Assessment for Learning

Defending Assessment Practices

Lopez's Quote

Lopez’s quote “Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” has validated my way of thinking as it pertains to keeping sight of the intended goal which is the betterment of the students and the commitment needed to keep the focus on the students. Although I am not a teacher nor do I have any classroom experience, I am going to consider Lopez’s concept of assessment as it applies to a position I held as an inventory control specialist for a major company where the goal is optimizing productivity, ultimately generating greater success for the company.


  1. Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students?

I would be a participant in the assessment of my students first to find out where they are academically, and what areas we (the student and I) might need to focus on to strengthen any weakness.

2. Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment?

The value of each assessment is pinpointing the weaker areas and formulating an action plan to strengthen those areas. As stated by Newman, R. (2013), “Assessments must play a central role in shaping teaching and learning and actively engaging students in their own learning process”.

3. Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students?

Personally, I don’t because I am not in a classroom situation and if I did, I would not participate in any assessment that has no value for the students because it would be non-productive. Assessments that have no value are usually the state mandated standardized tests that are mainly data driven and the main focus is trying to meet a specific deadline.

Value of Assessment

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

The questions that will forever be embedded in my mind towards assessments are: what is the purpose, and most importantly, will my students benefit from the assessment.

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

I have succeeded greatly in making my team a partner in all assessments. For instance, as an inventory control specialist it was my job to do a daily inventory count with several retail perfume outlets across the United States. This was done by randomly selecting 8 to 10 stores each day with a varied list of items to be counted. Should a store come up with any inventory discrepancy, upper management would use this collected data to intimidate and threaten the employees including denying them of any and all benefits at that particular retail outlet, hence, scaring the employees at the mere mention of an inventory count. Soon after taking the position at that company, I realized that the data driven assessments were compiling wrong information. The employees did not know how to differentiate what was eau du parfum and what was eau du toilette, ultimately having a wrong count every time. Once I collaborated with the employees and taught them the differences in the type of fragrances and the importance and purpose for the assessments they began to master the art of keeping a perfect inventory count. As stated by Lopez D., (2013), “We need to re-calibrate our priorities by creating an exceptional system in the area of assessment.”

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

Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.