Assessment for Learning Project - Field Facing Memos
Reports & Report Series
Elizabeth Leisy Stosich
October 29, 2018
Areas of Focus:
The Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) is a multi-year grant program and field-building initiative designed to fundamentally rethink the roles that assessment can and should play to advance student learning and improve K-12 education in the United States. If assessment is to become a lever for improving individual students’ opportunities and capacities to learn, then assessment must also become a lever for achieving more equitable education outcomes because it is not possible to achieve excellence without equity.
This research is made possible with funding from the Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky.
Led by the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at the University of Kentucky in partnership with Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) at EDUCAUSE, the ALP initiative aims to develop the field’s professional capacity to design and assess learning experiences in ways that simultaneously promote meaningful and equitable student learning.
ALP borrows its definition of equity from the National Equity Project: Educational equity means that each child receives what he or she needs to develop to his or her full academic and social potential. Working towards equity involves:
Ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants in our educational system; removing the predictability of success or failures that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor.
Interrupting inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children.
Discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents, and interests that every human possesses.
This definition of equity points out that children need different supports or experiences to achieve their full potential.
To facilitate the initiative's aims of professional capacity development, ALP will deliver a series of “field-facing memos”. The series will examine the various ways in which Assessment for Learning Project grantees are using, adapting and creating assessment practices oriented to learning.
Rethinking Students' Role in Assessment to Promote Greater Equity: This memo, which is the first in the series, explores some of the assessment for learning practices that the initiative is supporting at Del Lago Academy of Applied Sciences, a small public high school in Escondido, California that educates a diverse group of scholars to develop industry-specific skills and expand their social networks and access to opportunities.
Co-Design as a Lever for Increasing Student Agency: This memo, which is the second in the series, highlights the work of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), a member of the ALP network. The memo describes their efforts to support educators across the state to actively engage students as partners in co-designing learning goals and assessment strategies, showcasing how these efforts have enriched the experiences of teachers and students in two districts.
Developing A School Culture of Meaningful Feedback Deepens Everyone’s Learning: This memo, which is the third in the series, highlights the work of Summit View Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona and its use of ideas and practices from a blended online course, Student Agency in Assessment and Learning (SAAL) developed by researchers at WestEd, also an ALP grantee. This memo describes how one school’s participation in the blended course helped teachers actively use assessment for learning strategies, such as peer-to-peer feedback, in their teaching, and showcases how they are learning to teach for deeper understanding by using these strategies in their classrooms and by making their teaching practices visible to themselves and their colleagues.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.