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Aurora Institute

Issue Brief

Redesigning Systems of Assessments for Student-Centered Learning

Author(s): Susan Patrick, Dale Frost, Maria Worthen

Organization(s): iNACOL

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Create Space to Pilot Systems of Assessments, State Policy, Build Balanced Systems of Assessments, Issues in Practice, Create Balanced Systems of Assessments

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This issue brief explores opportunities for states under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to rethink systems of assessments, and provides recommendations for state policymakers who are ready to support student-centered teaching and learning.

Assessment is essential for understanding what students have learned and for providing transparency and fairness when it comes to certifying mastery of knowledge and skills. Assessment can provide timely feedback to educators on where students are in their learning and to inform the supports that they need to succeed. In redesigning systems of assessments, state policymakers should consider what is needed to make assessment more meaningful and integrally linked to student learning.

There is a need to rethink the purpose and role of assessment in education systems. Systems of assessments that align to student-centered learning are important for the transformation to personalized, competency-based education systems that prepare all students for success. In addition, this brief introduces balanced systems of assessments and assessment literacy as two key concepts required for long-term sustainable systems transformation toward student-centered learning.