No Excuses University - Assessment

-by jane ellis

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Assessment is scary!

It causes test anxiety for students, and it causes performance anxiety for teachers. My experience is that tests I’ve taken have been to judge if I was worthy of advancing in some way or obtaining some kind of recognition. It is hard to not equate assessments with these kinds of tests, and I assume that students probably feel the same way to some extent.

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Lopez (2013) asks, “Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students?” (p. 98). In teaching cultural competency we use self-assessments that help people understand what their own levels of cultural competency are and what their attitudes are regarding diversity. These are not shared with me unless the participant so chooses.
The value I find in these assessments is that they give self-awareness and help the individuals start to think about their attitudes and beliefs about culture and diversity.

I am not required to participate in any assessments and so I only utilize those that I find beneficial.

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I always try and partner fully with those in my workshops. I have some activities where they get up and act out scenarios and have fun. I ask for feedback so that I can improve my presentations. This helps me to grow, and it gives me lots of great original ideas I would not have otherwise.


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