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The Future of Assessment: Implications for Practice

webinar20130508

Webinar:


Panelists
Shael Polakow-Suransky, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor,
New York City Department of Education
Sharon Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer,
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

The Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education—a panel of distinguished experts in testing, education practice, and policy chaired by the eminent psychologist Edmund W. Gordon—issued a report in March that calls for transforming assessment to better support teaching and learning by measuring a broader set of knowledge and skills and by identifying how students think, not just documenting what they know and can do. These changes would have profound effects on teachers and schools in the coming decades.

In this webinar—the first of two that will examine the Gordon Commission’s findings and their implications—panelists explored what these findings suggest for classroom and school practice. Commission member Shael Polakow-Suransky discussed the implications for schools and school districts; Sharon Robinson discussed the implications for teachers and teacher education; and Bob Wise, also a commission member, moderated the discussion.

Support for this webinar is provided in part by
the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit www.all4ed.com.

.MY NAME IS BOB WISE, AND I’M
PRESIDENT OF THE ALLIANCE FOR
EXCELLENT EDUCATION, A NONPROFIT
POLICY AND ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION
IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
I’LL BE YOUR HOST TODAY.
WE’RE VERY GLAD THAT YOU’VE
JOINED US FOR THIS NEXT HOUR AS
WE EXAMINE A VERY IMPORTANT
TOPIC THAT AFFECTS ALL SCHOOLS
AND ALL STUDENTS.
THE FUTURE OF ASSESSMENTS.
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN THIS
CONVERSATION ON TWITTER USING
THE #ALLFORED.
LET ME GIVE YOU A LITTLE
BACKGROUND.
IN MARCH, THE GORDON COMMISSION
ON THE FUTURE OF ASSESSMENT IN
EDUCATION, A PANEL OF
DISTINGUISHED EXPERTS IN
ASSESSMENT, EDUCATION PRACTICE,
AND POLICY CHAIRED BY THE
EMINENT PSYCHOLOGIST EDMUND W.
GORDON, ISSUED A REPORT THAT
LAID OUT A COMPELLING VISION.
I WAS PROUD TO SERVE AS A MEMBER
OF THE COMMISSION.
THE COMMISSION CALLED FOR TWO
MAJOR TRANSFORMATIONS.
FIRST, THE COMMISSION CALLED FOR
A GREATER EMPHASIS ON
ASSESSMENTS TO SUPPORT TEACHING
AND LEARNING.
FOR MUCH OF OUR NATION’S
HISTORY, ESPECIALLY RECENTLY,
ASSESSMENTS HAVE BEEN USED TO
HOLD SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLE FOR
RESULTS.
ACCOUNTABILITY REMAINS
IMPORTANT, BUT AS MUCH EMPHASIS
SHOULD BE GIVEN TO ASSESSMENTS
FOR LEARNING AS IS NOW GIVEN TO
ASSESSMENTS OF LEARNING.
SECOND, THE COMMISSION ALSO
CALLED FOR ASSESSMENTS THAT
MEASURE ALL THE ABILITIES
STUDENTS NEED TO DEVELOP.
IN PARTICULAR, THEY NEED TO
MEASURE STUDENTS’ ABILITIES TO
THINK CRITICALLY, TO
COMMUNICATE, TO COLLABORATE WITH
OTHERS.
THE DEEPER LEARNING COMPETENCIES
THAT ARE INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT
IN THE WORKPLACE AND OUR MODERN
ECONOMY.
BOTH OF THESE TRANSFORMATIONS
WILL REQUIRE NEW FORMS OF
ASSESSMENT AS WELL AS NEW ROLES
FOR TEACHERS IN ASSESSING
STUDENTS AND ANALYZING THE
RESULTS.
IN THIS WEBINAR, THE FIRST OF
TWO THE ALLIANCE WILL BE HOLDING
TO EXAMINE GORDON COMMISSION’S
WORK, WE LOOK SPECIFICALLY AT
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE.
WHAT DO TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW
AND BE ABLE TO DO TO MAKE THESE
TRANSFORMATIONS EFFECTIVE IN
STUDENT LEARNING, AND HOW CAN
SCHOOL SYSTEMS SUPPORT TEACHERS
IN USING NEW FORMS OF ASSESSMENT
EFFECTIVELY?
WE’RE VERY FORTUNATE TODAY TO
HAVE WITH US TWO EDUCATION
LEADERS TO ADDRESS THESE AND TWO
OTHER QUESTIONS THAT EMERGE FROM
THE GORDON COMMISSION’S REPORT.
HERE IN THE STUDIO WITH ME IS
SHARON ROBINSON, PRESIDENT AND
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES
FOR TEACHER EDUCATION, OR AACTE.
THE ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS
THE INSTITUTION THAT PREPARE THE
VAST MAJORITY OF TEACHERS IN
THIS COUNTRY.
SHARON IS ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED
EDUCATION RESEARCHERS WHO WORKED
AT THE EDUCATIONAL TESTING
SERVICE AND SERVED AS ASSISTANT
U.N. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION FOR
RESEARCH AND IMPROVEMENT.
JOINING US BY TELEPHONE IS
ANOTHER FELLOW COMMISSION
MEMBER, SHARON POLAKOW-SURANSKY,
THE CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER AND
DEPUTY CHANCELLOR OF THE NEW
YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION.
SHAEL HAS BEEN A MATHEMATICS
TEACHER AND WAS THE FOUNDING
PRINCIPAL OF A HIGHLY REGARDED
HIGH SCHOOL FOR NEW IMMIGRANTS
BEFORE JOINING THE DISTRICT
OFFICE.
SHAEL BRINGS ALL THIS TOGETHER
AT EVERY LEVEL OF PRACTICE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR
PARTICIPATION DURING THIS
WEBCAST, ESPECIALLY VIA A BOX ON
THE WEBCAST PAGE WHERE YOU CAN
ASK QUESTIONS.
WE WILL GO TO THOSE QUESTIONS
FROM TIME TO TIME TO ANSWER
WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND, BUT PLEASE
KNOW WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE
TO GET TO EVERY QUESTION.
IN FACT, WE’VE RECEIVED DOZENS
OF QUESTIONS ALREADY BEFORE THIS
WEB CAST EVEN STARTED AS PEOPLE
REGISTERED.
BUT PLEASE STILL SEND US YOUR
QUESTIONS.
WITH THESE PRELIMINARIES OUT OF
THE WAY, LET’S BEGIN THE
CONVERSATION.
AND THIS TIME WE’RE GOING TO GO
JUST RIGHT INTO QUESTIONS.
AS I SAY, A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS
HAVE ALREADY COME, AND WE
ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUBMIT OTHERS.
SHARON, LET ME START WITH YOU.
THE GORDON COMMISSION PROPOSED A
GREATER EMPHASIS ON ASSESSMENTS
FOR LEARNING, WHICH WILL LIKELY
INVOLVE EMBEDDING ASSESSMENTS IN
INSTRUCTION RATHER THAN JUST
RELYING ON EXTERNALLY
ADMINISTERED TESTS.
WHAT DO TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW IN
ORDER TO USE ASSESSMENTS FOR
LEARNING EFFECTIVELY?
>> WELL, THIS IS A VERY
IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION, AND I
CERTAINLY WANT TO TAKE JUST A
MOMENT TO COMMEND THE
COMMISSION, TO COMMEND
EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE, AND
TO RECOGNIZE THAT VERY GENEROUS
GIANT OF A SCHOLAR, ED GORDON,
AS HE LENT HIS LEADERSHIP AND
NAME TO THIS REALLY IMPORTANT
REPORT.
AND IT IS — IT REALLY IS THE
MANIFESTATION OF A PHILOSOPHY
I’VE HEARD ESPOUSE VERY OFTEN,
AND THAT IS, ASSESSMENTS SHOULD
SERVE LEARNING.
THEY SHOULD BE INTEGRAL TO THE
LEARNING PROCESS.
SO THE FIRST THING TEACHERS NEED
TO KNOW IS THAT THAT IS WHAT
ASSESSMENTS ARE FOR.
WE’RE SO ACCUSTOMED TO USING
ASSESSMENTS AS PART OF SOME
CREDENTIALING PROCESS OR AS A
PART OF THE SUMMATIVE PROCESS.
YOU RECORD THE GRADES IN YOUR
GRADE BOOK, AND YOU GO TO THE
NEXT UNIT.
THAT IS NOT THE PROPER USE OF
ASSESSMENTS.
THAT IS — THAT IS ALL WE’RE
USING ASSESSMENTS TO DO.
SO TEACHERS HAVE TO RECOGNIZE
THAT THEY NOW HAVE PERMISSION,
THEY ARE EVEN BEING URGED TO USE
ASSESSMENTS AS A MORE INTEGRAL
PART OF THE LEARNING PROCESS,
AND THAT MEANS HELPING STUDENTS
BE AWARE.
NOW, WE’RE GOING TO BE TESTING
YOUR UNDERSTANDING AS WE GO
ALONG BECAUSE, YOU KNOW WHAT,
YOU DIDN’T GET BORN KNOWING
THIS.
