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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Spirit of Assessment

May 5, 2008
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

As we await the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind legislation, schools are increasingly challenged to raise student achievement scores in response to the public’s demand for accountability. States, districts, and schools are instituting numerous standardized testing programs to comply with federal and state policies. Both time and experience has taught that feverish standardized testing does little to guarantee that students learning is occurring at higher and higher levels because of the instructional experiences their teachers provide to them every day. How can we utilize balanced assessment to increase the learning in the classroom? What information would benefit teachers and support more effective teaching? What might educational policy makers need to know and understand about assessment to forge policies that facilitate better teaching and learning in the classroom?


Learning Team Members:

Dr. Tom Buffett, Managing Director, Michigan Principals Fellowship & Coaches Institute, MSU
Ms. Jeanene Hurley, Human Resource Developer Specialist, MDE
Dr. Melinda Mangin, Assistant Professor, Educational Administration, MSU
Ms. Marilyn Roberts, Director of Special Populations Assessment, MDE
Ms. Virginia Winters, Consultant, Instructional Services, Wayne County RESA

Three Big Ideas about Assessment

  • How an assessment is used determines whether or not it is formative or summative.
  • Assessment to understand a student’s learning requires the use of multiple sources of data.
  • Teachers need time, skill, and knowledge to effectively use assessment data to improve teaching and learning.


1:00 -1:30 PM Introduction & Overview - Dr. Tom Buffett

Purpose: When we think about assessing student learning, what is it that our students experience? What needs to be transparent for students to succeed in their learning? Where does assessment fit it? At the beginning of your journey, you will experience assessment from the learner’s point of view. Since students are the reason schools exist, what‘s important for them to understand?

1:30 - 2:00 PM Policy Perspective on Formative Assessment - Dr. Don Peurach, Professor of Educational Administration, MSU

Purpose: What does our educational history reveal about how educators have traditionally thought about “measuring student learning?” In this segment, you will explore some of the assessment paradigms that have been held by the educational community and how new ways of thinking about assessment are impacting the way we teach our students.

2:00 - 2:30 PM Perspectives on Assessment - Dr. Melinda Mangin

Purpose: We turn our attention to what you shared with us about your knowledge, understanding and experience with assessment. We will take some time to reflect on our collective responses and engage in an activity that will facilitate your thinking about assessment in a variety of ways. Our premise is that how assessment is used will determine whether it is formative or summative. What might be the implications of that belief? Let’s explore!

2:30 - 2:45 PM Break

2:45 - 3:05 PM Video of Students Doing/Using Assessment - Jeanene Hurley & Marilyn Roberts

Purpose: The use of both formative and summative assessments demonstrates the important of the use of a balanced assessment system. Let’s take a look at how multiple users gain insight into what students are learning. How does assessment help the various stakeholders gain a perspective that allows them to participate effectively and powerful in the learning of all students? We will examine the types of information gained from assessment from multiple perspectives: teacher, student, parent, and educator.

3:05 - 3:30 PM School Leader Perspective - Jeanene Hurley & Marilyn Roberts
Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning - Kerry Dallas, Forest Hills School District

3:30 - 4:00 PM External Support for Schools & Teachers in Using Formative Assessments - Ann Mully, Assessment Consultant, WRESA

Purpose: How do external educational partners support the effective use of assessment in schools? In this segment, you will have the opportunity to explore how Wayne RESA supports and builds the capacity of teachers to effectively use assessment. The underlying premise is that teachers, who interact with children regularly, need the skills, knowledge and time to effectively utilized assessment data in order to improve instruction. Our guest speaker will share with you the developmental path taken to bring classroom assessment literacy and practices to all Wayne County classrooms.

4:00 - 4:30 PM Formative Assessment in Michigan & Other States - Marilyn Roberts

Purpose: As we grapple with the challenge and the public mandate to raise local, state, and national results in student achievement, how has Michigan and other states responded to the need to support the effective use of assessment. It’s important to explore what’s being done here and across the nation. We will take some time to get an update on the “assessment scene” and to make available to you resources for additional learning and exploration.

4:30 - 5:00 PM Application Exercise Dr. - Tom Buffett

Resource Persons:

Ms. Kerry Dallas, Teacher, Forest Hills School District
Dr. Don Peurach, Professor of Educational Administration, College of Education, MSU
Ms. Ann Mully, Assessment Consultant, Wayne County RESA

Resource Materials:

Building a New Structure for School Leadership, Dr. Richard Elmore
EPFP_Spirit of Assessment_May_5_Final.ppt

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