The Assessment Review Tool (ART) is intended for use in analyzing summative K–12 classroom assessments to determine their quality and efficacy, their suitability for use as student growth measures, and their alignment with the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). With very minor modification the tool could be used to evaluate alignment to the Common Core State Standards or other sets of college and career ready standards. The ART considers four critical areas:
- Alignment to Standards (involving both content and Depth of Knowledge);
- Scoring (e.g., objectivity and reliability);
- Fairness and Lack of Bias (i.e., access for diverse learners); and
- Opportunities to Learn (which involves real-world connections and clarity about intended learning).
The Assessment Review Tool (ART) is more appropriate for districts or states (rather than individual teachers) who are interested in evaluating summative assessments for alignment to standards. The time investment required to use the ART is substantial, and many of the review dimensions (i.e., the four tabs at the bottom of the tool) involve complex ideas and careful scrutiny. Technologically speaking, the tool—essentially a large, unwieldy Excel spreadsheet—is underwhelming, but the notes and suggestions that pop up to help reviewers fill in various fields are helpful. Users of the tool should be aware of two supplementary resources. First, the Colorado Department of Education has curated a resource bank containing several hundred assessments that have already been reviewed using the ART. For each assessment, a PDF of the completed ART can be downloaded, and a summary report is provided as well. Second, the 29-minute instructional video that accompanies the tool is worth watching for first-time reviewers.