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Current Policies Surrounding Assessment in Alberta: Future Implications

  • E. Nola AitkenEmail author
  • Art J. Aitken
Part of the The Enabling Power of Assessment book series (EPAS, volume 2)

Abstract

The authors address student assessment policies in the Alberta context at the provincial and district levels with reference to some international comparisons. The discussion is organised around the topics and issues that emerged from participants in surveys and focus-group forums in the Alberta Student Assessment Study. Participants in the study included superintendents, principals, teachers, government officials, parents, students, and other educational stakeholders. Emerging topics included the politics of assessment, teacher learning, decision making, communication and relationships, leadership, and fairness and equity. Alberta Education policies and regulations formed the basis of the legal mandates that drive assessment practices. Policy handbooks from the largest public school districts in Alberta representing more than 60 % of the student population were examined for student assessment policies and guidelines. A summary of benchmark literature informs the treatment of each issue. The authors found extensive support in policy and in literature for classroom assessment practice, leadership, and professional development. Throughout the policy documents, assessment was consistently positioned as an integral part of instruction and learning. As twenty-first century learning models gain impetus, policy and practice needs to guide fair, balanced, and aligned assessment in a process that represents the interests of students, teachers, parents, and the public.

Keywords

Assessment policy Politics of assessment Professional development Fair assessment practice Communicating assessment PISA Provincial achievement tests Ontario Poland Finland Singapore 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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