WE ARE GOING THROUGH A PROCESS
OF CONFRONTING NEW CONCEPTS, NEW
MATERIAL, AND FROM TIME TO TIME,
WE’RE GOING TO SEE HOW WE’RE
DOING.
SO YOU WILL KNOW HOW TO DIRECT
YOUR FURS ENERGIES, AND I WILL
KNOW HOW TO SUPPORT YOU AS A
TEACHER.
SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO
EMBRACE THIS REALLY LEGITIMATE,
FORMATIVE, DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECT
OF LEARNING AS A DYNAMIC THAT
GOES MULTIPLE WAYS RATHER THAN A
STRAIGHTFORWARD, LINEAR PROCESS.
YOU PRESENT THE MATERIAL, YOU
ASK THEM SOME QUESTIONS, AND
TEST OUT WHERE YOU ARE, AND THEN
YOU GIVE THEM THE END OF UNIT OR
END OF CHAPTER OR END OF THE
WEEK EXAM.
THERE’S A ROLE FOR THOSE EXAMS,
BUT IF THAT’S ALL YOU’RE DOING,
YOU’RE NOT GETTING ALL THE POWER
OF TESTING, AND YOU’RE NOT DOING
NEARLY ENOUGH TO GIVE ALL THE
STUDENTS FEEDBACK REGARDING HOW
THEY’RE LEARNING.
>> SO, SHARON, SHAEL TALKS ABOUT
THE POWER OF TESTING.
SO IN TERMS OF THE — YOU BEING
A MANAGER OR MAJOR MANAGER AND
LEADER OF THE LARGEST SCHOOL
DISTRICT IN THE COUNTRY WITH THE
MOST SCHOOL TEACHERS AND LEADERS
IN THE COUNTRY, WHAT DO TEACHERS
NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO USE
ASSESSMENTS FOR LEARNING
EFFECTIVELY?
>> SO ONE OF THE MOST
INTERESTING INSIGHTS THAT THE
COMMISSION HAS MADE IS THAT
THERE’S A REAL DISTINCTION FOR
WHY WE USE ASSESSMENTS.
SO THERE ARE ASSESSMENTS THAT WE
USE IN ORDER TO MAKE DECISIONS
AS MANAGERS, WHETHER IT’S A
SUPERINTENDENT OR A PRINCIPAL,
AND THEN THERE ARE ALSO
ASSESSMENTS THAT WE USE TO
INFORM THE STRUCTURAL PROCESS IN
THE CLASSROOM.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS
TODAY IN MOST SCHOOLS, BOTH
TYPES OF ASSESSMENT ARE IN PLAY.
WE TYPICALLY REFER TO THE SORT
OF ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE USED FOR
MANAGEMENT DECISIONS AS
STANDARDIZED OR ACCOUNTABILITY
OR ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING, AND
THE OTHER IS TYPICALLY REFERRED
TO AS MORE FORMATIVE OR
ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING.
AND GOOD TEACHING PRACTICE
INTEGRATES ASSESSMENT FOR
LEARNING IN A VERY ORGANIC WAY.
SO TEACHERS ARE CHECKING IN WITH
KIDS, OBSERVING KIDS, DOING
SHORT SORT OF REGULAR CYCLES
WITH ASSESSMENT FOR KIDS, AND
ALL OF THOSE TYPES OF
INFORMATION FORM A FEEDBACK LOOP
THAT THEN ACTUALLY INFORM THE
TEACHERS’ DECISIONS ABOUT THE
NEXT INSTRUCTIONAL STEP.
WHERE TEACHERS ARE REALLY GOOD
AT THIS, THE KIDS ARE INVOLVED
IN THAT PROCESS IN A CONSCIOUS
WAY.
THERE’S A METACOGNITIVE
CONVERSATION IN THE CLASSROOM
ABOUT WHAT ARE THE GOALS IN THE
CLASSROOM FOR WHAT WE NEED TO
LEARN, AND KIDS ARE ABLE TO SELF
ASSESS AND BECOME PART OF THE
ASSESSMENT PROCESS AND USE SOME
OF THOSE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
TOOLS AS PART OF THEIR WORK.
SO NEITHER OF THESE TWO THINGS
ARE ESPECIALLY NEW.
I THINK WHAT THE COMMISSION IS
ASKING US TO CONSIDER IS, AS WE
LOOK AHEAD, ARE THERE WAYS TO
INVEST RESOURCES AND TRAINING IN
STRENGTHENING THAT FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENT SIDE AND ACTUALLY
CREATING REAL ASSESSMENT
LITERACY ON THE PART OF
EDUCATORS AND EASY TO USE TOOLS
THAT CAN HELP TEACHERS MAKE GOOD
DECISIONS AND HELP KIDS
ULTIMATELY MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
ABOUT THEIR WORK.
>> THOSE TOOLS ARE VERY, VERY
IMPORTANT.
I MEAN, THIS IS WHERE TECHNOLOGY
HAS GIVEN US SUCH AN ADVANTAGE
WITH PLATFORMS WITH A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT ELECTRONIC PLATFORMS
THAT CAN BE USED TO HELP
TEACHERS KEEP PACE WITH THE
FEEDBACK PROCESS THAT THEY WANT
TO HAVE FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL
STUDENT, AS A MATTER OF FACT,
AND I BELIEVE ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT THINGS THAT SCHOOL
DISTRICTS AND SCHOOLS AND GROUPS
OF TEACHERS MUST DO IS HELP EACH
OTHER BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT
EVIDENCE THEY WANT TO SEE WITH
RESPECT TO PROCESS, WHAT
EVIDENCE YOU WANT THE STUDENT TO
CONFRONT AND CONSIDER AS THEY
BECOME THE OWNER OF THEIR
LEARNING PROCESS.
SO WITH THESE THINGS, WITH THE
TECHNOLOGY TOOLS AND REALLY
IMPORTANT PROFESSIONAL
DISCUSSION REGARDING EVIDENCE, I
THINK TEACHERS ARE PRETTY READY
TO TAKE THIS ON.
WE’RE NOW APPROACHING A
GENERATION OF TEACHERS WHO ARE
CLOSER TO BEING DIGITAL THAN
EVER BEFORE.
SO WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT
WILL BE SO NOVEL A SITUATION AS
IT ONCE WAS.
>> I HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING
ABOUT A NEW GENERATION THAT ARE
DIGITAL NATIVES THAT GREW UP
WIRED, BUT STILL THAT DOESN’T
NECESSARILY MEAN THEY CAN TEACH
THE TECHNOLOGY.
SO THAT’S ANOTHER ASPECT OF
PREPARATION.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
AND THAT MEANS THAT THIS IS
WHERE WE PRESENT A STANDARD OF
PRACTICE TO THE TEACHING
INDUSTRY THAT IS REALLY A
DETERMINED VISION OF THIS IS
WHERE WE’RE GOING.
SEND US PRACTITIONERS WHO ARE
READY TO TEACH IN THIS WAY, OR
YOUR PRACTITIONERS WILL NOT BE
EQUAL TO THE TASK AT HAND.
AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH
TECHNOLOGY IS NOW A PART OF THE
PREPARATION PROGRAM AS A TOOL
FOR SUPPORTING THE LEARNING OF
THE CANDIDATES, THESE CANDIDATES
ARE GOING TO BE BETTER ABLE TO
USE TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL IN
THEIR TEACHING, AND THEY SHOULD
ALSO EXPERIENCE ASSESSMENT IN
SUPPORT OF THEIR LEARNING AS A
FORMATIVE WAY AS WELL AS IN THE
CREDENTIALING PROCESS BECAUSE
THAT IS — THAT’S ANOTHER
REALITY THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT
TO CONFIRM THAT EXTERNAL
CONFIRMATION THAT YOU KNOW WHAT
YOU NEED TO KNOW.
SO WE’RE URGING THE PROGRAM TO
EMBRACE THE FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENT, THE TECHNOLOGY
TOOLS, THE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
ALL AS AN ASPECT OF MODERN
PREPARATION PROGRAMS.
THERE IS NO TURNING BACK.
>> SHAEL, WHAT DID THE SHIFT
THAT THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDED
MEAN FOR THE TYPES OF DATA THE
DISTRICTS COLLECT AND MAKE
AVAILABLE TO TEACHERS?
>> I THINK THAT WHAT WE’VE SEEN
OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS IN NEW
YORK CITY AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY
IS THAT THERE’S A REAL EFFORT TO
GET DATA INTO THE HANDS OF
SCHOOL TEACHERS SO THEY CAN USE
IT AND PLAN AND DESIGN THEIR
LESSONS.
