Tag Archives: ATI Summer Conference

Assessment Strategies Proven to Work

Ben ArcuriBy Ben Arcuri

There is no bigger topic in education these days than the topic of assessment. Assessment has many definitions depending on who is doing the talking. The purpose of assessments and the intended users of  assessment information differ tremendously as well. Assessment can serve as a guide to the students; it has the ability to guide the teacher and can also drive education policy and reform. Continue reading


High-Quality Assessments and Standards-based Grading and Reporting

natalie-bolton130x140By Natalie Bolton

Standards-based grading and reporting policies are becoming a norm in P/K ­‐ 12 schools, districts, and states. However, as policies are created calling for shifts in grading and reporting practices, it is imperative that time be spent on making sure that classroom assessments, both formative and summative, are of high quality. So, what tools or checks are in place to assist teachers in making sure their classroom assessments are of high quality, prior to reporting if a student has met a standard?

I’ve found that using the assessment development cycle as described by Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis, and Arter (2012) is a great tool to critique an existing assessment or to provide guidance as an assessment is being designed. Using the assessment development cycle helps ensure I can accurately communicate about student mastery of standards. All assessments, regardless of assessment method, should go through the cycle to ensure assessments are of quality. Three stages make up the cycle and are described in Figure 1. Continue reading

The “I” Needs the “We”—To Develop and Refine Classroom Assessment Practices, An Educator Needs the System and Strong Leaders

By Carol CommodImageore

It has been my privilege over the last 20 years to work with educators all over the U.S. and the world in the area of assessment, leadership, and systems.  What I have learned from these experiences is that educators work hard and are dedicated to the students they serve, but to do their work more easily and well they need the support of the educational systems in which they work.  They must also have strong leaders who understand their needs and strive to remove the barriers and provide the resources for change.  To make positive, productive changes in classroom assessment practices, I have drawn particular conclusions about systems and leaders.

Systems, especially effective systems:

  • Are dynamic.  When you improve or innovate in one area of the system, it can have an impact on multiple areas of the system
  • Change person by person
  • Support rather than impede the work of individuals within the system
  • Are large and small, but regardless of size effective systems, have strong leaders and committed individuals who know and can communicate the mission and vision of the educational system
  • Need people who know their roles in the system and know what decisions they have to make so all can succeed in making the vision become a reality
  • Have people who know they are valued by the type of feedback and support they receive
  • Have people who continually strive and work together to improve their knowledge and skills in classroom assessment practices and team learning
  • Have people who respect each other
  • Have people who know they are making a positive difference by the results that are produced and analyzed

Continue reading

Home Remodeling in Education…

By Nikki RoordaImage

Spring is in the air, and with that a sense of renewal.  In my house, renewal has come in the form of a home remodeling project.  My “DIYer” husband has begun a remodeling project to make our master bathroom larger by taking some of the space from our twin daughters’ bathroom.  As we have been working through the remodeling process, I have been thinking a lot about the connections between our remodeling project to my work in supporting districts with their assessment practices and movement towards standards-based teaching and learning practices.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of connections… Continue reading

ATI Continues to Grow Its Vision

Rick Stiggins 2010 Portrait Max Resolution      By Rick Stiggins

Many don’t realize that the social institution we call school in America has undergone a fundamental change in mission. Historically, a primary mission has been to produce a rank order of students based on achievement by the end of high school—that is, to begin the process of sorting us into the various segments of our social and economic system. But over the past 20 years, new missions have been added. Schools also are being held accountable for delivering ever higher levels of achievement, universal lifelong learner competence, narrowing achievement gaps, and reduced dropout rates. Continue reading