Reinvigorate your passion for education at our spring workshops — Register today >>

Achieve Institute: Promising Practices in Instruction, Assessment, and Grading

Pasadena, California | July 13–15, 2020
Regular Price $709.00
Early Bird Price $679.00
  • USD$659 $689 per person for teams of 5 or more
  • Early Bird pricing ends June 12, 2020

Bringing Hope to Every Classroom

Is assessment working for or against learning in your classroom, school, or district? For teachers, effective assessment serves as a powerful ally in the teaching and learning process. For students, assessment—done right—provides the understanding, hope, and motivation to build efficacy on the path to achievement. Join an all-star lineup of assessment and grading experts and master practitioners, and get ready to turbocharge learning. Teachers will learn how to spark a growth mindset in students, avoid the most common mistakes in assessment design and analysis, and collaborate in teams to identify specific learning issues for targeted instructional solutions. Leaders will learn how to design structures, protocols, and schedules that empower collaborative teacher teams to develop, score, analyze, and respond to assessment. Making the switch to standards-based grading? Find implementation answers here for classroom practice, reporting progress to parents, and more.

When students, parents, teachers, and leaders partner on best assessment practices, achievement soars. Assessment doesn’t have to leave students and staff feeling demoralized and categorized. Rigor doesn’t have to come at the expense of student engagement. Collaborate with our experts, and unleash the power of assessment of and for learning.

Sessions deliver the following learning outcomes:

Assessment Architecture

  • Design backward to win forward.
  • Differentiate among assessment questions, open questions, and engagement questions.
  • Recognize and write meaningful multiple-choice items at various cognitive levels.
  • Write constructed-response items that give better information about student learning.
  • Create and utilize assessments that stimulate growth of 21st century skills.
  • Apply tools to review and revise assessments to effectively guide instruction, involve students, and communicate learning.
  • Acquire a complete process for creating and using common assessments.

Instructional Agility

  • Discover how to map an assessment plan, write learning targets, and use data.
  • Get strategies to infuse assessment and 21st century skills into any instructional activity.
  • Analyze data/student work to determine next steps and to give effective feedback.
  • Engage students in developing their own goals and tracking their learning while developing ownership, motivation, and a growth mindset.
  • Design and use homework as a formative assessment tool to impact student learning.

Student Investment

  • Understand how and why to develop and scale proficiency-based learning targets.
  • Learn how to engage learners in collaboratively scoring work using quality rubrics or scales.
  • Examine protocols and tools to help students monitor and reflect on progress data.
  • Identify ways to establish a growth mindset and approach to results.

Assessment Leadership

  • Build effective teacher professional development plans around standards-based grading.
  • Create a balanced system of assessment with options for skill-specific interventions and extensions during the school day.
  • Explore different grading methods, report cards, formats, and other reporting tools.
  • Learn the systems, structures, and routines that can redefine accountability and reshape a school’s culture.
  • Explore the essential role reassessment plays within a learning-centered culture.
  • Explore the most productive approach to creating district, school, department, or team reassessment policies.

The Assessment Tenets

C. Erkens, T. Schimmer, & N. Vagle, 2015

Assessment practices must build hope, efficacy, and achievement for learners and teachers. In this learning environment, the following tenets ground all assessment policies and practices:

  1. Student investment occurs when assessment and self-regulation have a symbiotic relationship.
  2. The communication of assessment results must generate productive responses from learners and all the stakeholders who support them.
  3. Assessment architecture is most effective when it is planned, purposeful, and intentionally sequenced in advance of instruction by all of those responsible for the delivery.
  4. Assessment purposes (formative and summative) must be interdependent to maximize learning and verify achievement.
  5. Instructional agility occurs when emerging evidence informs real-time modifications within the context of the expected learning.
  6. The interpretation of assessment results must be accurate, accessible, and reliable.

A learning-rich culture provides opportunities for risk taking, productive failure, and celebrated successes.

Hear from our attendees

Agenda and speakers are subject to change.

Download the detailed agenda and summaries

Monday, July 13th

7:00–8:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:00–9:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation
9:45 a.m.–10:00 a.m.


10:00–11:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

2:30–2:45 p.m.


2:45–3:45 p.m.

Role-Alike Discussions

Tuesday, July 14th

7:00–8:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:00–9:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation
9:45–10:00 a.m.


10:00–11:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:00–2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

2:30–2:45 p.m.


2:45–3:15 p.m. Topic-Alike Discussions

Wednesday, July 15th

7:00–8:00 a.m.


8:00–9:30 a.m.


9:30–9:45 a.m. Break
9:45–11:30 a.m.

Closing Keynote

Events reach capacity quickly. Please confirm your registration before making travel plans.

Parking information: Discounted $15 overnight parking with in/out privileges - $10/day parking - no in/out privileges

All rates are per day and subject to change.

In order to receive the discounted hotel room rate, please mention Solution Tree. After the deadline listed below, rates will be determined by the hotel.

Primary Hotel

Hilton Pasadena

168 S Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101

Discounted Rate: $189 per night (Single & Double)
Deadline: June 11, 2020 or until group rate is sold out

“Solution Tree always has events that are very professionally done. The two conferences I have attended have caused me to look at PLCs, assessments, and grading in a new light.”

Susan Hilliard, reading coach, Sierra Vista Unified School District, Arizona

“I enjoyed the whole event. The speakers were great and very knowledgeable.”

Tonya Hagemeyer, teacher, Glendale Elementary School, Arizona

“I was impressed by the knowledge and expertise of ALL the presenters. Solution Tree delivers what they say they will deliver.”

Nicholl Johnson, implementation specialist, Washoe County School District, Nevada


Pasadena Convention Center

300 E. Green Street

Pasadena, California

Participation Information

You will receive a certificate of participation 6 weeks after the event concludes. Please check with your department of education for CEU availability.

Additional Information

Product code: CFF627

Included with your registration

Essential Assessment

Essential Assessment

Explore six essential tenets of assessment that will help deepen your understanding of assessment to meet standards and enhance your students’ academic success.