2020 Spring Journal of Scholarship and Practice

Journal of Scholarship & Practice Spring 2020

The focus of this volume examines the topics of assessment literacy, data assessment for school-wide improvement and the effectiveness of value-added measures (VAM).

Thomas Guskey leads off with his evidence-based practice commentary titled “The Dark Side of Assessment Literacy: Avoiding the Perils of Accountability.” In describing the potential gains from enhanced assessment literacy, Gutsey believes “ideally it will broaden teachers’ understanding of how to construct authentic assessments that tap student's performance in real world contexts.” He also warns that “ … in the context of high stakes accountability … increased assessment literacy also may lead teachers on a very different path. It may help them target their instruction and classroom assessments even more specifically on test preparation tasks.”

The evidence-based practice article, “Using Parallel Surveys and Reflective Conversations to Tap Perspectives and Promote Improvement,” is written by Giselle O. Martin-Kniep and Brett Lane. In a discussion of the complementary use of parallel surveys, they take readers through an examination of how leaders and teachers can use data to improve learning.

Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Edward Sloat and Jessica Holloway warn in their research article, “All Value-Added Models (VAMs) Are Wrong, but Sometimes They May be Useful,” that from a study of elementary students in a large suburban district, data showed that ratings differed significantly depending on the methodological approach used.

Editor Ken Mitchell concludes that while the issue’s assessment perspectives may seem disparate, the authors’ sentiments converge in a common quest for accuracy that is better achieved through sensitivity to context and an awareness of the potential consequences.