ASSESS TO PROGRESS

I think this is an excellent quote about assessing by Heward who is quoting Kauffman about the necessity to use data to make instructional decisions:

The teacher who cannot or will not pinpoint and measure the relevant behaviors of the students he or she is teaching is probably not going to be very effective. . . . Not to define precisely and to measure these behavioral excesses and deficiencies, then, is a fundamental error; it is akin to the malpractice of a nurse who decides not to measure vital signs (heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, and blood pressure), perhaps arguing that he or she is too busy, that subjective estimates of vital signs are quite adequate, that vital signs are only superficial estimates of the patient’s health, or that vital signs do not signify the nature of the underlying pathology. The teaching profession is dedicated to the task of changing behavior—changing behavior demonstrably for the better. What can one say, then, of educational practice that does not include precise definition and reliable measurement of the behavioral change induced by the teacher’s methodology? It is indefensible. (p. 514)”Heward, W. (2003).
— THE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION VOL. 36/NO. 4/2003/PP. 186–205