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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Assessing assessments

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Assessing assessments

Jeff Odell

Many students, parents, teachers, and school leaders feel like they’re drowning in assessments. With recent news of the testing cap from the Department of Education and the overhaul of NCLB, there’s been a lot of talk around addressing over-testing. As leaders reevaluate their assessments, we believe their approach should be grounded in the mindset: As few as possible. As formative as possible.

As few as possible. As formative as possible.

What are formative and summative assessments?

Summative assessments have a place in the school year,” says ANet’s Vice President of Assessment Alyse Pecoraro, “but teachers and leaders need high quality, formative assessments that accurately reflect the knowledge and skills that students need for success—not only in their current classrooms, but ultimately in college and careers.”

“A great assessment is aligned to what a student is learning and provides timely, actionable feedback to students, parents, teachers, and leaders.”

Our colleagues at Education First (Ed First) have assembled a toolkit to help systems update and streamline their assessment strategy. ANet worked with Ed First to create a Teacher Engagement Toolkit to help leaders include teachers in the process of making decisions around assessment strategy. That way, teachers deepen their understanding of the purpose, quality, and best use of assessments and ensure that the tests their students take truly impact teaching and learning in their classroom.

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Want more detailed guidance on assessment strategy?

Read our new white paper, Teaching Comes First: How School District Leaders Can Support Teachers, Save Time, and Serve Students with a New Vision for Assessments.

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