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Summative Assessments

Are All of Our Students Meeting the Standards?

Teacher with colleagues

Summative assessments are designed to evaluate learning by providing cumulative snapshots, often but not exclusively through standardized assessments that are typically school-, district-, or state-centered, and that answer "are all of our students meeting the standards?"

Summative Assessment Video

In the video, viewers learn about the critical role that a variety of summative assessments play and the importance of strategic data use. Summative assessments provide cumulative snapshots to evaluate and report on student learning.

Summative data can help illuminate areas of strength and gaps in curriculum and instruction, and especially for student subgroups. Reporting summative results provides information to families and the general public. Summative data should never be used as the only indicator of success for a student or a school. 

Key messages from the video:

  • Summative assessments are designed to evaluate and report on cumulative student learning
  • Data from summative assessments:
    • are derived from a variety of sources, not just standardized or statewide tests
    • can answer whether ALL students have met the standards successfully 
    • should be used strategically with formative and interim data to inform teaching and learning 
    • provides key information for conversations around student learning

Summative Assessment Video Supplement

Summative Assessment "Gas Gauge"

This video can be used to support educators' professional development related to data and assessment literacy. Consider using this supplement to kick off your next PLC meeting to enhance your own data and assessment literacy.

Video Supplement

For questions about this information, contact Lauren Zellmer (608) 266-8499