SO IT’S NOT UNCOMMON THESE DAYS
FOR TEACHERS TO BE SITTING IN
TEAMS IN NEW YORK CITY AND
LOOKING AT SAMPLES OF STUDENT
WORK, WHICH ARE GENERATED FROM
SORT OF PROJECTS AND ASSIGNMENTS
THAT ARE GIVEN DURING THE CLASS,
WHICH IS ONE FORM OF ASSESSMENT,
OR FROM BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS
WHERE KIDS HAVE ACTUALLY DONE
MORE STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS
THAT YIELD INFORMATION ABOUT
THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES,
AND WHAT TEACHERS DO WITH THAT
IN TEAMS IS THEY ACTUALLY TALK
ABOUT, OKAY, WHAT ARE THE
PATTERNS WE’RE SEEING ACROSS
GROUPS OF KIDS?
WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS
WE’RE WORKING AND NOT WORKING,
AND HOW DO WE TARGET AND IMPROVE
THE CURRICULUM AND THE DELIVERY
OF THE CURRICULUM IN A WAY
THAT’S GOING TO GET KIDS TO
MASTER THE SKILLS THAT THEY’RE
MISSING?
I THINK, AS WE HAVE TRIED TO
EMPOWER TEACHERS IN THIS WAY,
WE’VE USED SOME CRITICAL THINGS.
NUMBER ONE, THE KINDS OF TOOLS
WE USE FOR FORMULA ASSESSMENT
NEED TO BE GRANULAR ENOUGH SO
THAT THEY CAN PICK UP THE SUBTLE
DIFFERENCES THAT ARE IMPORTANT
FROM A TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE IN
TERMS OF GUIDING STUDENT
LEARNING.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVE A
STUDENT IN THE SIXTH GRADE WHO’S
STRUGGLING WITH READING, WHICH
IS NOT AN UNCOMMON THING,
UNFORTUNATELY, AND YOU DON’T
KNOW WHY THEY’RE STRUGGLING, AND
TEACHERS AT THE SIXTH GRADE
LEVEL HAVEN’T NECESSARILY BEEN
TRAINED AS READING TEACHERS AND
SO AREN’T AS USED TO ASSESSING
THOSE TYPES OF SKILLS, YOU NEED
A TOOL IN THAT TEACHER’S HANDS
THAT CAN DIFFERENTIATE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STUDENT
THAT IS STRUGGLING WITH FONICES
AND UNABLE TO DECODE VERSUS A
KID THAT’S FINE WITH DECODING,
BUT WHEN THEY ENCOUNTER ACADEMIC
VOCABULARY, THEY’RE GOING TO GET
STUCK, AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO
BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND IT.
SO THE PARTICULAR TEACHING
STRATEGY IS GOING TO BE DEFINED
BY WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT
CHILD’S STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.
AND HAVING EASY TO USE
ASSESSMENT TOOLS THAT CAN GET
THAT INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS SO
THAT THEY CAN DESIGN
INTERVENTIONS AND CURRICULA THAT
ARE RESPONSIVE TO KIDS’ NEEDS,
THAT’S THE KIND OF WORK THAT
FOLKS ARE ENGAGED IN, AND I
THINK IT’S STILL PRETTY ROUGH,
AND THERE’S — THERE’S NOT —
THE TOOLS AREN’T STRONG ENOUGH
YET, AND THERE NEEDS TO BE
GREATER INVESTMENT IN PRODUCING
STUFF THAT FOLKS CAN USE FOR
THIS WORK.
>> SO ARE THERE OTHER WAYS AS
WELL THAT DISTRICTS CAN SUPPORT
TEACHERS USING ASSESSMENTS
EFFECTIVELY?
>> I THINK THE OTHER THING THAT
WE FOUND TO BE REALLY POWERFUL
IS USING MORE EQUALTATIVE
ASSESSMENTS.
SO I THINK THERE’S A RISK HERE
THAT WE TURN DATA INTO A FETISH
AND SORT OF PROMOTE IT AS
SOMETHING THAT’S GOOD IN AND OF
ITSELF WHEN THERE’S A LONG
HISTORY IN OUR SCHOOLS AND
ACROSS THE WORLD REALLY OF
TEACHERS SITTING DOWN AND
LOOKING AT STUDENT WORK AND
TALKING ABOUT THE KIDS’ STRENGTH
AND WEAKNESSES WITH REFERENCE TO
A RUBRIC OR A SET OF STANDARDS.
AND THAT KIND OF DEEP REFLECTION
THAT TEACHERS DO WHEN THEY SIT
IN TEAMS AND LOOK AT STUDENT
WORK AND THEY TALK ABOUT WHAT
NEEDS TO CHANGE IN THEIR
PRACTICE DOESN’T REQUIRE A BIG
COMPUTER SYSTEM.
IT DOESN’T REQUIRE A BIG DATA
INVESTMENT, BUT IT DOES REQUIRE
TRAINED FACILITATORS WHO CAN SIT
WITH THAT TEAM, IDEALLY AS A
TEACHER FROM THE TEAM ITSELF
THAT’S BEEN TRAINED IN THIS WAY,
TO STRUCTURE A PROTOCOL WHERE
THERE’S A REAL CONVERSATION THAT
GUIDES THE TEAM THROUGH AN
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT YOU CAN
LEARN FROM THAT STUDENT’S WORK.
>> PART OF WHAT THESE GROUPS
PRODUCE AS THEY REFLECT ON
STUDENT WORK IS AN UNDERSTANDING
OF THEIR OWN PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT NEEDS, WHICH IS
ANOTHER IMPORTANT WAY TO USE
STUDENT WORK, ASSESSMENTS TO
HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE SKILLS,
STRENGTH, AND KNOWLEDGE STRENGTH
YOU MAY HAVE WITHIN YOUR
PARTICULAR SCHOOL, WITHIN YOUR
PARTICULAR TEAM BECAUSE WE’RE
FAST APPROACHING THE TIME WHERE
THE RANGE OF EXPERTISE REQUIRED
TO OFFER REALLY STRONG
INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES TO ALL
STUDENTS IS NOT GOING — ALL OF
THAT EXPERTISE IS NOT GOING TO
RESIDE IN EACH AND EVERY PERSON.
SO THE TIMES FOR TEAM REFLECTION
ON STUDENT WORK, AND THEN THE
ACTUAL ABILITY TO ACT ON IT IN
SUPPORT OF ONE ANOTHER’S FURTHER
LEARNING AND FURTHER
INTERVENTION TO SUPPORT STUDENT
ACHIEVEMENT, THOSE TWO FUNCTIONS
ARE BOTH EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO
THE STUDENT AND REALLY WILL
PRODUCE A STRONGER TEAM EFFORT
GOING FORWARD.
>> SO, SHARON, THE TEAM ALSO
CALLED FOR ASSESSMENTS MEASURING
STUDENTS’ MENTAL PROCESSES AS
WELL AS DEMONSTRATE WHAT THEY’VE
ACCOMPLISHED.
THAT REQUIRES, I BELIEVE, A
SHIFT FOR TEACHING AND TEACHING
EDUCATION, DOESN’T IT?
>> WELL, IT DOES.
MORE FOCUS ON SKILL DEVELOPMENT.
MORE FOCUS ON THAT RANGE OF
CAPACITIES THAT WE KNOW TO BE
IMPORTANT IN THE LEARNING
PROCESS AND THE PROCESS OF
LIVING AND BEING A REALLY
COMPETENT, ENGAGED PERSON IN
SOCIETY.
ALL OF THESE ASPECTS HAVE
ATTRIBUTES OF BEING A HUMAN
BEING ARE IMPORTANT, AND THE
SCHOOLS CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR
DEVELOPMENT, OR WE IGNORE THEM.
SO I THINK TEACHERS ARE NOW
HAVING TO CONSIDER, AND TEACHER
EDUCATION IS HAVING TO CONSIDER
WHAT IF WE REALLY WERE TRYING TO
TEACH THE WHOLE CHILD?
WHAT IF WE REALLY WERE TRYING TO
BUILD COMMUNITIES THAT WE MIGHT
CALL SCHOOLS THAT ARE ABOUT
NURTURING CITIZENSHIP,
COLLEAGUESHIP, PARTNERSHIP, AND
ACADEMIC INTELLECTUAL
DEVELOPMENT.
THAT’S WHAT SCHOOLS NEED TO BE
THESE DAYS.
SO IT’S A VISION OF SCHOOLING
THAT IS FAR ADVANCED FROM THE —
WHAT, I GUESS, THE SHOP FLOOR,
THE MANUFACTURING VIEW OF
TEACHING THAT WE HAVE FOR MOST
OF THE 20th CENTURY, AND IT’S
REALLY THE VIEW OF THE DAY.
>> WELL, ALSO, THE MANUFACTURING
VIEW WE HAD OF MANUFACTURING HAS
ALSO CHANGED AS WELL.
>> THAT’S VERY TRUE.
>> SO TO BOTH OF YOU, SINCE
SHARON OPENED THIS DOOR FOR US,
THE COMMISSION CALLED FOR
MEASURING DEEPER LEARNING
COMPETENCY, THE ABILITY TO USE
KNOWLEDGE TO THINK CRITICALLY,
TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, TO
COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY, TO
ENGAGE IN SELF-REFLECTION, WHAT
KIND OF ASSESSMENTS MEASURE
THESE ABILITIES, AND HOW CAN
SCHOOL SYSTEMS AND TEACHERS
DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT THEM?
