Assessment is a vast topic that is a continuing process that educators
use to observe, gather, and evaluate evidence to determine what students
have learned, as well as, making informed, and dependable decisions to
enhance student learning. It encompasses a broad range of testing from
nationwide accountability tests to everyday classroom observation and
quizzes. In order to take control of what appears to be an excess use of
testing, assessment should be looked upon as a tool for information. The
more information we have about students, the more closely we can look at
instructional strategies that are effective and which ones need to be
There are two main types of assessments that I will be discussing,
formal and informal. Informal assessments or in other words “assessment of
learning”, are used to evaluate students during the learning process. Formal
assessments are conducted as a tool to evaluate student’s completion of
work or the final product. There are many advantages and disadvantages to
these types of assessments techniques that I will be discussing for measuring
I will begin by discussing two formal assessment types along with its
advantages and disadvantages. The first type of assessment that I would
like to address would be the statewide-standardized test under the No Child
Left Behind Act (NCLB). The statewide standardized test is considered a
high-stakes test because of the important consequences it has on passing or
failing the test. It mandates yearly testing for grades 3 through 8 and once
in high school for reading and math. Science was recently added in the mix
to test students at least once in elementary, middle and high school. The
underlying principle for this type of testing was intended to reach great
academic achievement for all students, especially those from lower
It ensures that no child—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or status is trapped in a consistently low-performing school. If a school does not make adequate progress towards set standards, parents have the option of sending their children to a better performing school or are provided free tutoring. This assessment helps determine if the student is receiving high-quality education at different grade levels.
Teachers are held accountable. If a student is not advancing with one
method of teaching, the teacher must use a different technique for a more
favorable outcome. They must use research-based methods of teaching.
This high-stakes test determines how to use assessment results to plan
This statewide-standardized test does not recognize student growth. It does
not offer a realistic picture of how a student or school is performing as a
whole. The extent of what a student actually learned is not known. Students
that start out at a disadvantage are not given recognition for progress in
Teaching to the test. The growing concern with this high-stakes test is that it
has become the curriculum and instruction has been narrowed to focus on
States set their own standards and can make tests unusually easy to compensate for inadequate student performance.
The second type of formal assessment I would like to discuss is the aptitude test. It is a norm-reference test and is administered under timed testing conditions. It measures a student’s overall performance across a wide range of intellectual capabilities. These test are useful to determine the current level students are at and to adjust classroom curriculum accordingly. Advantage #1
Aptitude tests are excellent predictors of future learning or performance.
Aptitude tests help students understand...
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