Policy & Practice

Assessment Literacy

We believe that aspirations to educate all students to high levels can be realized with a strong commitment for all educators to achieve some basic level assessment literacy.

Equipped with assessment literacy, participants in education will:

  • use the right measures and methods matched to a clear purpose for engaging in assessment,
  • make appropriate decisions from the accurate information elicited, and
  • foster better educated students—students who become self-regulating, lifelong learners.

How We Contribute

Michigan Assessment Literacy Standards

In 2015, MAC published Assessment Literacy Standards (ALS) for each group affected by student assessment: students & their families, teachers, building and central office administrators and policymakers (local and state).  The Michigan State Board of Education endorsed these standards in 2016. They are intended for long-term use in the field of education, to continually support assessment literate educators.


Our goal:  Assessment Literacy Standards will be used to inform policy and program development and decisions regarding:

  • assessment practices,
  • teacher preparation,
  • administrative certification,
  • educator evaluation, and
  • school accreditation.


Assessment Literacy Standards

Michigan Learns Assessment System  

The Michigan Learns Assessment System, launched in 2017 and based on the Assessment Literacy Standards, comprises an array of learning opportunities across Michigan. The primary feature is a tiered assessment learning program for educators that will enhance their assessment literacy and earn them continuing education credits and, eventually, credentials.

Assessment Learning Modules (ALM) are the basis of this program, with deeper learning opportunities across three tiers:

  • Tier one offers an introduction to the foundations of assessment literacy via self-paced, online modules (available now).
  • Tier two will provide intermediate-level learning that can be bundled into short courses (under development).
  • Tier three will be an advanced learning program with an option to earn credentials as a system assessment specialist or a classroom assessment specialist (under development).

Ancillary resources, publications, and an assessment literacy self-assessment supplement the modules and are offered at no cost to users.

Michigan Learns Assessment  includes additional services designed to improve policies and practice regarding assessment.

  • Frequent conference presentations by MAC staff and community members
  • Crosswalks to Michigan’s School Improvement Frameworks and to InTASC standards (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium)
  • Contributions to a guidance document for state education agencies about opportunities to develop assessment literacy through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The final element of the Michigan Learns Assessment System is an Assessment Learning Network (ALN), coordinated in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The ALN is intended to support the leaders of each of the state’s education organizations in the important work of increasing assessment literacy among their members and constituents.

Who Informs Our Work?

James Pellegrino, Ph.D.
In this Learning Moment  video, James Pellegrino provides insight regarding how high-quality, ongoing formative assessment and high-quality, large-scale assessment can lead to meeting student outcomes.


Rick Stiggins
In this 14-minute video, Rick Stiggins answers five questions about Assessment Literacy.

Susan Brookhart

In this five-minute video, Susan Brookhart highlights a few key understandings about assessment she thinks are most important.

Ed Roeber
A white paper written by Ed Roeber and  Suzanne Wilson proposes an improved system for Preparing Michigan Educators in Assessment.

Jim Popham
Expanding Assessment Literacy: A Pitch to America is Jim’s symposium presentation during the National Conference on Student Assessment, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, San Diego, California, June 27-29, 2018

Buros Center for Testing/University of Nebraska
The Buros Center for Testing operates as an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the science and practice of testing and assessment