Gallagher, C. W. (2009). Kairos and informative assessment: Rethinking the formative/summative distinction in Nebraska. Theory Into Practice, 48, 81-88.
Gallagher discusses the importance of paying attention to local contexts when considering educational policies, teaching, and assessment. The author uses Nebraska’s School-based, Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System (STARS) to show how states can develop a policy framework that considers local school practices and a state-wide system of local assessments. Gallagher argues that STARS is an effective model of state-wide standardized testing and provides a way to rethink the difference between summative and formative assessment. The author reports positive effects of STARS including improvements in student test scores, greater assessment literacy among educators, more meaningful professional development and collaboration among teachers, growth in teacher leadership, and growth of learning cultures in schools. Gallagher concludes that although STARS as a policy no longer exists, it is an effective model to teach about assessment and accountability.
Balanced Assessment System, Policies