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Making Classroom Assessments Valid and Reliable
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Making Classroom Assessments Valid and Reliable


Evolving our schools into the future demands a new paradigm for classroom assessment. A teacher may ask, “Why should we be experts on formal assessments?” The answer is compelling: In order to make reliable decisions about actual student achievement, our assessments must be of high quality.

We cannot prove that students are learning in our classes without valid, reliable assessments. In addition, providing solid, meaningful feedback from sound assessment practice is a skill in which teachers must be better trained. In Classroom Assessment and Grading that Works (2006), Dr. Robert Marzano indicated that a 49-percentile increase in teacher skill in assessment practice could predict a 28-percentile increase in student achievement. So, simply stated: Better teacher assessment expertise = higher student achievement.

This workshop will equip your teachers and educational leaders for this critical task with step-by-step guidelines to increase their effectiveness.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Speak a common language and have a basic understanding of assessment theory so that deeper discussion can be had by all teachers.
  • Gain an awareness of the research related to high-quality assessment protocols.
  • Examine how to create parallel classroom assessments that directly align with proficiency scales addressing specific learning goals, along with identified learning progressions and levels of knowledge.
  • Discover how the results from these parallel assessments are translated to scores via a solid measurement process and how these scores are then analyzed to estimate students’ true scores.
  • Learn about designing and scoring valid and reliable assessments of various types, such as tests, essays, performance tasks, demonstrations, presentations, portfolios, probing discussions, and student-generated assessments.
  • Discuss how to accurately measure the progression of student mastery of the essential content through a variety of assessment methods.
  • Explore the constructs of validity and reliability as the foundation of classroom assessment.
  • Understand the implications of formative and summative scores.
  • Become familiar with how to use the Marzano Calculator to chart growth via reliable assessments.
  • Consider how to use assessment data for adjusting instruction to meet individual student needs.
  • Discuss transforming assessment in terms of charting student growth and reporting grades.

Recommended Participants

Classroom teachers, principals, assistant principals, instructional facilitators, and district leaders.

Time Frame

  • Two days with optional follow-up sessions for continued support and data analysis.
  • One-day versions of the workshop, as well as a keynote option, are also available.