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Everything School Leaders Need to Know About Assessment

With plain language and practical examples, Popham covers key understandings for school leaders, including validity, formative assessment, interpreting test results, instructional sensitivity, and more.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412979795
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2010
  • Page Count: 224
  • Publication date: August 17, 2012

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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"Finally we have a book written on educational assessment that is easy to understand and keeps the reader engaged and focused on the topic. The author provides practical and useful information for both school administrators and classroom teachers."
—Kenneth Arndt, Superintendent
CUSD #300 Schools, Carpentersville, IL

"Popham asks thought-provoking questions and challenges the reader to follow through with staff."
—Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, Canaseraga, NY

Educational assessment in a nutshell for busy school leaders!

W. James Popham, one of the most well-known and respected experts in educational assessment, discusses the key principles new and seasoned school leaders need to know about educational assessment to do their work effectively.

Readers will come away with crucial understandings that allow them to lead assessment of learning, meet accountability requirements, and communicate knowledgeably about accountability and test results with students, parents, the media, and the public. Using plain language, a witty and engaging writing style, and practical examples, Popham covers:

  • Validity, reliability, and assessment bias
  • The importance of formative assessment
  • Assessing students with disabilities and English language learners
  • Interpreting results of large-scale assessments
  • Instructional sensitivity of accountability tests

Everything School Leaders Need to Know About Assessment is a concise, authoritative guide to a topic that all educational leaders must understand in these critical times.

Key features

The main features of this book are:
  • Authorship- Jim Popham is one of the most recognizable and respected authors in the field of assessent. Jim writes books, articles and blogs regularly and speaks/consults with the best of them. 
  • Need- the market has nothing new and practical for school administrators to use to understand and communicate about assessment properly.
  • Style- Jim's writing is clear and often amusing while being very authoritative. If this is possible, Jim can make assessment a good read.
  • Proven Success- Jim has authored a nuimber of best selling books around assessment practice.    


W. James Popham photo

W. James Popham

W. James Popham, professor emeritus at University of California Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, has spent the bulk of his educational career as a teacher. His first teaching assignment, for example, was in a small eastern Oregon high school where he taught English and social studies while serving as yearbook advisor, class sponsor, and unpaid tennis coach. That recompense meshed ideally with the quality of his coaching.

Most of Dr. Popham's teaching career took place at UCLA where, for nearly 30 years, he taught courses in instructional methods for prospective teachers as well as courses in evaluation and measurement for graduate students. At UCLA he won several distinguished teaching awards. In January 2000, he was recognized by UCLA Today as one of UCLA’s top 20 professors of the 20th century. (He notes that the 20th century was a full-length century, unlike the current abbreviated one.) In 1992, he took early retirement from UCLA upon learning that emeritus professors received free parking.

Because at UCLA he was acutely aware of the perishability of professors who failed to publish, he spent his non-teaching hours affixing words to paper. The result: 30 books, 200 journal articles, 50 research reports, and 175 papers presented before research societies. Although not noted in his official vita, while at UCLA he also authored 1,426 grocery lists.

His most recent books are Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know, 6th Ed. (2010) and Assessment for Educational Leaders (2006), Allyn & Bacon; The Truth About Testing (2001), Test Better, Teach Better (2003), Transformative Assessment (2008) and Instruction that Measures Up (2009) ASCD; America’s “Failing” Schools (2005) and Mastering Assessment (2006), Routledge; and Unlearned Lessons (2009) Harvard Education Press. He encourages purchase of these books because he regards their semi-annual royalties as psychologically reassuring.

In 1978, Dr. Popham was elected to the presidency of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He was also the founding editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a quarterly journal published by AERA. A Fellow of the Association, he has attended each year's AERA meeting since his first in 1958. He is inordinately compulsive.

In 1968, Dr. Popham established IOX Assessment Associates, an R&D group that formerly created statewide student achievement tests for a dozen states. He has personally passed all of those tests, largely because of his unlimited access to the tests’ answer keys.

In 2002 the National Council on Measurement in Education presented him with its Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement. In 2006 he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the National Association of Test Directors. In 2009, he was appointed to be a board member of the National Assessment Governing Board. Dr. Popham’s complete 44-page, single-spaced vita can be requested. It is really dull reading.

School Leadership Briefing Interview
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

1. Why Do We Test?

The Role of Assessment

Coping with the Covert

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Unwarranted Perceptions of Precision

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

2. Validity: Assessment's Cornerstone

The Validity of Inferences

Collecting Validity Evidence: Three Coins in the Fountain

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

3. Test Reliability

Three Kinds of Consistency

Assessment Consistency for Individual Students

Reliability and Validity: Strange Bedfellows?

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

4. Assessment Bias

What is Assessment Bias?

Why is Assessment Bias So Reprehensible?

Reducing Assessment Bias

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

5. Instructional Sensitivity

Different Quests for Different Tests

Mistaken Evaluations of Schooling

What is Instructional Sensitivity?

Determining an Accountability Test’s Instructional Sensitivity

What’s a School Leader to Do?

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

6. Test Construction

Purpose as the Measurement Motivator

A Three-Component Game Plan

Item Development

Item Improvement

Test Assembly

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

7. Rubrics: Potentially Potent Evaluative Tools

What Makes Up a Rubric?

Determining a Rubric’s Quality

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

8. Formative Assessment: Underused Magic Bullet

What is Formative Assessment

What Evidence Supports Formative Assessment?

How Does Formative Assessment Function?

Once Over, Very Lightly

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

9. Assessing Students' Affect

Why Mess Around with Affect?

How to Assess Students’ Affect

Building an Affective Inventory

Crucial Understandings

Recommended Reading

10. "Top 20" Crucial Understandings About Educational Assessment

Understanding the Understandings

Spreading the Word

The Top-20 List

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading Roundup




Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.