Northwest Evaluation Association Launches Assessment Literacy Website

With an increased focus on student assessment and its application in classrooms across the United States, the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has officially launched a new informational website to initiate a meaningful dialogue among educators on assessment and to build “assessment literacy” skills for teachers and school administrators, in particular.

Assessment literacy is the knowledge of the basic principles of sound assessment practice, including terminology, development, administration, analysis and standards of quality.

“The role of educational assessment is complex and evolving,” NWEA President and CEO Matt Chapman said. “Educators must become savvy consumers of assessment data and engage in a meaningful dialogue that asks the tough questions about the use and application of assessments in the effort to improve learning for all students. NWEA created Assessment Literacy to provide a platform for educators to play a leading role in the assessment literacy process.”

The development of the Assessment Literacy website will be a multi-phased process based in large part on the feedback and needs provided by classroom educators. The first edition of the site – launched at the Fusion 2013 Summer Conference in Portland, OR – provides online resources focused on: 1) Assessment 101 topics, including a discussion on the purposes of assessments and how assessments are made; 2) Assessment Policy Trends, including Common Core, teacher evaluation and NCLB waivers; and, 3) Educator Tools, including discussions of using assessment data in teaching and how to talk to various stakeholders about assessment.

Future modules will be developed on an ongoing basis, with a subsequent round of content scheduled to go live in Fall 2013.

“Today’s educators are faced with an overwhelming range of assessments and they deserve resources and support to help them navigate effectively,” said NWEA Vice President of Professional Development Anne Udall. “The Assessment Literacy site creates a much-needed forum to help teachers understand different assessments and the ways in which they can apply student data to the instructional process. What’s more, this is an opportunity for teachers, administrators and parents to participate in a dialogue about how best to use assessment in support of student learning and growth in the 21st century.”

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