In Tacoma Public Schools, we believe that assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Having a comprehensive assessment system allows us to gather evidence from large scale national and state assessments that measure the effectiveness of our core instruction and curriculum to small scale formative classroom assessments that inform what happens on a day-to-day basis. Assessments are used to monitor student progress, gauge growth towards our grade level standards, evaluate instructional programs and provide valuable information in identifying student strengths and challenges to impact instructional decisions.

The word assessment comes from the Latin root "assidere" which means to sit beside. Assessing students is much more than giving a test in order to produce a grade, it's part of the art of teaching and learning. Assessment plays a major role in deciding what to teach and when to teach it as students' progress towards meeting the high expectations outlined in the Washington State Learning Standards.

Our Purpose:

The essential purpose of assessment is the improvement of student learning by implementing a coherent, aligned, and student-centered assessment system that provides accurate and timely data, training, and analysis to support student learning.

Assessment will...

  • Provide a comprehensive picture of student achievement.
  • Measure student growth over time.
  • Be valid and reliable.
  • Allow TPS staff to responsibly and efficiently collect, analyze, and monitor data.