Balanced assessment : from formative to summative

| November 24, 2010

Title: Balanced assessment : from formative to summative
Author: Kay Burke.
Publisher: Bloomington, Ind. : Solution Tree Press, c2010.
Call Number: LB2822.75 .B88 2010

From the Publisher:

Learn how to integrate formative and summative assessments seamlessly into instruction. The research, rationale, strategies, and examples provided in this book will help teachers develop their own repertoire of formative and summative assessments to monitor, grade, and make inferences about a student’s ability to meet standards and curriculum goals. Exercises at the end of each chapter provide opportunities to reflect and plan action steps.

The author shows teachers how to “begin with the end in mind”—to start with the expectations for student achievement and then work backward to help all students succeed. She details a process of analyzing the standards, deciding precisely what knowledge and skills will have to be taught and assessed, and then planning instruction to prepare students to demonstrate that they have met or exceeded the standards.

Because each grade level or content area can have hundreds of standards, the best approach is for teachers to work together in teams to plan instruction and develop common assessments. Learn the process teacher teams use to analyze the standards, develop engaging performance tasks that address the standards, and create checklists and rubrics.


  • Explains how teacher teams can analyze standards to make them more manageable and plan a logical instructional sequence
  • Defines formative and summative assessments and explains how they complement each other
  • Shows how to create checklists and rubrics
  • Explains how to make the curriculum more engaging through authentic performance tasks
  • Provides numerous examples of performance tasks, checklists, and rubrics from different subject areas and grade levels
  • Suggests ways to differentiate instruction
  • Describes more informal, “quick and easy” assessment strategies
  • Explains the difference between assessment and evaluation

About the Author:

Kay Burke, Ph.D. received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida Atlantic University, her Master’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, her Specialist Degree from Emory University, her doctorate from Georgia State University, and her administrative certification from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation focused on helping students improve their performance on standardized tests. She taught English at the high school and college level, and also served as an administrator. Kay was named DeKalb County’s Teacher of the Year, was a semifinalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year, and was a STAR Teacher for Redan High School and for Georgia. She received the Distinguished Georgia Educator Award from Georgia State University and a Certificate of Excellence Award from President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Kay was also a member of the Southern Regional Council of the College Board and the director of the Field-Based Master’s Degree Program cosponsored by Saint Xavier University and IRI SkyLight in Illinois. She is an expert commentator for five online courses used by several graduate degree programs. The courses focus on assessment, classroom management, professional portfolios, student portfolios, and mentoring.

For the past 19 years Kay has facilitated professional development workshops for teachers and administrators, delivered keynote addresses, and presented at conferences sponsored by theAssociation for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)National Staff Development Council (NSDC); the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP); the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); the National Middle School Association (NMSA); theInternational Reading Association (IRA); as well as international conferences throughout Australia and Canada.

Dr. Burke has written and edited numerous books in the areas of standards-based learning, performance assessment, classroom management, mentoring, and portfolios. She is a co-author (Musial, Nieminen, Thomas, & Burke) of Foundations of Meaningful Educational Assessment (2009) published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Some of her other books include How to Assess Authentic Learning, 5th ed (2010)What to Do with the Kid Who…: Developing Cooperation, Self-Discipline and Responsibility in the Classroom, 3rd ed. (2008); and The Portfolio Connection: Student Work Linked to Standards, 3rd ed. (2008) (all published by Corwin Press). Her best-selling book From Standards to Rubrics in Six Steps: Tools for Assessing Student Learning, K-8, was named a 2007 finalist for the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers. Kay’s most recent book published in March 2010 by Solution Tree Press is Balanced Assessment: From Formative to Summative.

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