Thank you to Stephen Geyer, Ed.D.,
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Goochland County Schools,
for this month's feature article.
We’ve been on a 7+ year journey in Goochland to strike a truly balanced approach to student assessment. We’re proud of our work in this area, and we’re closer to our goal than ever. Despite my own tendency for unwavering optimism, I actually don’t think we’ll ever achieve the perfect balance we seek. I’m not sure perfection in the area of assessment exists. And that’s okay. It’s been our team’s work along the way, the professional learning inherent in such an endeavor, and our tenacious pursuit of what’s best for students that have combined to put our division in a position to tell the complete story of student learning.
How do we define balanced assessment in Goochland? We believe the discussion around testing equilibrium is built upon three considerations:
the balance between uninterrupted instructional time and the time dedicated to assessing student learning;
assessment purpose (i.e. achievement, growth, diagnostic); and,
assessment type (i.e. multiple choice, essay, constructed-response, complex project).
Given the decades-long landscape of high stakes standardized achievement testing in Virginia, our journey began with the exploration of both growth measures and performance assessments. It was the natural place to start.