Have primary assessments "gone rogue"?

An interesting look at how primary assessments could better serve children and parents

Primary Timery Opinion piece

An interesting piece on the Primarytimery.com website explores how assessments at primary schools could be made more useful for teachers and parents.

It recognised the value in looking at data to judge a school’s performance, but cautions against an excessive approach.

The piece says:

“Since standardised assessments do not exist for many subjects, it is not possible to evaluate performance for say geography in the same way it is possible as it is for maths. Non standardised assessments that a school devises might give the school useful information – for example they could tell the school how successfully their curriculum has been learnt, but they don’t allow for reliable inferences about performance in geography beyond that school.

“Given these limitations – the unreliability at individual pupil level, the unreliability inherent in evaluating progress and the unavailability of standardised assessments in most subjects, schools should think very carefully about any system for tracking pupil attainment or progress. By all means have electronic data warehouses of attainment information but be very aware of what the information within can and can’t tell you. I’d recommend reading  Dataproof Your School to make sure you are fully aware of the perils and pitfalls involved in seeking to make inferences from data.

“What is more, summative assessment in reading is notoriously challenging since reading comprehension tests suffer from construct-irrelevant variance. In other words, they assess things other than reading comprehension such as vocabulary and background knowledge. More reliable inferences could be made were there standardised assessments of reading fluency. However, the one contender to date that could do this – the DIBELS assessment – explicitly rules out its use to evaluate performance of institutions.”

Read the full piece at Primarytimery.com


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