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"Rather than sorting students into winners and losers, assessment for learning can put all students on a winning streak" (Rick Stiggins)

Historically, a major role of assessment has been to detect and highlight differences in student learning in order to rank students according to their achievement. Such assessment experiences have produced winners and losers. Some students succeed early and build on winning streaks to learn more as they grow; others fail early and often, falling farther and farther behind.  As we all know, the mission of schools has changed. Today's schools are less focused on merely sorting students and more focused on helping all students succeed in meeting the prescribed learning outcomes. This evolution in the mission of schools means that we can't let students who have not yet met the learning outcomes fall into losing streaks, succumb to hopelessness, and stop trying. Our evolving mission compels us to embrace a new vision of assessment that can tap the wellspring of confidence, motivation, and learning potential that resides within every student.