I have been investigating Balanced Assessment for the last year.  Yeah, I am a slow learner. I prefer a simmering approach to important concepts.

Using Rick Stiggins (et al) book Classroom Assessment For Student Learning, I have come to appreciate the need for a balance of assessment opportunities in the classroom (e.g., essay, obective, performance and summary), a balance between assessment for and assessment of learning, and a balance in importance between classroom and standardized assessments.  Incidentally, standardized tests pale in the contribution to student achievement as compared to classroom assessments.

I remember learning these definitions in a teaching methods class many years ago yet didn’t see the value! NowI see the power of assessing summatively (‘of learning’) and formatively (‘for learning’).

My teammate Carol and I facilitated a small group of secondary teachers who were exposed to key concepts behind Balanced Assessment this summer (July ’08).  Those folks used a blog to summarize their learning and commitments to what they will try this coming school year.  I am not providing a link just yet as folks are still finding their way and laying themselves on the line; yet the ideas and the passion of the folks involved is very exciting.

The book is well worth reading and the topic is key to helping teachers do their job more effectively and increasing student achievement. More on this topic and using the booklater…

Post title playfully taken from here.

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