learning Point describes some key characteristics of summative assessment and describes its role within a balanced assessment system.
Classroom-level summative assessments primarily serve the purposes of teachers, students, and families. This Learning Point describes various types of classroom assessment and the decisions they inform.