Learn it, don’t earn it

This article from Katrina Schwartz at Mindshift is a good one.  I especially like this paragraph about formative assessments:

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I also like this line: This type of low-stakes assessment also makes it easier for teachers and students to become partners in learning, giving students ownership over their success and asking them to show responsibility for improvement.

Let’s keep working toward establishing a culture of learning meaningful skills, rather than earning meaningless grades.


2 thoughts on “Learn it, don’t earn it

  1. Thanks for sharing this article Curt. You seem to have highlighted the critical aspects of it. Seeing students’ day-to-day, minute-by-minute learning occur is what we all come to school for. The summative assessments should not be a win-lose proposition, but an opportunity for learners to show what they know. To be honest, a classroom that has embedded formative assessments well in instruction makes the summative piece in almost foregone conclusion, possibly redundant. The big difference is more kids are going to “make the grade” because they received tons of feedback b/c of the formative assessments, propelling them toward their learning goals more effectively and efficiently.

    Thanks again Curt for sharing this and being a thought leader!


  2. Thanks for the comment Matt. While formative assessments are certainly powerful tools, they aren’t easy to do, especially when we have been used to relying on one-time assessments that come out of a published curriculum series. My district has been working on common formative assessments the past two years. We’ve made some good progress, but it has been a struggle.

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