In an earlier blog post – Assessment Literacy in the Education Ecosystem – An Opportunity to Leverage ESSA – we shared how assessment literacy plays an important holistic role across stakeholders. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states and districts an opportunity to strengthen the quality of teaching and learning by ensuring that stakeholders in the education ecosystem are assessment literate. In this post, we’ll share specific opportunities for each of these stakeholders.
For State and Local Educational Agencies (SEAs and LEAs) – Title I, Part B
- SEAs could ensure assessment audits are conducted and used to benefit students by supporting training in the role, purpose, users and uses of various types of assessments.
- SEAs could support the identification and development of state and district personnel with assessment literacy credentials to oversee the assessment audit, act on the results, and develop an assessment plan.
- SEAs could require that staff hired to support assessment development, selection, and use be assessment literate or credentialed in assessment.
- SEAs could support LEAs engaging all affected stakeholders in the development of district level assessment policies and practices.
- SEAs could provide training, technical assistance, and capacity-building in LEAs to assist teachers, principals, or other school leaders with selecting and implementing assessments, designing classroom-based assessments and using data from such assessments to improve instruction and student academic achievement.
For Teachers and School Leaders – Title II, Part A
- SEAs could collaborate with LEAs to provide professional learning opportunities to teachers and school leaders to support assessment literacy, specifically in relation to the best use of assessment practices designed to promote student learning at the classroom level. This could also involve supporting professional learning communities of teachers and school leaders focused on designing classroom-based assessments aligned with local curriculum and standards.
- SEAs could work with LEAs to identify and implement innovative scheduling options that would provide additional time during the school day for teachers to analyze student work and assessment data, and provide formative feedback that serves to advance student learning and motivate students to learn.
- SEAs could incorporate assessment literacy into the design and implementation of mentorship and induction programs, ensuring that incoming teachers will be prepared to use sound assessment practices to improve student learning.
- SEAs could require LEAs to include a plan for supporting assessment literacy for parents, strengthening the partnership between families, school and community to improve student outcomes in the required parent and family engagement policy.
- SEAs could support assessment literacy for parents by suggesting LEAs address the role, purpose, users and uses of assessments in the required annual meeting with parents and families.
- SEAs could support assessment literacy for parents by suggesting LEAs use a portion of the funds reserved for parent and family engagement activities to inform parents about the role, purpose, users and uses of assessments.
For Students – Title II, Parts A and B
- SEAs could support professional development that assists teachers with skillful use of the formative assessment process; selecting and designing classroom-based assessments, and using data from such assessments to improve instruction and student academic achievement.
- SEAs could support teachers’ in helping their students understand the meaning and use of a variety of assessments, from large-scale achievement testing to classroom-based formative assessments. This will enable teachers to enlist students as assessment-literate partners in their own education.
- SEAs could support teachers’ usage of valid and reliable screening assessments, diagnostic assessments, formative assessment processes, and summative assessments to identify a child’s learning needs, to inform instruction, and to monitor the child’s progress and the effects of instruction.
Development of assessment literate teachers, students, parents and school leaders is essential to support student learning. By explicitly incorporating language around assessment audits, training for teachers and school leaders that develops sound assessment practices, hiring of personnel with assessment certifications, and parental engagement through assessment literacy into state ESSA applications, states can enhance student learning by leveraging funds to develop assessment policies and systems that reflect balanced and quality practices.