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Balanced Assessment System

SDCOE promotes the use of data to make instructional decisions and monitor student progress. Our team is available to help districts and schools assess the current state of local assessment systems, provide professional development in all aspects of assessment and monitoring, promote the use of the formative assessment process to facilitate student learning and self-regulation, and analyze assessment results to leverage informed decision making. SDCOE also provides support and assistance to help districts with implementing balanced assessment systems which include formative, interim and summative assessment.

Supporting Balanced Assessment within the TK-12 Learning Ecosystem

Read our brief defining the components of a balanced assessment system and considerations in how to develop a culture of assessment.

Our Assessment Services


Building an Assessment Vision - Your district or school most likely have a mission and/or vision, but does it have one for assessment? Through a process with stakeholders, your team will develop a vision or philosophy for assessment, craft guiding principles, establish responsible use and best practices, and examine the current system for gaps and alignment. Your team will come away with a plan to create and disseminate clear messaging. Suggested Team: Leaders and coaches from curriculum and assessment, School leaders and curriculum leads, teachers, parents, student and board members.


Developing a Balanced Assessment System - Struggling to identify whether your assessments are aligned to the new standards, what assessments are used vs owned, and how often students are assessed? Through an inventory process aligned to the Testing Action Plan, our team will assist in developing an ideal balance of assessments to ensure that student knowledge is truly captured and communicated in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Suggested Team: Leaders and members of curriculum and assessment, school leaders, teachers, students, education tech members and TOSAs.


Assessment Literacy -  "Assessment-literate educators understand how to gather dependable evidence and how to use both the process and results productively to support student achievement by providing feedback that includes guidance to improve learning." Through this professional learning, our goal is to improve educator understanding of how to plan for assessment, utilize it within instruction, appropriately communicate results, and become critical creators and consumers of assessment tools. "Assessment literacy is an understanding of how to gather dependable evidence and use assessment productively whether in a formative or summative context (Rick Stiggins, 2015)"


Creating Aligned Assessments - Through content specific or content neutral learning, educators will walk through the process of building high quality, aligned assessments for a variety of purposes. Educators will develop blueprints, work through item and task development, delve into proactive response analysis, and create student friendly rubrics for feedback. This process can also be helpful in creating district, school, or PLC wide common tasks or assessments.


Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments - For classroom teachers, lead/support teachers, and site/district administrators: Learn how the formative, interim, and summative components work together to provide a comprehensive picture of student learning.


A Student's Bill of Assessment Rights

Download, print, share this handout made in an exclusive partnership with Rick Stiggins.