Assessment "for" and Assessment "as" Learning

Alison Jackson & Kathryn Anderson

Why is this policy document needed?

  • Curriculum/assessment regulation to set and meet standards of learning
  • Assessment information is for the purpose of improving learning (p.28)
  • Providing students with clear expectations and learning goals and adequate and timely feedback
  • Teachers using equitable practices to ensure student success
  • Need to create content and performance standards (p.16)
  • To allow for practices that are equitable for all students to be a priority
  • Regulation of teacher assessment practices
  • To help define and scaffold what types of assessment should be taking place within a classroom context
  • This policy provides “balance” (p.17) and allows students to have a variety of assessments count towards their achievement at any given grade level.
  • This policy helps to give context to student learning. With this, students are able to see success and because of this are better able to realize their ability to succeed with the right level of effort and application of skills.

Who are the stakeholders and what are their interests?

Parents

  • their children are impacted by policy

Teachers

  • they are responsible for carrying out what is mandated in the policy; they want to know what they have to do and how it will impact the classroom and their work in teaching students
  • PD and continued development will be impacted by this

Students

  • it will impact what they are learning and the way in which that takes place
  • will impact their successes within the classroom

Board

  • will determine how PD funding is allocated
  • will determine how successful schools and teaching staff are at delivering curriculum
  • will determine the types of teachers they interview and hire

Ministry

  • interested in standardizing the way that Ontario education is being delivered

EQAO

  • developing standardized testing programming that reflects accurate Ontario Ministry expectations
  • providing accurate benchmarks for schools and boards

Publishers

  • providing and selling up to date curriculum based books for schools and boards in Ontario

Who is not involved in establishing this policy? Why?

Students

  • may not see what they need clearly
  • the policy applies to them, and it is written with them in mind
  • may not understand content that needs to delivered

Parents

  • over involvement (inability to take an unbiased approach)
  • very political
  • difficult for a decision to be made with so many interests to be presented and at  stake

Teachers

  • could create more work
  • many interests at stake and difficult to manage expectations
  • unionization (may not see the bigger picture as to how to best educate students)

Media

  • “spin” in a negative way to the larger population
  • may not fully understand what the policy should contain and how decisions will impact the students, teachers and other members involved
  • don’t fully explain information, thus a mixed message and form of propaganda emerges

What agency/ organization implemented this policy?

  • Ministry of Education

Why was this policy implemented?

  • “updates, clarifies, coordinates, and consolidates the various aspects of the policy, with the aim of maintaining high standards, improving student learning, and benefiting students, parents, and teachers in elementary and secondary schools across the province” (p.2)
  • “The document is intended to ensure that policy is clear, consistent, and well aligned across panels and across school boards and schools, and that every student in the system benefits from the same high-quality process for assessing, evaluating, and reporting achievement” (p.2)
  • Promotes standardization across school boards

How is this policy achieving its goals?

  • Improved student success
  • Improved performance on standardized tests
  • Improved teacher quality of programming
  • Provides clear information for parents and students to understand

What is the current impact of this policy?

  • More explicitly defines expectations for students and teachers
  • Ministry upholds these standards and they are looked for in all schools during audits and inspections
  • Reform within schools and boards to ensure student success and a deeper understanding of curriculum

What changes would you make to this policy to make it more effective?

  • Allow for clearer guidelines about “most recent, most consistent”
  • Clearer directives on how to consistently provide feedback to students
  • Clearer directive on how to develop long range plans that fully embrace this policy
  • Clearer directive on how to create assignments that are “as” and “for” learning
  • Provide learning goals as defined by the Ministry, that are in student leveled language

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