Having struggled through many of these issues – but not articulating my misgivings particularly well – I found this very insightful and useful.
As we continue to develop our system-wide thinking about assessment, it’s important that teachers and leaders understand the underlying concepts we’re dealing with. In order to motivate and challenge all students, it makes good sense to try to distinguish between attainment and progress. This allows us to give value to students making strides with their learning regardless of their starting point. Schools have made valiant efforts to develop assessment language and processes to measure progress and to report this to parents. Not everyone can get the top marks but everyone can make progress. That’s the idea. But does it work?
The idea of progress only works if we’re clear about what it means – and only if we give it the weight the concept can sustain.
If we have something absolute like the time it takes to run a 5K race or how far we can jump in long jump…
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