Perry Local Schools’ Philosophy of Assessment FOR Learning With Accompanying Guiding Principles

Perry Local Schools advocates the use of assessment for learning.  Assessments for learning serve to help students learn more.  The crucial distinction is between testing to determine the status of learning and testing to promote greater learning.  If we are to connect assessment to school and student improvement in meaningful ways, we must come to see assessment through new eyes.  The essential question becomes:  “How can we be sure that our assessment instruments, procedures, and scores serve to help learners want to learn and feel able to learn?”  This requires a shift in assessment thinking — a shift that includes assessment of learning, but evolves toward assessment for learning.  Perry Local Schools recognizes that assessment of learning provides evidence of achievement for public reporting.  There is another way in which assessments can contribute to the development of effective schools, one that has been largely ignored – assessment for learning.

How does assessment for learning differ?  Teachers and students use the classroom-assessment process and continuous flow of information about student achievement it provides to advance, not merely check on, student progress.  The effect of assessment for learning, as it plays out in classrooms, is that students keep learning and remain confident that they can continue to learn at productive levels if they keep trying to learn.  Teachers and students understand the relationship between assessment and student motivation to learn.  In other words, students don’t give up in frustration or hopelessness.  Instead, they come to understand what it means to be responsible for one’s own learning — the foundation for lifelong learning.

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