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Volume 19, Number 5
September/October 2003

Using Authentic Assessment to Raise Student Achievement

One Teacher’s Experiment


The Context

Corporate Landing Middle School (CLMS) in Virginia Beach, Va., has a culturally, socioeconomically, and academically diverse student population. There are 1,720 students enrolled here in grades 6-8. Sixty-five percent of the student population is white. African Americans make up 26 percent, 5 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian American.

In Virginia, students must take the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. The SOL tests consist of examinations in four core subjects: English, math, science, and social sciences/history. Virginia's Department of Education has benchmarked 70 percent as the minimum passing rate for school performance on these tests. If a school fails to meet minimal standards over time, the state Department of Education may take drastic steps, such as closing the school, firing the principal, reassigning teachers to other schools, or transferring students to other accredited schools in the district.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


Also by this Author

    For Further Information

    For Further Information

    R. Marzano. Transforming Classroom Grading. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 2000.

    R. Marzano, D. Pickering, and J. Pollack. Classroom Instruction That Works. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 2001.