SHAEL, DO YOU WANT TO START OFF
WITH THAT ONE?
>> YEAH, I THINK ONE OF THE
THINGS WE SPOKE ABOUT IS THAT
THE PROMISE OF THE NEW NATIONAL
CONSORTIA AND SMARTER BALANCE
THAT ARE STARTING TO MOVE DOWN
THIS PATH.
SO THE FIRST TIME WITH THE
COMMON CORE, WE’RE BEGINNING TO
SEE ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE
MEASURING CRITICAL THINKING,
THAT ARE ATTEMPTING TO CREATE
PERFORMANCE TASKS THAT ARE
INTEGRATED INTO STANDARDIZED
ASSESSMENT PROGRAMS, THAT ALLOW
KIDS TO SHOW HOW THEY’RE SOLVING
PROBLEMS AND SHOW THEIR THINKING
AND DO MORE EXTENDED, LARGER
GRAIN SIZE TYPES OF TASKS.
AND WHAT’S EXCITING ABOUT THAT
IS THE INSTRUCTIONAL SIGNAL THAT
THAT SENDS TO TEACHERS BECAUSE,
WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, THE
ASSESSMENTS THAT KIDS TAKE,
TEACHERS TAKE THAT VERY
SERIOUSLY.
NO MATTER WHAT THE STAKES ARE
THAT ARE ATTACHED TO THEM,
TEACHERS WANT THEIR KIDS TO DO
WELL.
KIDS WANT TO DO WELL.
SO THEY WORK HARD TO PREPARE
KIDS FOR THOSE ASSESSMENTS, AND
WE NEED THE ASSESSMENTS TO BE
SORT OF ABLE TO STAND UP TO THAT
TASK.
YOU KNOW, IF THEY’RE GOING TO
SEND A POWERFUL INSTRUCTIONAL
SIGNAL INTO OUR CLASSROOMS, THE
SIGNAL SHOULD GUIDE TEACHERS
TOWARDS THE KIND OF ASSIGNMENTS
AND THE KINDS OF ACTIVITIES THAT
WE ACTUALLY THINK ARE GOING TO
PUSH KIDS WITH 21st CENTURY
SKILLS.
SO THAT LOOKS VERY DIFFERENT
THAN THE SIGNAL THAT OUR TESTS
HAVE BEEN SENDING FOR THE PAST
20 YEARS.
THOSE TESTS, FOR THE MOST
PART — AND THERE ARE FEW
EXCEPTIONS TO THIS — HAVE BEEN
VERY RUDIMENTARY BUBBLE TESTS,
WHICH MEASURE VERY BASIC SKILLS,
AND THE SKILLS TEND TO BE
DISCRETE FROM ONE ANOTHER AND
EASILY IDENTIFIABLE.
BUT THE SIGNAL THEY’VE BEEN
SENDING IS THAT KNOWLEDGE IS A
VERY SIMPLE PROCESS OF
REGURGITATING INFORMATION, AND
THAT DOESN’T PREPARE KIDS FOR
THE SKILLS THEY NEED TO LEAVE
HIGH SCHOOL AND ENTER INTO THE
WORK FORCE AND COLLEGE.
SO THE NEW ASSESSMENTS HOLD THAT
PROMISE, AND I THINK, AS THE
COMMISSION SAID, THEY’RE NOT
GOING TO GET ALL THE WAY THERE.
SO WE HAVE TO KEEP ON PUSHING
TOWARDS ASSESSMENTS THAT
ACTUALLY MEASURE THESE DEEPER
SKILLS.
AND I THINK YOU, AGAIN, DO SEE
THOSE KINDS OF ASSESSMENTS
ALREADY IN YOUTHS IN MANY
SCHOOLS AS FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENTS.
SO GIVING A KID A RESEARCH
PAPER.
IF THAT ASSIGNMENT IS WELL
STRUCTURED, THAT DOES GO DEEP
INTO THE STUDENT’S ABILITY TO
GATHER EVIDENCE, TO TAKE THAT
EVIDENCE AND CREATE AN ANALYSIS,
TO DEFEND THEIR IDEAS, TO
CONNECT THOSE IDEAS ACROSS
DISCIPLINES, AND THOSE KINDS OF
SORT OF ACTS ON THE PART OF THE
STUDENT AREN’T THE KINDS OF
THINGS YOU CAN MEASURE WITH A
MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST ITEM.
THERE’S JUST NO WAY TO DO IT.
AND SO NOW CAN WE TAKE THAT TYPE
OF RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT AND
EMBED THAT IN AN ASSESSMENT?
AND THAT’S THE KIND OF STUFF
WE’RE GOING TO SEE OUT OF THIS
NATIONAL CONSORT YA AT A VERY
BASIC LEVEL, AND WE’LL HAVE TO
SEE HOW WE CAN START DOING THAT
MORE CONSISTENTLY.
ONE OF THE ARTICLES IN THE
LARGER COMMISSION REPORT WAS
SUGGESTING THAT MAYBE, GIVEN HOW
MUCH OF THIS WORK IS GOING TO
HAPPEN FOR KIDS ONLINE IN THE
FUTURE, THE ACTUAL PROCESS OF
CONSTRUCTING THAT RESEARCH PAPER
KEYSTROKE BY KEYSTROKE CAN BE
DOCUMENTED, AND YOU CAN START TO
CAPTURE DATA THAT SHOWS THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STUDENTS’
THINKING ACROSS THE WHOLE
RESEARCH PAPER PROCESS AS
OPPOSED TO IT BEING A KIND OF ON
DEMAND ASSESSMENT, AND THAT’S
NEVER REALLY BEEN TRIED AS A
SORT OF SYSTEMIC STRATEGY.
BUT IT’S AN INTERESTING IDEA
THAT’S PROBABLY WORTH EXPLORING.
>> I THINK SHAEL DESCRIBES THIS
VERY WELL.
IT’S A VISION OF THE DYNAMIC
ROLE OF ASSESSMENT IN THE
LEARNING PROCESS THAT IS REALLY
QUITE INSPIRING INSTEAD OF
HAVING ASSESSMENTS BE THE DREAD
OF ALL DREAD OF GOING TO SCHOOL.
THEY ARE SO INTEGRAL TO THE
PROCESS THAT A STUDENT EXPECTS
TO BE TESTED, TO SHOW HOW THEY
HAVE PROGRESSED, TO GET
INFORMATION BACK FROM THE TESTS
AROUND A RANGE OF FUNCTIONS AND
A RANGE OF SKILLS AND ACTIVITIES
TO BE DEVELOPED.
TEACHERS TOO WITH TECHNOLOGY CAN
DOCUMENT OTHER ATTRIBUTES LIKE
THE ABILITY OF THE STUDENT TO
COOPERATE, TO CONTRIBUTE TO A
GROUP EFFORT, TO PERSIST WITH A
QUESTION THAT WAS UNEXPECTED AND
ENCOUNTERED, YET ENCOUNTERED IN
THE PROCESS OF TAKING ON A
PARTICULAR ASSIGNMENT.
SO I BELIEVE THE TEACHERS HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY WITH THIS WIDER
RANGE OF ATTRIBUTES THAT WE WANT
TO KNOW ABOUT AND WE WANT TO
HELP STUDENTS BE AWARE OF
DEVELOPING AS THEY GROW UP, THEN
WE — AGAIN, WE’RE ENCOURAGED TO
HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT
SUPPORTS ALL OF THAT, WHICH IS
TEACHING THE WHOLE CHILD, AND
ASSESSMENT IS REALLY CRITICAL TO
THAT END.
>> SHAEL, YOU MENTIONED THIS,
BUT I WANTED TO SEE WHETHER
EITHER ONE OF YOU WANTED TO
EXPAND.
WE’RE GETTING AN OVERWHELMING
NUMBER OF QUESTIONS, ALL SAYING
THE SAME THING, WHAT IS THE ROLE
OF THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS AND
THE PARCC AND SMARTER BALANCE
ASSESSMENTS IN THE WORLD THE
COMMISSION ENVISIONED?
>> LET ME JUST HOP IN AND SAY I
BELIEVE THE GORDON COMMISSION
REPORT IS REALLY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE IT MAKES THE REALIZATION
OF THE COMMON CORE SEEM MORE
DOABLE.
IT PUTS ASSESSMENTS RIGHT THERE
AS A PART OF THE EQUATION, AND
IT IS NOT FIGHTING AT ALL WITH
THE COMMON CORE BECAUSE I
BELIEVE — ONE WAY I DESCRIBE
THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS AND
THE NEW SCIENCE STANDARDS IS IF
THEY ASK YOU NOT JUST TO KNOW
SOMETHING, BUT TO KNOW HOW TO DO
SOMETHING WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.
AND IN TRUTH, THE REAL UTILITY
IN KNOWLEDGE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO
WITH IT, TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, TO
MAKE THINGS BETTER, TO ADDRESS A
NOVEL SITUATION.
