Assessment for learning (AfL) improves student learning and achievement outcomes but, despite its positive effects, sustained implementation has been problematic. An examination of the policy environment, implementation factors that relate particularly to professional learning, and a New Zealand model of AfL, reveal gaps of interdependence at multiple levels. To bridge these gaps and the divide between policy intent and policy use, this article argues that dynamic learning partnerships are necessary to connect and mutually inform policy makers, influencers, and enactors. When all players understand why a policy such as AfL is needed, what it means, how to enact it, and are empowered to contribute, the policy becomes a lived reality. A co-ordinating alliance, like an assessment network, that deliberately connects and fosters relationships across and beyond education may be a means of forging valuable partnerships and networks to sustain assessment for learning.
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