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Taking the Reins of Writing Assessment

“Teachers are in the best position to support writing in their classrooms as opposed to policy makers far away,”

said Chris GallaPen drawing scribblesgher during a recent Education Talk Radio interview he and Eric Turley had with talk show host Larry Jacobs.

They talked about their book Our Better Judgment and the importance of teachers of writing being in the drivers’ seat using their own professional judgment—gained from reflective practice—to evaluate their students’ written work.

Teaching them to write correctly wasn’t enough.

“You want to know something and you try to figure out how to get answers and these are what lead to change in student writing.  We want our students to make strong assessments of their writing, ” added Eric

Chris Gallagher summed things up:

Thoughtful self assessment is one of the best outcomes of good teacher-based assessment.  The most important piece of learning to take the reins of assessment is to work together with their students and their colleagues and members of their community. Being an expert is not knowing all the right answers. Being an expert is knowing to ask questions.