SO I THINK THE GORDON COMMISSION
REPORT HELPS US TO THINK ABOUT
THOSE OTHER ATTRIBUTES IN
ADDITION TO KNOWLEDGE
ACQUISITION THAT SHOULD BE
DEVELOPED AS A PART OF THE
LEARNING PROCESS.
>> I THINK WHAT THE GORDON
COMMISSION SORT OF SAYS ON THE
COMMON CORE IS THIS IS A
POWERFUL FIRST STEP DOWN THE
PATH THAT WE NEED TO GO DOWN
INEVITABLY BECAUSE IT’S A FIRST
STEP, WE’RE GOING TO LEARN A
LOT, AND WE’RE GOING TO SEE WHAT
WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T WORK, AND
WE’RE GOING TO WANT TO MAKE
ADJUSTMENTS.
AND IT’S WORTHY TO BEGIN
THINKING ON A BROADER SCALE EVEN
AS WE’RE STILL WORKING ON THE
WORK RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.
SO WHAT I THINK COMMON CORE
ASSESSMENTS WILL BRING FOR THE
FIRST TIME IS A REAL BALANCE IN
THE ASSESSMENTS WE’RE USING FOR
OUR STATE ACCOUNTABILITY AND
DISTRICT LEVEL ACCOUNTABILITY OF
BOTH THE SORT OF MORE
TRADITIONAL, BASIC KNOWLEDGE,
AND THE MEASUREMENT OF THAT
KNOWLEDGE, AS WELL AS MORE
COMPLEX, DEEPER TYPES OF
LEARNING.
AND YOU’LL SEE THE ASSIGNMENTS
KIDS HAVE TO TAKE ON WITHIN
THESE ASSESSMENTS, PUSHING ON
CRITICAL THINKING, THE ABILITY
TO SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS, THE
ABILITY TO ARTICULATE CLEARLY
HOW YOU’VE SOLVED THE PROBLEMS
AND WHAT YOUR STRATEGY WAS.
MOST OF THAT IN MOST STATE
ASSESSMENTS NOW DOESN’T EXIST.
SO CREATING THAT BALANCE WITHIN
THESE NEW ASSESSMENTS IS A MAJOR
STEP FORWARD, AND IT’S GOING TO
BE CHALLENGING AND DIFFICULT,
AND WE’RE GOING TO LEARN A LOT
ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE TO CHANGE AND
HOW WE TEACH AND HOW WE DESIGN
OUR CURRICULUM AS A RESULT OF
ENGAGING IN THAT WORK.
AT THE SAME TIME, THESE
ASSESSMENTS ARE DESIGNED FOR
ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING, GOING
BACK TO THE INITIAL CONSTRUCT OF
SUMMATIVE VERSUS FORMATIVE OR
ASSESSMENT OF VERSUS FOR
LEARNING.
AND PART OF WHAT THE COMMISSION
IS ARGUING IS THAT DICHOTOMY
OVER TIME NEEDS TO BE COLLAPSES,
AND WE NEED TO BEGIN TO LOOK AT
THE MORE FORMATIVE COMPONENTS OF
AN ASSESSMENT SYSTEM, AND BOTH
CONSORTIA ARE PRODUCING SOME
ELEMENTS THAT ARE DESIGNED FOR
THAT FORMATIVE PURPOSE, BUT IT
ISN’T THE CORE GOAL OF THE
CONSORTIA.
SO THAT AREA OF WORK IS GOING TO
REQUIRE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OVER
TIME.
IS IT FAIR TO SUMMARIZE YOUR
VIEWPOINTS AS THE COMMON CORE
ASSESSMENTS, PARCC, SMARTER
BALANCE, IN RELATION TO THE
GORDON COMMISSION, ARE
TRANSITIONAL BUT NOT NECESSARILY
THE END GOAL?
THAT THEY WILL CERTAINLY ADVANCE
THE FIELD.
THEY’LL CERTAINLY ADVANCE
PRACTICE, CERTAINLY AN
IMPROVEMENT, AND BEGIN TO POINT
US IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BUT
DON’T GET US ALL THE WAY THERE.
IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT?
>> I THINK THAT’S FAIR.
I WOULD ALSO GO A STEP FURTHER
AND SAY, BETWEEN THE WORK OF THE
TWO CONSORTIA AND THE GORDON
COMMISSION, WE SHOULD BE
SOMEWHAT EMBOLDENED TO TAKE THIS
ON AS A SERIOUS ENTERPRISE AND
TO DRILL DOWN AND REFLECT ON
WHAT WE’RE DOING IN OUR LOCAL
COMMUNITIES AT THE STATE LEVEL
AND CERTAINLY AT THE FEDERAL
LEVEL TO SUPPORT THE FURTHER
DEVELOPMENT AND TO — I’M NOT
GOING TO SAY SPEED THE PACE OF
CHANGE.
THIS IS GOING TO INVOLVE SO MANY
PEOPLE, I’M NOT SURE WE’RE
NOT — EVEN THOUGH WE’RE NOT
GOING AT A RECKLESS PACE, WE
NEED TO GO CAREFULLY AND
THOROUGHLY BUT WITH ALL
DELIBERATE SPEED TO GET THE
COMMON CORE STANDARDS AND ALIGN
ASSESSMENT INTO OPERATION AS THE
SUPPORT, AS THE FOUNDATION AND
THE SUPPORT FOR INSTRUCTION.
>> YEAH, I WOULD SAY THIS HAS A
LOT TO DO WITH THE FUNDING
QUESTION, AND THIS IS SOMETHING
THAT’S CALLED OUT IN THE
COMMISSION’S REPORT.
THE SORT OF BOLD STEP THAT THE
PRESIDENT AND ARNE DUNCAN TOOK
WITH FUNDING LARGE SCALE
ASSESSMENT WORK THROUGH PARCC
AND SMARTER BALANCE WAS A
HISTORIC MOVE, AND IT CREATED
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIGNIFICANTLY
CHANGE THE QUALITY OF THE
ASSESSMENT STATES ARE USING FOR
ACCOUNTABILITY PURPOSES.
AND I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO
BEGIN TO LOOK AT IS WHAT ARE THE
NEXT INVESTMENTS THAT ARE GOING
TO BE REQUIRED, BOTH TO SUSTAIN
THAT — BECAUSE WHAT WE’VE SEEN
IN THE PAST IS THAT STATES HAVE
NOT HAD THE FUNDING NECESSARY TO
CREATE HIGH QUALITY ASSESSMENTS
AND YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
SO ACROSS THE COUNTRY, A MANDATE
WAS PUT INTO PLACE CORRECTLY
UNDER NCLB TO CREATE
ASSESSMENTS, BUT THERE WAS NO
FUNDING ATTACHED TO IT.
SO THE QUALITY OF THOSE
ASSESSMENTS VARY DRAMATICALLY.
THIS INVESTMENT UNDER RACE TO
THE TOP IN THE NEW COMMON CORE
ASSESSMENTS IS GOING TO MOVE
THINGS FORWARD TREMENDOUSLY, BUT
ONCE THIS MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT,
WHERE ARE WE GOING TO STAND IN
TERMS OF TAKING THIS TO THE NEXT
STEP, AND WHAT KINDS OF
LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS ARE WE
WILLING TO MAKE AS A COUNTRY TO
ACTUALLY MAKE THE ASSESSMENTS
WORTHY OF OUR TEACHERS AND OUR
STUDENTS?
>> BOB, ANOTHER IMPORTANT
CONSIDERATION HERE IS WHEN YOU
ARE AT A MOMENT OF PRETTY
SUBSTANTIAL TRANSITION, YOU HAVE
TO DECIDE, WELL, WHAT DO I STOP
DOING.
YOU HAVE TO ASK THAT QUESTION
SPECIFICALLY.
SOMETIMES I WONDER HOW WE CAN
AFFORD TO CONTINUE TO TEST AS WE
ARE TESTING, EVEN AS WE ARE
TAKING ON THE SERIOUS WORK OF
IMPLEMENTING THE COMMON CORE
STANDARDS AND THE ANTICIPATED
DIFFERENT ASSESSMENTS THAT WILL
BE ACCOMPANYING THEM.
SO I’M WONDERING IF WE CAN HAVE
THE CONVERSATION ABOUT, WELL,
WHEN DO WE STOP TESTING AS WE
ARE DOING NOW AGAINST A SET OF
STANDARDS THAT WILL BECOME
SOMEWHAT OBSOLETE AS WE EMBRACE
THE COMMON CORE?
OR HOW DO WE USE THESE TESTS TO
GIVE US EITHER QUICK SAMPLES OF
STUDENT KNOWLEDGE, MASTERY
VERSUS THE COMMON CORE
ASSESSMENTS THAT WILL ALLOW US
TO ASSESS THE STUDENT’S ABILITY
TO ACCESS KNOWLEDGE, TO USE THE
KNOWLEDGE THEY HAVE, AND A HOST
OF OTHER FUNCTIONS ASSOCIATED
WITH THE NEW STANDARDS.
