Classroom Assessment

W. James Popham  
Total pages
November 2013
Related Titles


Were you looking for the book with access to MyEducationLab? This product is the book alone and does NOT come with access to MyEducationLab. Buy the book and access card package to save money on this resource. For students taking assessment courses in educational psychology or tests and measurement departments. Written with energy and wit, this reader-friendly text discusses practical ways in which teachers can develop and use well-written tests to improve their effectiveness in the classroom. With its constant attention to the instructional implications of educational assessment, Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know, 7/e , helps readers become assessment literate -- to understand the fundamental concepts and processes of educational testing that will influence teachers’ hour-to-hour instructional decisions. The text recognizes and highlights the exponential increase in the importance of educational assessment in an era of common core state standards and teacher-evaluations based on students’ test scores. From reviews of the book: “I think that [the writing] is a particular strength of this text. The conversational and humorous tone is highly engaging and will help to hook students, especially those that might be a little hesitant about this topic. . . . The coverage and depth of discussion are . . . strengths. This book also tackles some of the ethical dilemmas associated with assessment. [And] it . . . places the topic of assessment within the current political reality of accountability and helps students develop some appropriate responses to these challenges. . . . I am a huge fan of this book!” –Michael Boyle, Loyola University, Chicago “Popham is a highly respected voice in the field of educational assessment. Over the years he has contributed tremendously to our understanding of the measurement issues that face educators. . . . I have found Popham’s text to be an excellent choice for my introductory course in classroom assessment. Popham includes many “bonus items” that are not available in other texts including his “What Teachers Really Need to Know,” “Parent Talk,” “Pondertime,” and “Self-Check.” “Extended Applications” are also excellent in promoting critical thinking about key issues. The addition of these components, together with Popham’s engaging writing style, helps bring assessment to life for educators.” –Deborah Bennett, Purdue University


Emphasizes the exciting, evolving nature of classroom assessment with a focus on Common Core State Standards, assessment consortia working to develop new assessment practices and guidelines, and teacher-appraisal systems devised by states in an effort to secure relief from sanctions associated with NCLB (see especially Chapters 1, 2, and 15).

Helps readers process, analyze, and retain what they have just learned through its end-of-chapter features, including a chapter summary, a set of self-check exercises, “Pondertime” questions, and additional resources both at the library and on the Internet.

Helps readers to understand the instructional, real-world implications of the chapter’s content and well-designed classroom tests with its “What Do Classroom Teachers Really Need to Know...?” feature located in each chapter.

Provides readers with a description of a fictitious classroom teacher who must make a decision related to one or more of the topics treated in the chapter in its “Decision Time” sections located in every chapter.

Makes learning about classroom assessment fun and engaging for both students and instructors with its reader-friendly, conversational tone filled with wit, energy, and levity.

New to this Edition

The Seventh Edition of Classroom Assessment was written in the midst of what the author terms 'kaleidoscopic confusion about what sorts of assessments are around the corner, and what roles those assessments are going to play in our schools. U.S. educators were grappling with Common Core State Standards, a set of curricular aims that had been adopted by all but a few states; two different consortia of states had set out to create “next generation” assessments to measure students’ mastery of these Common Core State Standard; and Congressional reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was long overdue. The text thus approaches the topic of assessment with an 'attitude of informed uncertainty,' emphasizing the evolving nature of assessment in K-12 schools. As a result, the text draws the reader into the debates as an informed participant in current and future classroom assessment practices.

Significant additions to the Seventh Edition include:

Discussion of the nature of the Common Core State Standards and how students’ mastery of them is apt to be measured (presented at some length in Chapter 2 and in sidebars throughout the other chapters).

  • Descriptions of the test-development efforts by the Technical Advisory Committee for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC; presented at some length in Chapter 2 and in sidebars throughout the other chapters).
  • Discussion of indicators of students’ growth as a fair representation of instructional effectiveness, focused on value-added models and the so-called Colorado Growth Model (presented in sidebars throughout the text).
  • Introduction of new teacher evaluation programs, devised by states in an effort to secure relief from sanctions associated with the No Child Left Behind Act (primarily Chapter 15 and in sidebars throughout the text).
  • Full treatment of the concept of instructional sensitivity , a crucial criterion needed to appraise any test employed for purposes of evaluating schools or teachers (Chapter 15).
  • A substantially reworked discussion of formative assessment, including new ways of thinking about the process and research evaluating its effectiveness (significantly restructured in Chapter 12).
  • Table of Contents

    1 Why Do Teachers Need to Know about Assessment?

    2 Deciding What to Assess and How to Assess It

    3   Reliability of Assessment

    4   Validity

    5   Absence-of-Bias

    6   Selected-Response Tests

    7   Constructed-Response Tests

    8   Performance Assessment

    9   Portfolio Assessment

    10 Affective Assessment

    11 Improving Teacher-Developed Assessments

    12 Formative Assessment

    13 Making Sense Out of Standardized Test Scores

    14 Appropriate and Inappropriate Test-Preparation Practices

    15 The Evaluation of Instruction

    16 Assessment-Based Grading

    Extended Applications