To the Editor:
In a recent Commentary (“Debunking Three Assessment Myths,” Sept. 17, 2014), Sherah Betts Carr and Anaya Bryson examine common misperceptions of K-12 assessments and suggest paths for teachers looking to maximize student learning and engagement in a test-heavy context.
The authors rightly encourage educators to focus on individual student learning and growth above any single measure of achievement. But we need to do more to support teachers in this environment. In particular, we need to make sure that in-service and preservice teachers get the resources and training in assessment literacy that they need to make the most effective use of assessments and the resulting data.
A robust assessment-literacy program is essential to helping educators use data as part of a student-driven teaching and learning cycle because it grounds teachers in the purposes and best practices for the major types of assessment.
Otherwise, we risk leaving teachers stranded, and we squander the opportunity to personalize instruction for every student.
Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy
Northwest Evaluation Association
A version of this article appeared in the October 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Assessment Training Facilitates Student-Driven Teaching