Assessment

Common assessment is key to improving student learning.

Improving Student Learning: Together, We Can!

Categories: Assessment, PLC, School Improvement

Teaching can be exhausting. You work hard to create meaningful lessons, assessments, and interventions. You manage students in class with varying learning needs, behavior needs, and experiences. You grade papers and answer emails and phone calls. You participate in parent-student conferences, IEP meetings, and serve on committees or leadership teams. You manage duties on campus and fill out report cards. And all with little fanfare for the effort.

And, on top of everything, the hard work can be made more frustrating when high-stakes assessments show consistently poor student performance or little student growth. What is a teacher or school to do? Read more

A Tool for PLCs

Can technology make the assessment process more effective and more efficient?

Categories: Assessment, Technology

More than 15 years ago, I was a middle school principal trying to help my staff implement the four critical questions of a PLC. We purchased a technology tool that was intended to make the common formative assessment process easier for teachers. As principals sometimes do, I thought it was a great idea! Unfortunately, as we got more sophisticated with our own assessment work, the tool shortly lost its glamour because it couldn’t do many of the things we wanted it to. So, I’ve been really excited to see how far we’ve come in those 15 years. Read more

Preparing high-school graduates for college or careers

Increasing College Readiness and Career Readiness before Graduation

Categories: Assessment, Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy, Mathematics

Most states have improved graduation rates over time, but as one superintendent told this author, “We know how to increase graduation rates; we just don’t know how to educate them before they graduate!” So, what can educators do to increase the number of graduates who are actually ready for college or careers? Read more

Literacy predicts student success more than good grades

Literacy Development in Primary Grades Is More Important than an A+

Categories: Assessment, Instruction, Literacy, RTI

Today, literacy skills can be linked directly to employment and earnings, which are ultimately linked to poverty, incarceration, and massive expenditures for welfare supports. Over the past half century, the world has been losing jobs designed for an economy needing low- or semiskilled workers. Our economy now demands a  more highly educated workforce. Read more

Soft edges in assessment can nurture student growth.

Soft Edges and Why We Need Them

Categories: Assessment

When you think about it, our education systems are incredible things. Consider it: we place groups of our most important citizens (children and youth) in rooms for hours at a time with adults who truly want to support them and who are charged with developing their potential; showing them not only who they can be, but ensuring they believe in themselves and their ability to get there successfully. Read more