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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in assessment

Posted by on in Assessment

standardized test

Today was our second of four days testing kids.  Keep in mind that this is only the ninth day of the new school year. 

I know that teachers must have an idea of the abilities and skills of their students in order to proceed with appropriate instruction during the year.  But, with the number of times the computers froze and crashed, with the rising levels of student frustration and burn-out, and with the disruption to the regular school day, exactly how reliable are the results of this round of assessment truly going to be? 

This will probably be viewed as heresy by those teachers and administrators groomed in an era proud of the art of “drilling down” through data, but I’m going to be honest:  Most large-scale assessments are not an accurate assessment of the ability of our children. 

One would think that a person who has been in the profession for more than three decades – fifteen of those years as a school administrator – would be joyfully embracing the overabundant piles of data points gleaned from each onslaught of testing.  But, at the risk of sounding like an old codger, I proudly assert that there are much better ways to know what our students are capable of doing. 

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Posted by on in Assessment

standardized test

Don't show Mama Our Nation's Report Card. Not so good. 

Tonight I'm sharing my opinions, not a major statistical treatise, but I will toss some information into the bowl, like Strega Nona, and let's mix it up, and put a little honey on top. 

Tonight I offer heartfelt, plain talk about yesterday's shocking headlines, or not so, really, that our kids have failed. Or at least, didn't show any growth in fourth and eighth grade reading. Goodness. Yet here we are in America, right in the middle of endless standardized testing.

Now this. Drat. Flat scores. The sideways. Up scores, like Florida. Down, like second language learners and special needs labeled students.

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Posted by on in Project Based Learning

makeup

How will my students and I know they are learning what they are supposed to learning? How will I assess this?

These are easily two of the more popular questions that emerge as educators make the shift to project based learning, and some form of a rubric (and its effective use) is usually a big part of the answer.

As I continue to analyze rubrics (or adaptations of rubrics) there are a few specific look-fors that help to immediately indicate whether the tool is spot on, or if some revisions are necessary. Here are five look-fors that suggest your rubric needs a makeover.

Problem #1: Your rubric closely resembles your project’s directions. 

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Posted by on in Assessment

checklist

Do you teach well? 

How do you determine the merit of your teaching? How do you relay this information to others?

It's difficult to be objective with regard to your own work. That's why it's important to create a self assessment process that helps to move you forward with your teaching and learning--a process that works in tandem with outside evaluations and assessments. 

For example, a main objective of my work next year is to teach math well. 

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Posted by on in Assessment

stencil.default 19

What are we doing to our children? You would think a third grader living with cystic fibrosis who is a competitive swimmer would not be distressed about having to take standardized tests. After all, she handles blood draws, throat cultures, medications, and treatments like a pro. She’s never nervous in a swim meet. Yet the prospect of sitting for hours of standardized tests this month makes her very anxious and worried.


Why would she fear taking a test more than the procedures she endures for CF or the competitiveness of a swimming race? Perhaps it’s because her school and teacher have been prepping her for so many hours. Perhaps it’s because there have been pep rallies encouraging the kids to try hard. Perhaps it’s because notes have been coming home about getting enough sleep, eating a good breakfast, and sending energy snacks to school for testing days. Perhaps it’s because the consequence of failing the reading portion in her state is summer school and possibly retention. The message is quite clear: This is a HUGE DEAL.


parcI recently attended a meeting about opting out of taking the PARCC test in Illinois. It was the same meeting I attended last year. The encouraging news was that over 40,000 children opted out of taking PARCC last school year. Obviously, this caught the attention of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) because the board is conducting an inquiry into why so many chose not to participate. Most likely, ISBE thinks the investigation and interviews of administrators, parents, and even students will discourage folks from wanting their children to refuse the test again this year.


This tactic may be working, as there is much less chatter among parents about opting their children out of the PARCC testing coming up this month. Of course, the state conveniently neglected to pass the proposed bill that establishes a process for parents to do so. Once again, the kids have to refuse every time the test is presented.

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