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How Can Leaders Help Teams Increase Their Assessment Literacy?

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July 30th, 2020

Why is Assessment Literacy Important?

Assessment literacy is the building of knowledge in all things assessment—whether it be building assessments, creating items, looking at data, really reviewing all the different things that we’re doing and collecting to tell students’ stories. 

A lot of times, teachers don’t come out with the background knowledge around what quality assessments look like. So, in building their own knowledge, they really start to understand better ways to assess students, capture more data, and ultimately impact their instructional next steps. If they can do that in a way that is more efficient and more effective, it can really help differentiate teaching and instruction for all students in a classroom.

How Can Leaders Help Teams Increase Their Assessment Literacy?

One of the things that we want to help district leaders do is to be able to build knowledge and assessment literacy and data literacy in our teachers. And they can do that by setting up time and settings for teachers to dig into their assessment results.

It’s a time where they can sit and go through results and really think through, “What’s the data telling us and what next steps do we have to make?” One of the difficulties is when you go to school districts and you have settings, oftentimes those settings are disrupted and they’re not seen as important, or they’re taken away by other topics.

So, research shows that a stable setting to do this work can actually raise achievement in the classroom. That was one of the major findings of some of the work from Claude Goldenberg, Ronald Gallimore, and a few others that did a lot of work around looking at the things that need to be in place to make instructional changes.

Part of that work besides the stable setting was this idea of a protocol. Protocols are designed so that we can get into and answer those questions of the data that we’re seeking so that we can make those next instructional steps as we roll through. 

When we’re doing this important work, data protocols kind of drive what teachers are talking about, so that we reach the outcomes that we really want at the end of these meetings. So, instead of getting stuck on all this data because we have too much data, we can really be looking at that data and making decisions based off of questions to move learning forward. 


Illuminate Education partners with K-12 educators to equip them with data to serve the whole child and reach new levels of student performance. Our solution brings together holistic data and collaborative tools and puts them in the hands of educators. Illuminate supports over 17 million students and 5200 districts/schools.

Ready to discover your one-stop shop for your district’s educational needs? Let’s talk.

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