California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Recommendation Two

Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention

"One paramount characteristic of great teaching is the facilitation of activities during which learning happens. Great teaching is a series of purposeful acts, professional judgments, and designed decisions based on experience and theory about how learning happens best. Although learning may occur with or without great teaching, learning is enriched, enhanced, and empowered by the actions of a teacher whose clarity of purpose and artful execution of experiences orchestrate moments of insight and feelings of success. Rather than being left to chance, moments that maximize learning are the direct result of a conscientious, knowledgeable, reflective teacher."1

Recommendation 2 — Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention
Engage middle grades students with challenging lessons and opportunities to think critically and demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Differentiate strategies to deliver standards-based, grade-level instruction that reflects individual student needs and results from ongoing common assessments. Use data on individual students’ progress to deliver appropriate, accelerated classroom and schoolwide academic interventions and enrichment opportunities.

Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention is one of the Recommendations in the Focus Area on Academic Excellence.

Instruction, assessment, and intervention each have strong ties to academic excellence. Although many people associate assessment with accountability (Refer to Recommendation Eleven—"Accountability"), assessment is, in fact, critical to instruction and intervention.

The three sections of this Recommendation mirror the three questions Dr. Rick DuFour encourages professional learning communities to use to improve student achievement.

  • The first—what do we want students to know?—forms the basis of the section on instruction.
  • The second—how will we know when they learn it?—guides the section on assessment.
  • The third—how do we respond when students experience difficulty?—is the focus of the discussion in the section on interventions.2


Instruction | Assessment | Intervention

Instruction - How to Teach What all Students Must Learn

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Assessment - How to Know When Each Student has Acquired the Knowledge and Skills

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Intervention - How to Respond When Students Experience Difficulty

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Recommendations for Success Index

1Mark Reardon and Seth Derner, "Strategies for Great Teaching: Maximize Learning Moments" Prufrock Press Inc., (2009), 10
2Richard DuFour, "What Is a Professional Learning Community?" (PDF; Outside Source) Educational Leadership, Vol. 61, No. 8 (May 2004) 6-11.

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