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Assessment Literacy Module

Assessment Literacy Module

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Assessment Literacy Module

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  1. California Department of Education Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Assessment Literacy Module Unit 1: Introduction and Overview

  2. Welcome This module: Provides an overview of a balanced assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards(CCSS) for English-Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Shows assessment as an integrated part of the instructional cycle Addresses the roles of formative, interim, and summative assessments in that cycle Emphasizes the identification and effective use of classroom formative assessment strategies and tools and how to use the resulting data

  3. Module Overview Introduction and Overview Module Goal: To provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively and appropriately plan for and implement assessments to support the learning of all students. This module also shows how to gather and use assessment data from multiple sources to increase students’ learning of the California Common Core State Standards (CA CCSS) and their development of 21st Century Skills.

  4. Pre-Assessment Let's begin with a pre-assessment to find out how much you already know about Assessment Literacy. Complete the “Pre-Assessment.” Work independently, without discussion or assistance from others. Handout Pre-Assessment

  5. Welcome to Unit 1 Introduction and Overview The purpose of this unit is to increase awareness of the importance of incorporating the development of 21st Century Skills into classroom instruction and assessment within the context of the CCSS.

  6. Learning Objectives for Unit 1 By the end of this unit, participants will be able to: Begin to understand the concept of Assessment Literacy Articulate the rationale for change in educational assessment Describe the key components of 21st Century Learning Skills

  7. What is Assessment Literacy? As you apply what you learn in this module, you will develop your own personal definition, based on your particular context and background. In general, Norman Webb’s (2002) definition of Assessment Literacy provides a good starting point: “Assessment Literacy is defined as the knowledge about how to assess what students know and can do, interpret the results of these assessments, and apply these results to improve student learning and program effectiveness.”

  8. What is Assessment Literacy? • The concepts and processes covered in this module are applicable to any statewide assessment system and support effective classroom-level assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle. • Identification and effective use of a variety of formative assessment practices and tools and the appropriate use of those tools to inform instructional decisions are addressed. • Emphasis on classroom- and school-level applications of the attributes of assessment-literate educators. Norman Webb’s Assessment Literacy in a Standards-Based Urban Education Setting availableat:

  9. Change in Education Education across the United States is in the process of significant change, and shifts in assessment practices are central to the reforms currently in progress. What are some of the factors driving this change in process?

  10. Change in Education Excerpts from the Cisco-Intel-Microsoft’s 2004 Call to Action, Transforming Education: Assessing and Teaching 21st Century Skills: “Significant reform is needed in education, world-wide, to respond to and shape global trends in support of both economic and social development. What is learned, how it is taught, and how schools are organized must be transformed to respond to the social and economic needs of students and society as we face the challenges of the 21st century. Systemic education reform is needed that includes curriculum, pedagogy, teacher training, and school organization. Reform is particularly needed in education assessment—how is it that education and society more generally measure the competencies and skills that are needed for productive, creative workers and citizens? Accountability is an important component of education reform. But more often than not, accountability efforts have measured what is easiest to measure, rather than what is most important.”

  11. Change in Education For additional information, read Transforming Education: Assessing and Teaching 21st Century at Microsoft-Assessment-Call-to-Action.pdf

  12. 21st Century Learning Skills Video: “What is 21st Century Education?” Pay particular attention to: The kinds of knowledge and skills that students need to move forward. What this means for classroom instruction and assessment.

  13. 21st Century Learning Skills Respond to the questions below: What were two or three of the most important points you gleaned from the video clip? How do you see your role as an educator changing based on the 21st Century skills and knowledge that students need to be successful in the current and future global economy?

  14. Framework for 21st Century Learning The Partnership for 21st Century Skills ( developed a framework to provide a vision for student success in the new global economy. Read: Framework for 21st Century Learning Handout Framework for 21st Century Learning

  15. Framework for 21st Century Learning • Describe the relationship depicted in the graphic on your handout between: • Core content skills and knowledge • The essential learning skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (4Cs) 2. What are your ideas about how the 4Cs may be integrated into your classroom instruction and assessment?

  16. Call to Action In President Obama’s first major education speech of his presidency, he responded to critics who complained of too much change, too fast. The President countered that waiting is particularly inappropriate for education and highlighted the role of assessment in fostering improvement, noting that even within a few years America would see a different reality: “By 2016, four out of every ten new jobs will require at least some advanced education or training… I am calling on our nation’s Governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don‘t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st Century Skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and creativity.” —President Barack Obama, Address to Hispanic Chamber of Commerce March 10, 2009

  17. Call to Action Remarks by the President to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on a Complete and Competitive American Education is available at

  18. CA CCSS and the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards The “Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards” at describes how the CCSS are designed to help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond. As you watch, think about how implementation of the CCSS will impact teaching and learning in your classroom.

  19. CA CCSS and the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards • The College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards are the foundation of the CCSS and describe the skills and knowledge students are expected to have when they graduate high school. • Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards, working steadily towards meeting the more general expectations. Review the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards Handout CCR Anchor Standards

  20. CA CCSS and the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards In March 2012, the California State Board of Education approved a CCSS Systems Implementation Plan to guide and support the transition from the 1997 standards and assessments to the new standards and assessments. California’s transition plan is designed to facilitate essential coherence and alignment in the CCSS system. The Common Core State Standards Systems Implementation Plan and additional information about the CCSS is available on the CDE Web site at

  21. Unit Summary Education across the United States is in the process of unprecedented change, as reflected by sweeping educational reform at the federal, state, and local levels. The adoption of the CCSS and common statewide assessment systems brings states together as never before in the shared vision of ensuring all students are prepared for college and career success.

  22. Unit Summary As evidenced in this unit, to face the challenges of the 21st century: Changes need to be made in the educational system in response to the social and economic needs of students and society. Widespread systemic reform is necessary in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. Students need to acquire, apply, and integrate the 21st Century Learning Skills of the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) into their core content skills and knowledge. The CCSS were designed to be relevant in the 21st century world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers. Assessments must be developed that move beyond the “fill in the bubble” assessments to measure critical 21st Century Learning Skills and college and career readiness.

  23. Unit Summary Respond to the following: List some of the factors driving the current changes occurring in education. What are the essential 21st Century Learning Skills students need to acquire through classroom instruction and assessment?