WE KEEP SENDING MONEY THAT WE
ARE NOW SPENDING ON TODAY’S
TESTS, IT’S GOING TO BECOME A
LITTLE BIT OF A WASTE OR QUITE A
BIT OF A WASTE.
>> I WAS GOING TO ASK BOTH OF
YOU, SO WHAT ARE THE PRACTICES
THAT TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS DO NOW,
THAT THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO
GIVE UP OR MIGHT HAVE TO GIVE UP
IN ORDER TO SHIFT TO THE KIND OF
ASSESSMENT ENVIRONMENT THAT THE
COMMISSION RECOMMENDED?
SHARON, YOU’VE ACTUALLY BEEN
SAYING, WHEN IS THAT TRANSITION
POINT?
WHEN DO YOU CUT THE SWITCH ON
ONE AND TURN THE SWITCH ON THE
OTHER?
WHAT ARE SOME OF THESE — WHAT
ARE SOME OF THE PRACTICES THAT
TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS WILL BE
MOVING AWAY FROM AS WE MOVE TO A
NEW GENERATION OF ASSESSMENTS?
>> SHAEL, I THINK, HAS TALKED
ABOUT MANY OF THOSE PRACTICES,
BUT JUST AT A HIGH LEVEL OF
OBSERVATION SO THAT EVERY
TEACHER LEARNS GROUP WORK AND
THEY CAN ENGAGE STUDENTS IN
DISCUSSIONS OF WHAT THEY KNOW.
SOME FASCINATING STUDIES ABOUT
TALK TIMES AND THE PATTERNS OF
DISCUSSION AND INTERACTION WITH
TEACHERS SUGGESTS THAT WE’VE GOT
TO REALLY DRILL DOWN ON THOSE
SKILLS, THOSE SPECIFIC SKILLS
THAT TEACHERS ARE CONSCIOUS OF
HAVING.
THE NOTION OF — WE’VE ALREADY
TALKED ABOUT ASSESSMENT SKILLS.
TEACHERS TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS
THE MASTERY OR PROGRESSION I AM
LOOKING FOR IN THE STUDENTS’
WORK?
THEY HAVE TO BE CLEAR ON THAT.
AND THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW
TO RECORD THAT INFORMATION FOR
FURTHER REFLECTION AS THEY ARE
PLANNING SUBSEQUENT WORK.
SO THERE’S A LOT OF MANAGING THE
DYNAMIC AND SUPPORTING
SCAFFOLDING THE LEARNER THAT YOU
HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IN A VERY
DIFFERENT WAY AS YOU NOW HAVE
STUDENTS GOING IN SEVERAL
DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, PERHAPS
ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF CONTEXT
IN PURSUIT OF ONE CURRICULAR
OBJECTIVE?
IT’S MUCH MORE DYNAMIC, AND IT
TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY AND SKILL
TO MANAGE IT.
>> I WOULD SAY A LOT OF THE
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS DISTRICTS
ARE USING NOW NEED TO STOP.
AS WE LOOK AT THE KINDS OF
SHIFTS WE WANT TO MAKE, THOSE
TESTS, WHICH HAVE BEEN USED AS
MINI SUMMATIVE TESTS, WHICH WANT
TO GIVE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS
A VIEW OF WHAT’S HAPPENING ON A
REGULAR BASIS DURING THE COURSE
OF THE YEAR LEADING UP TO STATE
EXAMS, ACTUALLY OFTEN HAVE
FUNCTIONED AS A DISTRACTION AND
ARE THE WORST KIND OF FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENT THAT REALLY
UNDERMINES SORT OF FOCUSED
INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE.
THERE ARE GOOD VERSIONS OF THAT
TOO.
BUT IT’S NOT GOING TO BE
POSSIBLE TO DO THOUGHTFUL, GOOD,
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT WHILE YOU
ALSO HAVE AN OVERLAY OF THESE
OLD BUBBLE TESTS THAT ARE SORT
OF DESIGNED MAINLY TO MEASURE
THESE DISCREET SKILLS AND ARE
ALIGNED TO THE PRECOMMON CORE
TESTS.
AS THE CONSORTIA PHASE IN THEIR
TESTS, DISTRICTS ARE GOING TO
NEED TO PULL BACK ON THE KIND OF
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS THEY’VE
BEEN USING.
OTHERWISE, TEACHERS ARE GOING TO
FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH TOO MUCH
TESTING.
>> I THINK YOU JUST ADDRESSED A
CONCERN FROM A PARTICIPANT IN
INDIANA IS THAT THERE’S A
CONCERN THERE ALREADY IS TOO
MUCH TESTING WITH THESE NEW
ASSESSMENTS ADDED TO THE TESTING
THAT’S IN SCHOOLS NOW.
WHAT I’M HEARING IS THIS IS
ABOUT REPLACING AND ALSO WITH A
RICHER SET OF ASSESSMENTS THAT
ARE FOR LEARNING AS OPPOSED TO
JUST MEASURING.
>> AND I THINK TEACHERS FEEL
LIKE THERE’S TOO MUCH TESTING
BECAUSE THE TESTING DOESN’T
ACTUALLY SEND THE RIGHT
INSTRUCTIONAL SIGNAL AND IS NOT
HELPFUL TO THEM IN FORMING THEIR
OWN DECISIONS.
WHEN THE ASSESSMENTS ARE STRONG
AND THEY ACTUALLY MIRROR THE
KINDS OF ASSIGNMENTS THAT
TEACHERS KNOW ARE GOOD FOR KIDS
AND WHEN THE SIGNAL THAT EMERGES
AS A RESULT OF THAT ACTUALLY
STRENGTHENS THE CURRICULUM AND
STRENGTHENS THE TEACHING
PRACTICE, THEN I THINK THERE’S A
LOT MORE BUY-IN, AND PART OF
THIS IS BUILDING AND
UNDERSTANDING HOW CAN WE USE
THIS?
BECAUSE IT ISN’T A TOOL THAT
CAME UP WITH PEOPLE KNOWING HOW
TO USE.
SO I ALSO THINK THERE’S A
POSSIBILITY THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE
EXPOSED TO THIS TOOL, NOT
UNDERSTAND ITS VALUE, AND SORT
OF LUMP IT IN WITH ALL THE OTHER
ASSESSMENTS THEY’VE SEEN IN THE
PAST.
AND I WOULD ASK EDUCATORS TO
REALLY LOOK CAREFULLY AT SOME OF
THESE NEW TOOLS AND THINK ABOUT
HOW THEY CAN INTEGRATE THEM IN
WAYS THAT SUPPORT THEIR GOALS.
>> I THINK, SHAEL, WHAT
ADJUSTMENTS TO COURSE DESIGN AND
LEARNING OBJECTIVES ARE TEACHER
ED PROGRAMS GOING TO NEED TO
BETTER IMPLEMENT THEM IN COMMON
CORE TEACHING IN THIS NEXT
GENERATION OF ASSESSMENTS?
>> WE’VE BEEN URGING AND
ACTUALLY SEEING WITH SOME DEGREE
OF SATISFACTION THE ENGAGEMENT
OF SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION IN THE
PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING THE
COMMON CORE SO WE CAN LEARN.
THAT’S THE ANSWER TO THAT.
AND IT IS REAL CLEAR THAT ONE OF
THE IMPORTANT COMPONENTS IS A
RICHER CLINICAL COMPONENT IN A
REAL SCHOOLWORKING AS A
CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF A TEAM OF
PROFESSIONALS PROVIDING HIGH
QUALITY EDUCATIONAL SERVICES TO
THESE STUDENTS.
SO YOU’VE GOT YOUR CANDIDATES IN
THE SCHOOL, AND YOU’VE GOT
FACULTY FROM THE UNIVERSITY IN
YOUR SCHOOL TRYING TO FIGURE
THIS OUT SO THAT YOU ARE ALL —
YOU’RE ALL LEARNING BECAUSE THIS
IS NEW.
THE OTHER ENCOURAGING SIGNAL TO
ME IS THAT THE INTEREST FROM THE
ARTS AND SCIENCES FACULTY WHO
ARE NOW A PART OF THIS
CONVERSATION BECAUSE WE’RE
DEVELOPING THIS CONSTRUCT WE
CALL ACADEMIC LANGUAGE TO BE
SPECIFICALLY AWARE OF THE
CANDIDATE’S ABILITY TO MAKE THE
CONCEPTS OF THE DISCIPLINE
RELEVANT TO THE LIFE OF A
LEARNER, AND THEREFORE
ACCESSIBLE TO THE LEARNER.
SO THIS IS A — IT’S A PROCESS
OF LITERACY, BUT IT’S ALSO
LITERACY BASED ON THE ACADEMIC
CONTENT, AND WE’RE TRYING TO
HELP ELEVATE THIS CONSTRUCT AS A
REALLY SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOME
FOR NEW TEACHERS BECAUSE IT’S
IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND
WITH THE COMMON CORE IT’S NOT
THE FACTOIDS OF THE DISCIPLINE
THAT MATTER, IT’S THE STRUCTURE
OF THE DISCIPLINE, IT’S THE BIG
IDEAS OF THE DISCIPLINE THAT
BECOME THE IMPORTANT GUIDE POST
IN THE CURRICULUM.
