Five Key Ideas About Quality Assessment Essay

1073 Words Feb 22nd, 2011 5 Pages
TOPIC ONE: Five key ideas about quality assessment

In Scherer’s (2009) article, the author is not stating that standardised testing has no value, but that it should be used in conjunction with other quality assessment measures. The following paper identifies five key aspects of what constitutes quality assessment.

We are reminded that the goal of testing is in ‘building proficiency in basic skills, closing achievement gaps, and fostering the top notch knowledge and skills that students will need in a competitive global society’ (Scherer, 2009, p. 5). Therefore, standardised tests alone are not an adequate benchmark in determining a student’s ability to learn. McMillan (2007) emphasises the importance of multiple assessment methods
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5). Quality assessment can only be as successful as the information that is gathered and communicated to students regarding their learning performance. Feedback should be ongoing and at no stage should assessment be engaged only at the end of instructional learning (McMillan, 2009). As assessment is focused on enhancing the whole learning experience as opposed to ‘highest percentages of students judged at least proficient’, (McMillan, 2007, p. 19) the concept of assessment ‘for learning, not just of learning’ (Scherer, 2009) is paramount. This means that standardised testing alone does not give an accurate view of a school or student’s true abilities or progress.

For quality assessments to exist, not one assessment tool acts alone. Creating a balance between ‘assessment for learning’ and ‘assessment of learning’ (McMillan, 2007) will be the key to a student’s success. As Scherer (2009) states, ‘let’s make testing serve teaching instead of the other way around’ (p. 5).


McMillan, J. H. (2007). Classroom Assessment: Principles and Practices for Effective Standards-Based Instruction. Boston: Pearson.

Scherer, M. (2009). The Tests That Won’t Go Away. Educational Leadership, 67(3), 5.

TOPIC TWO: Key points and analysis of the Foreman readings

Key Points for Literacy

* Early Detection * Confidence and Motivation * Learning

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