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Products and Publications

SERVE develops, publishes, and distributes a variety of research-based studies, training materials, policy briefs, brochures, and videotapes. These informative products and publications are guides to available resources, current issues in education policy, and examples of exemplary educational programs. Below are the product and publication offerings for Assessment:

Classroom-Level Assessment

Building Teacher Capacity in Classroom Assessment to Improve Student Learning (2004) Link to Adobe PDF file Building Teacher Capacity

This article published in the International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice briefly introduces the literature on this topic, provides an example of one district that has worked on classroom assessment in a sustained way, describes four professional development approaches that can be used to support teachers' efforts at improving classroom assessment, and describes some lessons learned based on SERVE's experiences with districts.

Districts Building Teacher Capacity in Classroom Assessment: (2002)
AERA Paper(23 pages)Link to Adobe PDF File Appendix to Paper(20 pages)Link to Adobe PDF File

This paper describes lessons learned about the district role in building teachers’ capacity to assess students more effectively. It offers a framework, based on experiences with districts, to demonstrate how districts leverage an interconnected system of strategies in order to impact the quality of instruction and assessment in classrooms. The interconnected system of strategies includes those that: 1) build teacher capacity (e.g., professional development, teacher evaluation, instructional leadership); 2) set the conditions in the district for continuous improvement (e.g., defining standards, strategic planning); 3) support effective school improvement processes (e.g., informal school reviews, allocation of funds); and 4) monitor progress (e.g., use of assessments that supplement state tests, use of data on quality of classroom learning environments, defining grade-level proficiency).

Standards-Based Assessment, Grading, and Reporting in Classrooms: Can District Training and Support Change Teacher Practice? (2003)
AERA Paper(33 pages) Link to Adobe PDF File Appendix to Paper(44 pages)Link to Adobe PDF File

The primary purpose for this paper was to describe the “quality professional development and support” supplied by one district in working to change practices around classroom assessments, grading practices, and reporting procedures. The paper discusses the assumptions, inputs, intervention, and impacts of the professional development planning and implementation. The district model includes components for building teacher capacity (e.g., professional development); setting the conditions in the district for continuous improvement (e.g., defining standards); supporting effective school improvement processes (e.g., allocation of funds); and monitoring progress (e.g., use of data on implementation of practices, recommendations for change).

How to Assess Student Performance in Science: Going Beyond Multiple-Choice Tests (2000)

This document provides science teachers with an easy introduction to alternative assessment. Short chapters on instructional goals, assessment methods, rubrics, and grading methods introduce the terminology and examples to help teachers understand how to use a variety of assessment methods to align with challenging instructional goals.

Improving Student Motivation: A Guide for Teachers and School Improvement Teams (2001)

This document takes as its starting point the belief that student motivation should be considered an important dimension of a school's effectiveness. It provides chapters on (a) the research on using extrinsic motivators, (b) the factors that influence motivation in the classroom, and (c) how schools create more or less motivational cultures. The role of assessment in the classroom and how it affects student motivation is discussed.

Study Guide for Classroom Assessment: Linking Instruction and Assessment

SERVE developed this self-study document for teachers in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. An accompanying document called Classroom Assessment: Linking Instruction and Assessment is an additional assessment information resource. These resources can be ordered as Items LS112 and LS111, respectively, from

Tools for Providing Feedback in Reading: A Reading Assessment Handbook (2004) Link to Acrobat PDF file: Reading Handbook

This reading assessment handbook is a resource for any teacher wanting to expand his or her use of assessment methods. It provides easy-to-use assessment methods as a starting point for understanding students as readers.

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School-Level Assessment

Assessing Kindergarten Children: What Schools Need to Know (2002) Link to Adobe PDF File

This resource book guides school systems through a decision-making process to design an assessment system that is best suited to their particular needs. Individuals involved in selecting assessment measures and designing schoolwide assessment systems can use this publication as a planning guidea tool to help them make decisions about assessments based on best practices in early childhood assessment.

Assessing Kindergarten Children: A Compendium of Assessment Instruments (2002) Link to Adobe PDF File

This publication provides a quick overview of assessment instruments that can be used with kindergarten-aged children. Schools and state departments of education often need information on assessment instruments and lack a comprehensive resource that provides consistent information on many different instruments. This compendium was designed to provide a starting point for gathering information on assessment instruments.

Competent Assessment of Reading Toolkit for Professional Developers (2004)
(To order contact Aicha Davis at 800-755-3277)

This toolkit is a collection of professional development activities that have been used with teachers (grades 3–6) to expand their understanding of reading assessment in the classroom. This comprehensive resource has three sections that help teachers understand three important roles: teacher as a life-long reader, teacher as an assessor, and teacher as an action researcher. The toolkit also includes a video that demonstrates two assessment methods.