Rob Mc left a comment that struck me as a fantastic way to rethink the summitive assessment trap that teachers have fallen into:
Whenever I'm in a meeting and I hear the mantra that all educational goals must me "measurable", I worry a bit. This kind of thinking can get reductionistic very quickly. BUT we can also re-think (reclaim?) the word assessment a bit in this context? What if we think about the question "That's a neat idea, but how do you assess it?" not as "how do you measure it?" but instead in the context of assessment as feedback. Sue Brookhart (great assessment writer) says: "Everything students do in the classroom should be assessed - very little of it should be graded." So I'd like to change the question from: "That's a neat idea, but how do you assess it?" to "That's a neat idea - what kinds of feedback would be involved in that idea for students and the teacher, and how would the feedback be used?"
Rather than worrying about summative assessment, we can save ourselves and our students' learning by refocusing on formative assessment. We must concern ourselves far less with the judgement of students and refocus our attention on actually helping them to improve.