quires, as well, the honing and exercise of judgment related to the assessment process: from planning to gathering evidence to interpreting evidence to using evidence for decisions about teaching and learning.
"But the positive side of that is, they learn more about kids' understanding, more about what they're thinking and not thinking. That's when it becomes assessment that's not separate from instruction, an embedded assessment. Very few people do this or do it well, if assessment is really part of the instruction, then we don't take it separately and the time spent on it is not a separate issue."
Mathematics supervisor of large urban district
The benefits from these efforts can be considerable. For one, teachers find that assessment and instruction can blend together as mutually supportive endeavors. Second, in embracing the various challenges to judgment around the topic of assessment, teacher groups not only build assessment skills; they can integrate the assessment process into other areas of their professional development, as well. In particular, they can improve the habits and norms of professional discourse, make explicit and sharp the mechanisms for drawing inferences about student learning, and build continuous-learning models within staff-development systems. The next section looks at features of planning, organization, and facilitation that make these outcomes possible.