Balanced assessment : from formative to summative

| November 30, 2010

Title: Balanced assessment : from formative to summative
Author: Kay Burke
Publisher: Solution Tree, Bloomington, IN
Check it out: 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, PhD is the founding partner of Kay Burke and Associates, and the author of numerous books and development workshops for teachers and administrators in the areas of standards-based learning, performance assessment, classroom management, mentoring, and portfolios.

On the Web: 1. (Amazon customer review):

2. “Kay Burke has created a practical resource for busy practitioners. Balanced Assessment: From Formative to Summative provides a comprehensive overview of the critical role that assessments, both formative and summative, play in today’s classrooms. Burke promotes the use of performance-based tasks that make real-life connections, and she explains how to use rubrics to assess the critical skills and understanding that the tasks target. Performance tasks also allow teachers to differentiate instruction and assessment to meet the needs of all learners, including advanced and beginning students and English language learners.”

—Lisa Almeida, senior professional development associate,
The Leadership and Learning Center, Englewood, Colorado