>> SO QUESTION, SHAEL, THAT
COMES DIRECTED FOR YOU IS
TECHNOLOGY WILL PLAY A LARGER
ROLE IN THE KIND OF ASSESSMENTS
THE COMMISSION ENVISIONED.
NOW IS NEW YORK CITY INTEGRATING
TECHNOLOGY INTO INSTRUCTION AND
ASSESSMENTS?
>> WE’VE INTEGRATED INTO OUR
CAPITAL PLAN OVER THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS AND THE COMING
YEARS SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT
JUST TO GET OUR SCHOOLS ONLINE,
WHICH IS A BIG LIFT IN A STUDY
THIS SIZE.
WE HAVE 1,700 SCHOOLS, AND WE’VE
STILL GOT 300 OR 400 WHERE
E-MAIL DOESN’T WORK PROPERLY.
MAKING SURE THE ELECTRICITY IS
THERE.
MAKING SURE THE WIRELESS
NETWORKS ARE THERE.
MAKING SURE THE DEVICES ARE
THERE IS THE FIRST HURDLE, AND I
THINK THAT’S PROBABLY TRUE IN
MANY URBAN AREAS AS WELL AS MANY
RURAL AREAS WHERE THERE JUST
HAVEN’T BEEN THE RESOURCE
INVESTMENTS MADE TO ENSURE THAT
EVERYONE’S ON THE SAME PAGE WITH
RESPECT TO TECHNOLOGICAL
RESOURCES.
THEN THE NEXT LAYER IS HOW DO
YOU BEGIN TO INTEGRATE THAT INTO
CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT?
AND WE HAVE SOME REALLY
INNOVATIVE MODELS BOTH ON THE
CURRICULUM SIDE BUT ALSO ON THE
SIDE OF DESIGNING THE SCHOOL
STRUCTURE ITSELF THAT UTILIZE
TECHNOLOGY IN POWERFUL WAYS, AND
I THINK THE MORE KIDS BEGIN TO
TAKE THAT AS SORT OF A NORMAL
PART OF THEIR SCHOOLING, WHERE
THEY’RE GETTING ASSIGNMENTS
ONLINE, THEY’RE SHARING
INFORMATION ONLINE, THEY’RE
DOING RESEARCH ONLINE, THE MORE
NATURAL IT WILL BE FOR THEM TO
ALSO ENGAGE WITH ASSESSMENTS
ONLINE.
SO WE’RE WORKING HARD TO BE KIND
OF MOVE AND MAKE THAT
TRANSITION, BUT IT’S GOING TO
TAKE SEVERAL YEARS TO GET THERE.
>> AND I THINK IT’S TRUE
NATIONALLY AS WELL.
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT’S
COMING ON WITH THE SMARTER
BALANCE AND PARCC ADMINISTRATION
IS MAKING SURE THE TECHNOLOGY
PIECE IS IN PLACE FOR ONLINE
ASSESSMENTS, THIS BROADBAND
CAPACITY, SUFFICIENT CAPACITY AT
THE SCHOOL LEVEL.
SO THAT’S GOING TO BE — AND
WE’RE NOT THERE YET.
>> NO, WE’RE NOT.
I THINK YOU’VE POINTED OUT, BOB,
WITH SOME OF THE FOCUS YOU’VE
HELPED US REFLECT ON REGARDING
TECHNOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS IS
THAT, AS WE MAKE THIS
TRANSITION, JUST AS SHAEL HAS
SAID, WE’RE IN NEW YORK CITY.
THERE’S STILL HUNDREDS OF
SCHOOLS THAT DON’T HAVE E-MAIL
THAT WORKS REALLY WELL WITHIN
THE SYSTEM.
THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED BECAUSE
ALL OF THESE CHILDREN DESERVE
THE BENEFIT OF THIS NEW
TECHNOLOGY, AND YOU’VE GOT TO
GET ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF DOING
THAT.
SO, AGAIN, WHAT DO WE STOP
DOING?
THAT IS MORE IN SERVICE OF THE
OLD SYSTEM IN ORDER TO INVEST IN
THE SYSTEM THAT WE MUST CREATE
FOR THE PATH FORWARD.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE CONFIDENT
THAT IN EVERY STATE, THE CHIEF
STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS ARE
WORKING WITH ALL THE SCHOOL
DISTRICTS TO MAKE SURE THERE’S A
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND
THERE’S A PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT PLAN, ALONG WITH A
COMMUNICATIONS PLAN SO THAT YOU
CAN IMPLEMENT THE COMMON CORE IN
A REAL ORGANIC AND LOGICAL WAY.
AND I DON’T MEAN TO SAY THAT
THIS IS — THIS IS PRETTY
SUBSTANTIAL.
SO I DON’T MEAN TO — I’M NOT
POLLYANNISH ABOUT THIS.
I THINK THERE WILL BE SOME
EMBARRASSING MOMENTS, BUT I
THINK WE ALL SHOULD BE REALLY
ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT AN IMPORTANT,
BIG CHALLENGE THIS IS FOR US TO
EMBRACE.
>> IT IS AN INCREDIBLE
CHALLENGE, AND SHAEL POINTS OUT
WE HAVE GAPS IN THE TECHNOLOGY
IN JUST ABOUT EVERY DISTRICT AND
STATE, AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE —
WHAT NEW YORK CITY IS DOING IS A
COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC PLAN.
HOW IS IT WE WANT TO USE
TECHNOLOGY IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE
WAY.
WHAT IS IT WE’RE TRYING TO
ACCOMPLISH, AND THE ASSESSMENT
PIECE IS A LARGE PART OF IT.
WHAT IS IT WE’RE TRYING TO
ACCOMPLISH IN LEARNING OUTCOMES?
WHAT ARE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES,
AND THEN HOW ARE WE — AND WHAT
IS THE APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY TO
ADDRESS THAT?
AND IT REQUIRES A PLAN —
ACTUALLY, WE HAVE ANOTHER
WEBINAR COMING UP THIS WEEK ON
THAT PLANNING PROCESS, BUT MY
SUGGESTION IS DON’T BUY ANYTHING
UNTIL YOU’VE GOT A PLAN.
PLAN FIRST AS OPPOSED TO
PURCHASE AND TEN THEN FIGURE OUT
HOW TO USE IT.
THE QUESTION WE’RE SEEING, AND
IT COMES FROM CONNECTICUT, BUT
WE’RE SEEING AT LEAST FOUR
STATES AND A NUMBER OF SCHOOL
DISTRICTS REALLY START TO ENGAGE
IN THE POLICY WORLD IN
COMPETENCY BASED ADVANCEMENT.
SO THE QUESTION IS HOW CAN NEW
ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS ACCOMMODATE
PERSONALIZED LEARNING APPROACHES
IN A COMPETENCY BASED SYSTEM?
>> I THINK THAT’S A GREAT
QUESTION, AND IT SORT OF DOES
POINT THE DIRECTION TO THE
FUTURE, WHICH IF YOU LOOK AT THE
GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE NEW COMMON
CORE ASSESSMENTS, NEITHER OF
THEM YET REALLY GET TO THIS.
SO FIRST, IT’S WORTH DESCRIBING
FOR A SECOND WHAT THE IDEA IS.
THAT IF KIDS ARE ACTUALLY ABLE
TO MOVE AT THEIR OWN PACE
THROUGH A CURRICULUM AND THAT
ALONG THE WAY THERE ARE
ASSESSMENT TASKS THAT THEY CAN
USE TO DEMONSTRATE MASTERY TO
MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL, IT
TOTALLY CHANGES HOW WE TEACH AND
HOW WE ORGANIZE SCHOOLS.
SO THERE HAVE BEEN LOW TECH
VERSIONS OVER THE YEARS WHERE
SCHOOLS HAVE SORT OF BUILT
COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULA THAT
ARE EITHER UNGRADED OR ARE BUILT
IN WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CERTAIN
GRADES OR CLASSES, BUT THERE’S
NOW SORT OF AN OPPORTUNITY TO
PUT THAT ONLINE AND ACTUALLY
TAKE THE TECHNOLOGY AND ALLOW
KIDS TO MOVE AT THEIR OWN PACE
THROUGH THE CURRICULUM.
I THINK, AS WE START TO SEE
REALLY HIGH QUALITY ONLINE
CURRICULUM START TO DEVELOP,
THERE’S A TREMENDOUS CHANCE THAT
THE ASSESSMENTS CONNECTED TO
THAT CAN BEGIN TO REACH THE
SCHOOL.
AND I THINK THE BEST SCHOOLS
THAT ARE DOING THIS ARE DOING IT
BOTH ONLINE AND OFFLINE.
