As decisions about assessment are shifting back to the local level, along with palpable challenges there will be remarkable opportunities.
The rewrite of ESEA as the Every Student Succeeds Act will provide opportunities to reshape standards that are student-centered and supportive of real-world applications. These outcomes will compel us to broaden assessments of analysis, synthesis, meta-cognition, inquiry, and inventiveness as well as skills such as digital literacy, global understanding, and stick-to-it-iveness. These are my predictions and hopes for assessment in the coming year.
New definitions of achievement will reach beyond test scores and incorporate a spectrum of success skills along with strategies for measuring them. Evidence of mastery will become the essential marker of success. Broader representations of evidence will be relied upon to meet the needs of increasingly diverse learners. Thus, data will mean more than numerical representations of a student’s placement on a scoring scale.
These changes will provide substantial opportunities for the development of local assessment systems that incorporate multiple methods to convey enhanced perspectives of students’ multifaceted achievement. Student portfolios will include self-assessment of growth, anecdotal records, and competency-based appraisal of complex skills.