How Better Teacher & Student Assessment Can Power Up Learning

The Teachers of the Washington New Millennium Initiative, an institute part of the Center for Teaching Quality, released a report this week focusing on how to create a results-oriented teaching profession.

The group’s recommendations are:

1. A two-tiered assessment system with improved national- and state-level standardized tests.  Student assessments must be changed to evaluate their ability to solve problems, analyze and synthesize data and communicate their ideas effectively.  National standardized tests could act as benchmarks, while local assessments would “truly support the work of teaching and learning,” (i.e., teachers should be provided with standardized formative assessments for weekly evaluation of their students).

2. A two-tiered teacher evaluation system with improved school-level annual evaluations.  The first tier would include three to four annual observations and evaluations conducted by trained evaluators using a pre-defined rubric with the following areas:  value-added measures, teacher self-evaluation, peer evaluations, videotaped classes, student and parent feedback, and evidence of pedagogical/subject-area knowledge or leadership.  The second tier would consist of forming teams of teachers trained to observe, evaluate and provide feedback to each other on an ongoing, classroom-level basis.

3. Implement results-oriented professional learning communities.  PLCs allow teachers to collaborate, reflect, and offer feedback.  PLCs should be promoted as a strategy for implementing formative teaching evaluation systems that drive a results-oriented profession.

To read the full report, please visit