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A number of NZCER staff contribute to our blogs and we link to and draw on external expertise. We hope it is a useful source of information, ideas and support about NZCER's work and wider educational and assessment issues. We welcome your questions and comments.

Please refer to the NZCER community guidelines for participation on NZCER blog posts.

You’ve tested with the PATs. You have the results.  Exactly how much progress have your students made over the year and is this average, below average or accelerated for their year group?

Some questions for you:

- how well have they done since the last assessment?

- is their progress average, below average, or accelerated?

Read rest of post: Real progress from the PATS
Date posted: 29 May 2014

Teachers making decisions about their students’ achievements based on a range of sources of evidence is the cornerstone of an effective cycle of inquiry in any school. The evidence-based cycle of inquiry is the engine that drives improvement to teaching and learning in classrooms and in school-wide initiatives (Timperley et al, 2010).  Research says this is how you make a difference.

Read rest of post: Trusting the evidence
Date posted: 5 March 2014

On TKI Assessment Online, under ‘New Zealand's Approach to National Standards’, one of the reasons outlined for the introduction of the National Standards is to "affirm your ( the teacher) role as the professional who knows the most about your students’ achievement rather than relying on national tests."

Read rest of post: Gathering the evidence
Date posted: 18 February 2014

Schools often ask  when they should use standardised  testing.  Twice a year?  Once a year ? There is no definitive answer, just a few questions, which, when answered by the school, will make choosing the time of year to assess more logical.

Read rest of post: Planning when to assess
Date posted: 10 December 2013

"The approaches we take to assessing learning, the kinds of tasks we assign and the way we report success or failure at school send powerful messages to students not only about their own learning but also about the nature of learning itself." This occasional paper by Australian Council for Educational

Read rest of post: Exploring assessment approaches
Date posted: 5 December 2013

Let’s start off with the million dollar question: Why is it important to assess punctuation and grammar in the classroom?

The teaching and assessing of literacy and numeracy skills has become an important focal points in learning but does that mean it is worth spending much time assessing the more finely-tuned details of semicolons, conjunctions and clauses?

Date posted: 3 October 2013

Teachers need resources that are designed to be a part of their normal classroom programme.

. ‘…much of what teachers and learners do in classrooms can be described as assessment. That is, tasks and questions prompt learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills…’  TKI: Assessment for Learning 10 principles 

Date posted: 25 September 2013

Recently, there has been some public debate about the 2012 National Standards results, how these stack up against the results from 2011, and what they mean. But interpreting National Standards results is difficult and the debate sometimes lacks depth.

Date posted: 6 August 2013

In an article in the latest edition of SET Research information for Teachers, we explain how the norms used in the standardised reading test, STAR,  can be  checked and double-checked as more students use the assessment. 

Read rest of post: Checking the STAR norms
Date posted: 9 July 2013