Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment, also known as assessment for learning is a planned, ongoing process used by all students and teachers during learning and teaching to elicit and use evidence of student learning to improve student understanding of intended disciplinary learning outcomes and support students to become more self-directed learners. Evidence and feedback are used to move learning forward by adjusting learning strategies, goals or next instructional steps (SCASS, 2017).

Assessment for learning and visible learning strategies improve student achievement, help students become independent, self‐monitoring learners, and ensure equitable access to learning for all students (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Clarke, 2008; Hattie & Yates, 2014).

A key strategy to address equity and access in Hawaii’s schools is the use of equitable formative assessment and visible learning practices to facilitate different types of understanding. Using these practices, teachers:

  • Ensure all students have access to clearly articulated learning goals and success criteria,

  • Engage all students in learning experiences that “push” their competence level and provide the culturally relevant learning experiences,

  • Provide scaffolding for all students so they can engage in self-reflection, peer feedback and expression of their ideas,

  • Ensure feedback is descriptive and aligned to success criteria, and

  • Facilitate opportunities for self-directed learning such as goal setting, self-monitoring and adapting learning strategies

Central to the formative assessment process and assessment for learning is the development of what Frey, Fisher, and Hattie (2018) describe as “assessment capable learners.” These learners display the following characteristics:

  • They are aware of their current level of understanding in a learning area,

  • They understand their learning path and are confident enough to take on the challenge,

  • They can select tools and resources to guide their learning,

  • They seek feedback and recognize that errors are opportunities to learn,

  • They monitor their own progress and adjust course as needed,

  • They recognize what they’re learning and can teach others.

In addition, researchers describe sets of questions to guide learning. These questions ensure that students know where they are and where they are going and provide a means for teachers to support their learning:

QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS — Hattie & Timperley (2007); Chappuis (2015)


  • Where am I going?

  • Where am I now? How am I doing?

  • Where to next? How do I close the gap?

  • What do we expect our students to learn?

  • How will we know if they have learned?

  • What will we do if they don’t learn?

  • What will we do if they already know it?

Additionally, the six interdependent learning outcomes of HĀ require the creation of learning environments and opportunities that engage and challenge students, and help them develop a strong sense of self and culture. It is considered essential that students be involved in the evaluative process “since it is the student’s learning and personal growth that are being assessed” (BOE Policy 102-12). Student reflection on their progress “shall be constructive, enabling the students to understand his/her responsibilities as they relate to performance and attainment of standards” (BOE Policy 102-12). When students are engaged in self-assessment and monitoring of their learning, they develop a strong sense of self-efficacy and are much more likely to succeed when their individual needs are met, and their abilities are valued and nurtured.

The Self‐Assessment Continuum

This continuum, rooted in the work of Black and Wiliam (1998; 2008), guides teachers to understand the relationship among the elements of assessment for learning that allow students to self-monitor and set goals for future learning. It also equips students with the language of assessment for learning. As students move through the continuum, they are engaged in each stage of the assessment for learning process and, in doing so, students access the tools to develop mindsets of growth and continuous learning.

Adapted from: face/video_guides.html

Self-assessment continuum graphic. The continuum is Learning Goals, Success Criteria, Descriptive Feedback, Self and Peer Assessment, and Individual Goal Setting. This is fed by gathering information, and engineering effective questions, conversations, and learning tasks.

Evaluation and Reporting Agreements

Policy 102-12 requires that all grades given K to 12 are valid and reliable indicators of achievement of standards. When evaluating and reporting student progress, the following agreements ensure that the relevant stakeholders are provided with the information necessary to support continuous growth and student achievement (Davies, Herbst and Parrot Reynolds, 2011).

The learning destination (relating to standards or outcomes)

  1. Grades are given for the full range of educational standards or outcomes, not just those easiest to measure.

  2. Evidence of learning were selected because of its alignment with outcomes and standards.

Reliable and valid evidence of learning

  1. Report card grades are determined by a wide array of evidence from multiple sources over time, to ensure validity and reliability.

  2. Students understand expectations and acceptable evidence.

  3. Students are involved in co-constructing criteria for products, processes, and collections of evidence of learning.

  4. The summative evaluation takes place after students have time and opportunity to learn.

Evaluation at end of learning in preparation for reporting

  1. Report card grades are derived from evidence present, not absent (thus devoid of practices such as assigning zeros or penalty deductions as a default stance, grading on a curve, averaging and so on).

  2. Report card grades are for achievement of standards or learning outcomes reported separately from other non-achievement factors such as effort, attitude, attendance, and punctuality.

  3. Report card grades are reflective of a student’s most consistent, more recent pattern of performance to course learning goals based on the relevant standards and outcomes, as well as predetermined levels of quality.

Informed professional judgement

  1. Report card grades reflect informed teacher professional judgment of the level of quality of student work based on the standards or outcomes.

  2. Report card grades are validated by and anchored in collaborative conversation and analysis of student work against agreed upon criteria by teachers across grade levels and subjects.

  3. Report card grades are reflective of and illustrated by collections of exemplars and samples that illustrate levels of quality and achievement.