Assessment Philosophy

The belief of the Lewis Central learning community is that assessment is for student learning, is student-centered, and involves a commitment by all stakeholders.  Student-centered assessment motivates, encourages, and inspires students’ passion for learning when it is delivered in a timely and reasonable manner and includes purposeful feedback. Assessment is standards-based, and includes a variety of methods that guide instruction and inform instructional decisions.

Meaningful assessments serve clear and appropriate purposes, reflect valued student learning targets, and are designed to yield accurate results about the learning targets.


  • Purpose: The assessment purpose must be clear for both designers and users. Before assessing, the appropriate purpose will be determined by asking the questions, “Who will use the results, how will they be used, and how will results be communicated?”

  • Targets: All assessments (for and of learning, informal and formal) must be aligned to learning targets informed by the adopted standards. Targets must be clearly communicated to the students.

  • Design: It is important to match the intended learning targets to the appropriate assessment method. No one design choice is superior to the other; the selection is dependent upon the learning target and the purpose of the assessment.

Enduring Understandings

Users of assessment understand that within a balanced assessment system:

  • quality assessment with effective feedback informs and motivates learners;
  • quality assessment provides feedback that informs teaching;
  • quality assessment improves learning;
  • content, assessment, and instruction must align;
  • identification, communication, and understanding of clear learning targets are essential components of effective assessment;
  • assessment is an ongoing process that guides decision making for various users and purposes. 

Essential Questions

  • Why do we assess?
  • How are assessment results used?
  • How do we ensure that an assessment system is balanced?
  • How do we guarantee alignment between purpose of assessment and type of assessment used? (Is there a match between what we want to know and method of assessment?)
  • How do you know when your students know?
  • How much evidence is enough?
  • What information is needed to make good decisions? (instruction/policy)
    What makes evidence valid?
  • How do we know that our assessment(s) meet or continue to meet our information needs?
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