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Making the Most of Performance Tasks in Summative Assessment: Building Educator Assessment Literacy in Oregon

By Jessica Arnold


The Building Educator Assessment Literacy (BEAL) project was designed to improve classroom instruction by providing teachers with in-depth, hands-on training that helps them to better understand performance assessment and how it relates to their teaching.

This paper explores the implementation and impact of the BEAL project in Oregon, between November 2014 and February 2015. As the state transitioned to the Smarter Balanced assessment system, BEAL provided educators with the opportunity to learn about the design of the new performance tasks, to score actual student responses, and to consider, together, how their new understanding of the test’s performance tasks could lead to better classroom learning.

This paper draws on survey responses from project participants and features profiles of four educators about their takeaways from the training.

Several common themes emerged:

  • Participants gained confidence in the value of the Smarter Balanced performance tasks
  • More transparent assessments can support more effective classroom instruction
  • Educators want more professional development linking assessment to instruction

More than a year after their participation in the project, these educators still draw on their experiences with BEAL in their own practices.


Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2016
Format: PDF
Pages: 25
Publisher: WestEd