Current assessment practices send terrible messages to students, and nothing teachers say or do can change that fact. Systems behave in a way that communicates their values. To design a functional, equitable, logistically reasonable assessment system, we endeavored to align the messages with our values. The mechanisms of the system--the rules, structures, processes and feedback loops--deliver those messages. It is only through the lived experiences of teachers and students that we know whether the messages got through. This post describes both the messages and the accompanying mechanisms responsible for delivering the values we want to uphold. If you've never before thought about assessment in these ways, welcome to the conversation....The lovely artwork above is by artist Naomi Gatt of Malta.