This article by Rick Stiggins and Jan Chappuis was published in Theory into Practice in 2005. The authors argue that the failure of 60 years of total reliance on assessment via standardized tests to help reduce achievement score gaps must compel us to rethink the role of assessment in this endeavor. They advocate rebalancing assessment priorities to bring classroom assessment into the equation. Evidence gathered over decades from around the world reveals strong achievement gains and reduced achievement score gaps when teachers implement student-involved classroom assessment practices in support of student learning in their classrooms. Five standards of sound classroom assessment practice are described, which, if put in place, would permit teachers and schools to draw on a heretofore untapped reservoir of motivation in ways that benefit students, especially those who are low performers.

Rick Stiggins and Jan Chappuis work at Assessment Training Institute. Requests for reprints can be sent to Rick Stiggins, Assessment Training Institute, 317 SW Alder Street, Suite 1200, Portland OR 97204. E-mail:

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