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ERIC Number: EJ885507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0077-5762
Assessment, Accountability and the Classroom: A Community of Judgment
Wilson, Mark
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, v103 n2 p1-19 Jun 2004
In this chapter, the author attempts to help the reader see beyond the current state of affairs in terms of the relationship between classroom assessment and accountability and to consider some wider perspectives and possibilities. Hopefully, this will also help the reader step into the spirit of the discussion that is inherent in the chapters that follow. The author states that in considering the relationship between assessment and educational accountability, it is important to keep in mind the two-way flow of information that it involves--from the classroom out into the system and from the system back into the classroom. States sample student performances using some form of standardized test and then distribute the results: (1) into an accountability system; (2) back into the classroom; and (3) to other stakeholders such as parents and school administrators. However, the author suggests that it is important to realize that assessment information drawn from standardized tests represents no more than a drop in the bucket of all the assessment information that is gathered in a typical classroom. The assessment enterprise, as it exists in schools today, consists overwhelmingly of the assessments that teachers themselves design, score, and act upon in their classrooms every day and every week of the school year. Thus, improving the usefulness of assessment in schools will primarily consist of assisting and harnessing this flood of assessment information to the advantage of learning "within" the classroom and as the source of crucial information flowing "out" of the classroom. This chapter is an explication of one possible response to this challenge: a "community of judgment" -- an interpretative system that connects teachers' judgments of student work to: (1) a substantive framework for describing the level of students' performances in terms of their achievement in particular subjects; (2) a broad range of tasks, projects, and performances that are realizations of the achievement variables and that embody best instructional practice; (3) a moderation of the actual judgments that are made using these guidelines; and (4) methods of quality control regarding the interpretation of evidence from the assessment modes. (Contains 2 figures.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A