So, here are my top 5:
5) "Levels also used a ‘best fit’ model, which meant that a pupil could have serious gaps in their knowledge and understanding, but still be placed within the level." (p8)
Yet many if not most schools are implementing systems that are placing pupils into best-fit bands, which have little to do with teaching and learning and everything to do with accountability. Yeah, I'm looking at you Emerging, Developing, Secure. It's time to take an honest, objective look at these systems and ask the question: "Is this really assessment without levels?"
4) "The word mastery is increasingly appearing in assessment systems and in discussions about assessment. Unfortunately, it is used in a number of different ways and there is a risk of confusion if it is not clear which meaning is intended." (p11).
Call me old fashioned but I reckon it probably is best to work out what mastery means before we attempt to assess it.
3) "Progress became synonymous with moving on to the next level, but progress can involve developing deeper or wider understanding, not just moving on to work of greater difficulty. Sometimes progress is simply about consolidation." (p7).
Just that: sometimes progress is simply about consolidation. Progress is neither a race nor is it linear, and we need to stop devising systems that treat it as such.
2)" The starting point of any assessment policy should be the school’s principles of assessment." (p20)
It does not start with the tracking system!
1) "More frequent collection of assessment data may not only be a waste of time, but could actually be damaging if actions are taken based on spurious or unreliable interpretations. It could also encourage a rapid-but-superficial approach to learning." (p26).
Yes! We need assessment for learning, not assessment of learning. If we adopt systems of assessment that involve the collection of data every few weeks we'll continue to repeat the mistake of the past whereby a) teachers may be tempted to fabricate data in order to 'prove' progress, and b) pupils may be pushed on before consolidating their knowledge. Ultimately no one wins. Maybe, just maybe, progress measures themselves are at the heart of the problem.
So, that's the key points I've taken from the report. I really recommend you read it, digest it, and look at your own systems through the prism of its guidance. Hopefully by this time next year we'll actually start assessing without levels.