The connection between one's teaching and what the students are learning is a vital one. In this day and age of benchmark testing, high-stakes testing, NCLB, and accountability many pundits have begun to look at and talk about the important link between what is taught and what is tested. Some, like Marzano and Associates and Heidi Hayes Jacobs, refer to this as a "viable curriculum." This link between what is taught and what is tested, if properly understood, can lead to an increase in instructional effectiveness as well as an increase in student achievement. Assessments of all shapes and sizes are meant to be measures of what students currently know (diagnostic assessments), a student's current level of understanding (formative assessments) and what sudents have learned as a direct result of classroom instruction (summative assessments).

However, as a result of accountability initiatives, some people fear that teachers then begin "teaching to the test." There is much debate out there on whether this is good or bad practice. Just look at these two articles from the Washington Post:

"Let's Teach to the Test"

"Backlash to 'Let's Teach to the Test'"

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There certainly is lots of talk about this subject. If you don't believe me, just google the phrase and you'll be amazed by how many hits you get. But, enough about the controversy. Below are some links and resources to help you create some holistic assessments using rubrics.

Assessment and Rubric Information by Kathy Schrock
Rubrics and Assessment
Creating Rubrics
Rubrics for Assessment
Authentic Assessment Toolbox
Rubistar
Standards-based Rubrics courtesy of the Greece Central School District in Greece, NY (an awesome site, btw)