OEA believes Oregon must have a balanced system of assessment that includes formative, interim, and summative assessments. Formative assessment practices – those done in classrooms by educators with students to guide day-to-day instruction – holds the most promise for impacting student learning. In formative assessments, students are the most important people who need to use the information to understand where they are in their learning journey, where they need to get to and how to get there.
Unfortunately, education systems for too long have prioritized statewide summative assessment results as the most important data in schools. While this data can help guide decisions at the state and district level, the data is far less meaningful at the student level.
OEA advocates for:
- Increased funding for quality formative assessments at the classroom level;
- Quality implementation of formative assessment practices to promote student learning;
- Reducing and eliminating decisions made about student learning based solely on a high-stakes tests like the Smarter Balanced Assessment;
- And protecting family and student opt-out rights.
FAMILY OPT-OUT RIGHTS
Oregon families have the right to opt students out of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math and English language arts. Families can also request an exemption from the Oregon science assessment at the district level based on disability or religion.
Families can access the current information about opt-out from the Oregon Department of Education. Additionally, OEA has developed materials to help local communities organize around assessment.
Download our Assessment Organizing Toolkit:
Assessment for learning is a gift we give our students. It is a mirror we hold up to show them how far they have come. It is a promise that we will use assessment, not to punish or reward, but to guide them on their learning journey.