Stellar teaching and impactful learning require purposeful assessment and relevant feedback, with principals at the center of ensuring that the cycle nets student achievement gains. But with so many educators decrying testing overload and initiative fatigue, it’s no wonder that student assessments can start to feel like an unproductive add-on. This issue of Principal magazine offers strategies school leaders can use to integrate assessments and feedback in a way that enhances and augments learning.
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This issue of Principal is also accompanied by a Leading Lessons guide, “Start Off Strong.” Use this guide to rethink your back-to-school professional learning event in the fall.
ASSESSMENT & FEEDBACK
Assessment That Supports Equity Strategies to encourage progress instead of measuring what’s already known Ann Jaquith
A Formative Experience A school’s assessment journey will be marked by milestones—and a few bumps Linda Gill and Christina Mulhollan Miller
Research Roundup: Data That Drives Decisions Recent reports discuss the use of data in implementing instruction and improvement Linda Fitch
Making the Grade? Parents view report card grades as most important for understanding achievement. Teachers don’t.
A Critical Look at Homework Assignments should address each student’s goals and circumstances to support learning Cathy Vatterott
Making Data Mean Something A data-informed culture uses assessments to create milestones toward a shared educational goal Vernita Glenn-White, Kristopher J. Childs, and Damien Moses
Building a Culture of Numeracy Schools that create positive perceptions about math instruction can boost performance, too By Kim VerMerris and Christopher Wooleyhand
Math That’s Open to Everyone A shift in beliefs is key to advancing access and equity in math instruction Renee Gallagher
IN EVERY ISSUE
From the Editor Assessment and Feedback for Learning Kaylen Tucker
Snapshots Nuggets of research, policy, and practice to keep you informed
5 Things What you need to know about the association that has your back
In the Spotlight Northern Light: An Alaskan principal on tradition and support
Practitioner’s Corner Shape Play to Shape Minds Well-designed playgrounds and play structures provide a favorable setting for child development
Best Practice Growth Is the Goal The do’s and don’ts of teacher observations and evaluation
Raising the Bar Six Steps Toward Improved Assessment Evaluations don’t always have to be high-stakes to be effective
The Reflective Principal The Process Takes Time Don’t look to data for a quick fix when it comes to measuring growth
Speaking Out Turnover Impacts Teaching Inequity undermines principal longevity, affecting student achievement
Principal’s Bookshelf Making Culture a Verb Jimmy Casas’ Culturize can help leaders create a caring, safe, and effective school environment
Parents & Schools Reinventing Back-to-School Nights Get students involved in creating parent engagement
In the Middle 30 Minutes to Care One middle school’s flexible period gets students involved in activities beyond the classroom
Postscript Why Principals Need Networks L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE