What if?

What if we could more precisely identify where each student was along the pathway to learning? What if we could be more accurate at sorting out the nuances in his or her gaps in understanding? What if we focused most of our assessment attention on becoming better at interpreting daily data from regular class work and used that evidence to help students move their own learning forward? What if we shifted the balance of our assessment attention from the summative to the formative—assessment that can be used every day to support learning? I think we would become better at seeing the whole student and responding to his or her individual needs. In the end, students
would perform better on the consequential tests.

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