No Excuses University -Assessment

The Lopez guide

• Share your perspective on Lopez’s quote and statement above. Describe how your mindset has changed or been validated.

I completely agree with him when he talks about the soul purpose of assessing. The idea behind it needs to be grounded in the end result. Finding out how to use the information gathered is crucial to succeeding in helping students become as successful as possible. Assessments need to be made with this mindset to have an end goal in mind and to always shoot to surpass that goal. Students have to tremendous capability to surprise us as educators and we need to strive to exceed our goals. My mindset has been validated with Lopez’s reasoning. It has given this idea more leverage and focus to become a reality for most educators.

• Consider the 4 questions Lopez lists under “Defending our Assessment Practices” (p.98). How might you use these questions in your current or anticipated practice?

1. "Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students" (Lopez, 2013)?

This question holds a lot of value in that it allows you to not be just a spectator taking notes and keeping track of the students, but it allows you to be engaged and develop a relationship with your students. Participating in the assessments allow you to get a different view from their standpoint which will give you a different perspective on the information gathered.

2. "Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment" (Lopez, 2013)?

This question holds the educator accountable for the information that is gathered and makes sure that the teacher is getting enough information that can be useful. Detailed information allows for those assessing it to have a much better idea of where each student stands specifically which in turn allows for a specific solution if needed.

3. "Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students" (Lopez, 2013)?

This question is important because it has the educator ask an important question, “if there is no value in the assessment for the student, is it worth even assessing?” This is important because you don’t want to waste time on an assessment that will not output valuable information.

4. "Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with" (Lopez, 2013)?

This allows for the teacher to analyze there teaching method and pushes them to get out of their comfort zone. Whether the answer to this question is yes or no, it still gets the teacher to think if they should be pushed outside their comfort zone or not. It helps them realize that their comfort zone should not be more important than the students potential chance of success through assessment.

• What value might it add to your practice by keeping these questions in mind?

These questions offer tremendous value in that they provide structure and valid reasoning behind proper assessing in the classroom. Asking these questions help the educators to be guided towards a successful assessment which in turn allows for students the opportunity to be successful.

• In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment?

Each student is different when it comes to willingness to making students your partners in assessment. Some ways of succeeding are making sure the students understand the purpose of assessments. Utilizing interest as a key component will help students find the need to want to participate.


Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.). Turnaround Schools Publications.