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Why Build a Better Assessment Future?

More than at any other time in recent history, educators and policymakers recognize the need to provide an education system that closes learning gaps and supports all children to achieve at high levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities in our system and presents an opportunity to aspire to adopt assessment approaches and systems that truly serve to support all children to achieve and become capable learners.

This virtual conference aims to support district teams as they reimagine their district’s assessment system in a way that elevates assessment purpose and use and propels student learning. This “must-participate” event will feature keynote addresses and workshops where  teams of educators and national and international experts come together to discuss issues and inspire actions to build a better assessment future—envisioned as one that elevates assessment in support of ambitious teaching of rigorous content standards and emphasizes higher levels of student learning.

The conference, hosted by the Michigan Assessment Consortium in partnership with FAME (Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators) and Oakland Schools aims to assist local districts to improve their instructional programs so that all students equally succeed at high levels and gaps between sub-groups are addressed, and eventually eliminated.

 

We welcome a respected team of state, national, and international assessment experts, including:

  • Susan Brookhart
  • Jan Chappuis
  • Margaret Heritage
  • Ken O’Conner
  • Jim Pellegrino
  • Rick Stiggins
  • And many Michigan assessment leaders!

Who should attend?  All educators will be inspired and enriched by the content presented. Participants who attend as district or building teams (3 or more members) will benefit from dedicated team times and reflection tools. Teams should include stakeholders who are looking to implement solutions to assessment challenges and seek new opportunities to improve student learning through assessment. While participants are encouraged to attend with a team, individual educators are welcome to attend, and special opportunities for reflection have been planned for your benefit.

Role of the Attendee: Participants should commit to expand their own assessment knowledge and work with their colleagues to elevate their practice and create quality assessment systems.

Role of a Team: We encourage participants to attend as a team of 3 or more colleagues. Teams will work together during designated 'team time' throughout the conference, engage with pre-reading opportunities, and encourage continued collaboration within your team following the conference. Assessment experts will be available to support your team.  

Topics to be covered include: 

  • Finding out what students know and where they are poised to grow 
  • Supporting teachers in using multiple ways of assessing student knowledge 
  • Understanding formative assessment practice as the “engine of learning” 
  • Using grading practices that support learning and growth 
  • Assessment practice that motivates learners 
  • Narrowing your assessment focus to what matters most 
  • And more —full conference program will be available soon. 

The virtual conference will feature:

  • large-group keynote addresses with state, national, and international assessment experts
  • topical breakout sessions led by education practitioners
  • opportunity for your team to have a consultation appointment with assessment expert, and
  • embedded work and reflection times for teams to support emerging work plans

Day 1 – Keynote addresses by assessment experts

Day 2 – Keynote addresses and smaller breakout session of classroom and district assessment-related topics

Day 3 – Keynote addresses and smaller breakout sessions on issues of equity and state assessment-related topics

Outcomes: Participants will work and explore as part of a learning team to:

  • Assist local districts to improve their instructional programs to spur higher student achievement and eliminate gaps
  • Understand the keys to quality assessment that supports students’ equitable access to learning
  • Appreciate the role assessment plays in all facets of student learning
  • Envision an assessment system that accurately serves the information needs of students, parents, and educators
  • Raise awareness of what it means to be assessment literate
  • Identify strategies for advancing an assessment system that serves the information needs of multiple audiences