Allen, D., Ort, S. W., & Schmidt, J. (2009). Supporting classroom assessment practice: Lessons from a small high school. Theory Into Practice, 48, 72-80.
The purpose of this article, coauthored by a researcher, teacher, and school coach, is to provide a framework for developing and improving classroom assessments. In this framework, the authors maintain that assessments must: 1) relate to teachers’ curriculum content and student learning goals; 2) make the criteria for students’ work clear; 3) provide students support and opportunities to demonstrate learning; 4) balance emphasis on student products and the process needed to develop products; and 5) provide feedback to students on what they need to improve academic performance and feedback to teachers to guide future instruction and curriculum decisions. To illustrate this framework, the authors describe how a small urban high school in New York worked to improve assessment practices across various curricular areas. They begin by highlighting the formative assessment practices of one classroom teacher, and then explain how individual teachers’ improvements in assessment led to school-wide staff development program to strengthen assessment practices. The authors maintain that formative assessment is essential to student learning, but any efforts must be school-wide and must use the same criteria specified in their framework.
Formative Assessment, Quality of Assessment Data