Assessment Blog

Assessing the Assessments

This blog was written by Madhabi Chatterji, an associate professor of measurement, evaluation, and education and director of the Assessment and Evaluation Research Initiative at Teachers College, Columbia University, and James Harvey, the executive director of the National Superintendents Roundtable and a doctoral student in educational leadership at Seattle University. This blog is no longer being updated, but you can continue to explore these issues on by visiting our related topic pages: assessment.

Assessment Opinion Morality, Validity, and the Design of Instructionally Sensitive Tests
David C. Berliner of Arizona State University emphasizes that teachers, as it turns out, affect individuals a lot more than they affect aggregate test scores.
David C. Berliner, June 5, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Correcting a Harmful Misuse of Students' Test Scores
W. James Popham of University of California at Los Angeles concludes: The higher the stakes associated with the use of an educational test's results, the greater should be the scrutiny given to both the accuracy of score-based interpretations and to the appropriate usage of the test's results.
W. James Popham, June 3, 2014
6 min read
Education Opinion Are Instructionally Sensitive Tests Better for Evaluating Teachers and Schools?
A final call to all education assessment enthusiasts. Blogs by David Berliner and Jim Popham are forthcoming in the week of June 2.
Madhabi Chatterji, May 30, 2014
1 min read
Assessment Opinion Formative Classroom Assessment and Assessment For Accountability: Finding a Balance
In this final blog, Madhabi Chatterji of Teachers College, Columbia University responds to three queries with some closing thoughts and takeaways on the "Assessing the Assessments" blog.
Madhabi Chatterji, May 16, 2014
5 min read
Assessment Opinion Are Fourth Graders Who Don't Test Like Seventh Graders Really Failures?
James Harvey of the National Superintendents Roundtable wraps up this month-long conversation between measurement experts and educators on the front line by answering some questions about unresolved issues. Read his final thoughts and "takeaways" from Assessing the Assessments.
James R. Harvey, April 30, 2014
6 min read
Assessment Opinion On Assessment: Less Is More
Richard Noonan of Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, Pennsylvania, responds to William Schmidt and reiterates that the content, structure, and emphasis of PISA and TIMSS do not reveal the same things, and certainly should not lead us to the same conclusions.
Richard Noonan, April 25, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Opinion What do PISA and TIMSS Tell Us?
William Schmidt of Michigan State University concludes: U.S. performance on international large scale assessments cannot be attributed solely to the number or distribution of poor and disadvantaged students.
William Schmidt, April 24, 2014
3 min read
Assessment Opinion Formative Assessment in the Real World
Kelley M. Kalinich of Kenilworth School District No. 38, Illinois, responds to Deanna Iceman Sands and states that assessment should be an on-going and fluid process that connects to the work our teachers do in the classroom every day to result in quality learning for our students.
Kelley M. Kalinich, April 22, 2014
3 min read
Assessment Opinion Let's Expand What Formative Assessment Means
Deanna Iceman Sands of Seattle University describes how formative assessment is conceptualized and how its conceptualization promotes self-directed learning for students as they engage in goal setting, self-assessment, self-monitoring, and self-regulation of their learning strategies.
Deanna Iceman Sands, April 21, 2014
3 min read
Assessment Opinion Memo to Washington: 'Physician, Heal Thyself!'
Theresa Rouse of King City Union School District, California responds to James W. Pellegrino and uses the analogy of a three-legged stool to explain the three major components of education reform: standards, assessment, and accountability.
Theresa Rouse, April 17, 2014
3 min read
Assessment Opinion Learning From the Reform Mistakes of the Past
James W. Pellegrino of University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that the assessment system should be built from the bottom up or inside out - starting with the classroom level and working towards the monitoring level -- just the REVERSE of what we have done with Common Core ELA and Math.
James W. Pellegrino, April 16, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Wasting the Lessons of Assessment History
Mort Sherman of American Association of School Administrators responds to Henry Braun and suggests life beyond the efficiently scored tests that we are so dependent on. Particularly, he calls for a closer look at students' dispositions such as persistence, self regulation, and self evaluation.
Morton Sherman, April 15, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Merits of International Assessments
Henry Braun of Boston College concludes that the rich data generated by international large-scale assessments, in conjunction with other relevant evidence, provide unique insights that can challenge unmerited complacency and establish worthy benchmarks for educators and policymakers to aim for.
Henry Braun, April 14, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Catnip for Politicians: International Assessments
The horse-race mentality dominates the conversation about international large scale assessments (ILSAs). However, the assessment design of ILSAs is simply incomprehensible to the lay audience. It's time to start a conversation among the measurement experts, politicians, and the educators.
James R. Harvey, April 11, 2014
3 min read