ERIC Number: EJ864839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Social Justice and Evidence-Based Assessment with the Learning Record
Syverson, Margaret A.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n1 2009
The educational system perpetuates social injustice through structural inequities of assessment and evaluation. High-stakes standardized testing has a destructive effect on teaching and learning that affects all students, teachers, and schools; it is particularly damaging for disadvantaged students--minorities, students with disabilities, students from violent or impoverished circumstances, non-native speakers, migrant students, and many others who do not meet cultural "norms." Yet policy-makers, parents, and administrators fear that without the tests, schools cannot be held accountable for meeting educational standards. Alternative assessments such as portfolios have been tried with little success. This paper presents the Learning Record, a successful alternative for documenting, analyzing, and evaluating student achievement and performance based on evidence drawn from actual learning environments, and analysis based on research in learning theory. Yet this model answers the need for rigor, validity, and reliability as well. The Learning Record provides an organized, coherent account of student learning through observations and samples of naturally-occurring student work, analysis based on Lev Vygotsky's dimensions of learning, and evaluation according to criteria established by the teacher, by state frameworks, or other performance criteria. Large-scale assessment with the Learning Record is collaborative, open, public assessment through moderation readings. It is an inherently equitable and positive form of assessment with one fundamental rule: we must document what students demonstrate they know and can do, not their deficits or errors.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Learning Theories, Student Evaluation, Alternative Assessment, Standardized Tests, Academic Achievement, Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Research, Item Analysis, Psychometrics, Student Records, Portfolio Assessment, Evidence, Program Descriptions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A