Assessment Education Perspectives

Parent-Teacher Conferences – Putting Together Student Learning Plans


September has nearly come and gone. Students are back in school, settling down into their daily routines, and taking on new challenges with the new school year.

During September, this blog focused on the role a parent plays in student assessment, a big one to be sure. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) understands that important role and in partnership with the National Task Force on Assessment Education, they are offering parent webinars in select states over the next few months. Members of the National Task Force are parents as well as educators and are writing about how to be assessment literate parents here:

As we head into October, many students and their parents will be asked to attend parent-teacher conferences for purposes of student goal setting. In order for parents to be the most effective advocates they can be, they need to become “assessment literate” by Tweet: Parent-teacher conferences – putting together student learning plans #edchat #educationunderstanding just what is student assessment, in its many forms, and how it helps support a student’s learning and, ultimately, success.

One of the most important outcomes from these parent-teacher conferences is to put in place a learning plan for the student. By reviewing beginning of the year student assessments that typically assess things like reading fluency, math skills, writing, and more, the classroom teacher will have a solid idea of where the student is in relation to grade level expectations and be able to articulate what kinds of supports and tasks the student will be undertaking over the course of the year to further his or her learning. It’s important that students and parents are part of the process of laying out this “road map” for learning. For some questions you can ask at these parent teacher conferences, please read my earlier blog – Back to School – What Parents Need to Know (and Ask) About Assessment.

Life is busy and the days are going to fly by during this school year. Working in partnership with teachers to best support your student’s learning is one way you can make sure your student is ready for those new challenges.


Judy Harris

Judy Harris brings over 17 years of teaching experience to her role as Policy & Advocacy Director at NWEA. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Reading Specialist, middle school Language Arts teacher, and licensed administrator. She was a member of the Joint Assessment Task Force for Oregon and co-authored The New Path for Oregon: System of Assessment to Empower Meaningful Student Learning. She was a teacher leader and Professional Development Provider for SCALE/WestEd. Ms. Harris served on the National Education Association’s (NEA) National Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation Team and the state level ESSA Implementation Team in Oregon. She was nominated by the Oregon Congressional delegation to serve on the U.S. Department of Education’s ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee in 2016. She has presented on student assessment and equity at numerous conferences including the National Indian Education Association, the NEA Minority and Women’s Summit, the Symposium on Student Assessment, and the National Council of Urban Education Associations.