Assessing with heart

By Vicki Spandel
April 2022
Ours is a nation obsessed with assessment. We assess our students continuously, and while it is a very good thing to establish accountability and to see how things are going, constant assessment also carries with it a heavy price, a price that is dramatically inflated when assessment is not all that it could be. Good assessment does not come about by accident. It is the result of clear vision and thoughtful planning. Here are some features that define quality writing assessment at the large-scale (state or district), classroom, and individual levels, features to help ensure that assessment and instruction work in harmony. Large-scale assessment Large-scale writing assessment is most often an attempt to measure whether and to what extent students are meeting writing standards set

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Boyle, D. & Roddick, A. (2004). Numbers. West Sussex, UK: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Hillocks, G., Jr. (2002). The testing trap: How state writing assessments control learning. New York: Teachers College.

National Writing Project & Nagin, C. (2003). Because writing matters: Improving student writing in our schools. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Yagoda, B. (2004). The sound on the page: Style and voice in writing. New York: HarperCollins.

Vicki Spandel is a writing specialist and lead writing consultant for Great Source Education Group.

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