THEY ARE INVESTING A LOT OF TIME
IN DESIGNING CURRICULUM AND
ASSESSMENTS IN THE LOW TECH
FORMAT, AND THEN AS THEY GET
THAT RIGHT, THEY’RE STARTING TO
MOVE THOSE TOOLS ONLINE.
IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO
USE COMPUTER ENVIRONMENT IN
ORDER TO DO.
THE COMPUTER ENVIRONMENT IS SORT
OF ENABLES A MUCH FASTER AND
EASIER PROCESS THAN WHAT YOU
WOULD HAVE IF YOU’RE DOING IT IN
A MORE LOW TECH WAY.
>> SHARON, LET ME TURN TO YOU ON
A QUESTION THAT’S JUST COME IN.
MAKING THE TRANSITION TO THE
WORLD THE COMMISSION CALLED FOR,
THE GORDON COMMISSION, WILL
REQUIRE PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN
PRACTITIONERS AND RESEARCHERS.
ARE THERE INSTITUTIONS YOU CAN
POINT TO THAT ARE LEADING THE
WAY IN FORGING THESE
PARTNERSHIPS?
>> WELL, THERE ARE INSTITUTIONS
THAT ARE FORGING THESE
PARTNERSHIPS TO GET A RANGE OF
THINGS DONE.
IT’S MIXING THE CLINICAL
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PRACTITIONERS
BEING ONE.
HERE WE HAVE INSTITUTIONS LIKE
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, AND
BIG SCHOOLS AND SMALL SCHOOLS.
WINSBROOK COLLEGE IN NORTH
CAROLINA BEING A SMALLER AND
MORE RURAL SITUATED SCHOOL THAT
IS INVOLVED IN A VERY INTENSE
RELATIONSHIP WITH HIGH NEEDS
SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS BOTH THE
LEARNING OUTCOMES OF STUDENTS
AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW
PRACTITIONERS WHO CAN REALLY
MANAGE THE REALITY OF PRACTICE
IN THOSE SETTINGS.
AND THEN WE HAVE SOME VERY
IMPORTANT RESEARCH PARTNERSHIPS
WHERE THE UNIVERSITIES ARE
DEVELOPING WITH THE SCHOOL
DISTRICT A RESEARCH AGENDA
RELATED TO INSTRUCTION.
A GOOD PART OF THE AGENDA IN
SOME OF THESE PLACES WILL
INVOLVE EVALUATION STUDIES OF
NEW TECHNIQUES OR NEW METHODS OF
INSTRUCTION, BUT THESE ARE BEING
CAREFULLY STRUCTURED SO THAT THE
OUTCOME OF STUDY IS RICH
DOCUMENTATION THAT REALLY CAN
INFORM PRACTICE, AND THOSE
PARTNERSHIPS CAN BE ILLUSTRATED
BY THE NEW YORK CITY PARTNERSHIP
WITH NYU WHERE MARY BRAYBECK AND
A TEAM OF RESEARCHERS WORK WITH
THE UNIVERSITY OR THE UNIVERSITY
OF CHICAGO CONSORTIUM WE’VE
ALREADY HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT.
OTHER EXAMPLES IS THE NEW
BALTIMORE SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESEARCH CONSORTIUM THAT
INVOLVES BOTH JOHNS HOPKINS AND
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY.
SO THE UNIVERSITIES ARE STARTING
TO ENGAGE WITH DISTRICT AS A
PARTNER IN PRACTICE AND THE
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TEACHERS AND
ALSO AS A PARTNER IN RESEARCH
BECAUSE THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ABOUT PRACTICE IN THE LOCAL
DISTRICT CAN’T BE STUDIES IN
SOME TEST TUBE OFF ON CAMPUS.
THEY HAVE TO BE STUDIED IN
COLLABORATION WITH OBSERVERS AND
DATA COLLECTORS IN THE FIELD WHO
ARE PARTNERS IN YOUR RESEARCH.
SO I THINK THIS IS THE BEGINNING
OF A DYNAMIC THAT SPEAKS TO THE
NEW ROLE OF SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION
THAT IS MUCH MORE IND GRAL TO
THE INTEREST AND THE NEEDS OF
PRACTICE.
AND FRANKLY, THAT’S THE ONLY
ONLY REASON TO HAVE A SCHOOL OF
EDUCATION, BE INTEGRAL TO THE
NEEDS IN PRACTICE.
>> AND YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IS
EMPLOYING THIS?
>> YEAH, WE HAVE A RESEARCH
ALLIANCE HERE THAT SORT OF
BRINGS TOGETHER RESEARCHERS FROM
ACROSS THE CITY THAT STUDIES
WHAT THE ACTUAL IMPACT OF A LOT
OF OUR WORK, AND ARE THERE SORT
OF THINGS WE NEED TO BE LOOKING
AT THAT CAN GUIDE OUR THINKING?
I ALSO THINK WITH PARCC AND
SMARTER BALANCE, THERE’S BEEN
TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTION FROM THE
RESEARCH COMMUNITY AND DIRECT
INVOLVEMENT IN MANY INSTANCES IN
HELPING WITH THE DESIGN.
SO WE’RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THAT
SORT OF EXTENSION WHERE WE CAN
FIND IT, AND I THINK IT DEFINITE
LY, AS WE SORT OF WORKED ON THIS
REPORT, BECAME CLEAR THAT ONE OF
THE CHALLENGES THAT EXISTS STILL
IS THAT THERE’S A REAL SILO
EFFECT OFTEN BETWEEN DISTRICT
LEVEL FOLKS AND FOLKS IN
ACADEMIA THAT, IF WE CAN BREAK
THAT DOWN, IT’S POWERFUL.
>> FROM LOS ANGELES, TOM ASKS,
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STRATEGIES
THAT CAN ENGAGE TEACHERS IN
LEARNING HOW TO DESIGN
ASSESSMENTS TO DETERMINE WHAT
STUDENTS ARE LEARNING AND HOW
THIS ALIGNS WITH WHAT
INSTRUCTION?
SO THE TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN
ACTUALLY DESIGNING THE
ASSESSMENTS AND PARTICULARLY THE
GROUP OF ASSESSMENTS THAT THE
GORDON COMMISSION REFERENCES.
>> I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT TEACHER EDUCATION
MUST REALLY ADDRESS AS A
LEARNING OUTCOME FOR CANDIDATES.
THE ACTUAL INSTRUCTION OF
ASSESSMENTS OF LEARNING AND FOR
LEARNING.
I KNOW THIS IS HAPPENING.
I KNOW THIS IS AN ASPECT OF
ACCREDITATION NOW IN THE NEW
STANDARDS THAT ARE BEING
DELIBERATED, AND I KNOW PEOPLE
ARE WORKING ON THIS.
BUT THE OTHER DIMENSION OF WHAT
NEEDS TO CHANGE IS HOW PEOPLE
ARE ASSESSED IN THE
POST-SECONDARY ENVIRONMENT.
THEY NEED TO EXPERIENCE THESE
ASSESSMENTS AS A LEARNER
THEMSELVES IN ORDER TO REALLY
INCORPORATE THE POWER, THE
POTENTIAL, THE RIGHTNESS OF IT,
AND TO SEE IT AS AN ORGANIC PART
OF THE LEARNING PROCESS.
SO WE ARE ORGANIZING — WE ARE
ORGANIZING TO PROVIDE A LOT OF
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HELPING
ONE ANOTHER WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY
TO IMPROVE THE ASSESSMENTS THAT
ARE BEING USED IN
POST-SECONDARY.
>> SHAEL, ANY THOUGHTS
PARTICULARLY FROM THE DISTRICT
PERSPECTIVE INVOLVING TEACHERS
IN PREPARING ASSESSMENTS,
DESIGNING ASSESSMENTS?
>> YEAH, I THINK WHERE TEACHERS
HAVE BEEN INVOLVED, WE HAVE A
PROCESS FOR OUR FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENTS IN NEW YORK CITY
WHICH INVITES SCHOOLS TO DESIGN
THEIR OWN ASSESSMENTS, AND WE’VE
PARTNERED SCHOOLS WITH
UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER SORT OF
EDUCATION NONPROFIT TO DO
ASSESSMENT DESIGN WORK ON THE
FORMATIVE SIDE OF ASSESSMENT.
SO WHAT YOU SEE THERE IS REALLY
INTERESTING LEARNING THAT
HAPPENS ABOUT THE KINDS OF GOALS
OF AN ASSESSMENT AND HOW YOU PUT
IT TOGETHER AND HOW YOU CAN THEN
INTERPRET THE DATA.
WHEN TEACHERS HAVE GONE THROUGH
THE PROCESS OF ASSESSMENT
DESIGN, THEN THEY’RE MUCH MORE
INTERESTED AND WILLING TO USE
OTHER ASSESSMENTS AS WELL AS THE
ONES THEY’VE CREATED AS THEY’RE
TRYING TO SORT OF TRYING TO
NAVIGATE THE INSTRUCTIONAL
DECISIONS THAT THEY’RE TRYING TO
MAKE.
ONE OF THE MORE INNOVATIVE
THINGS WE’RE TRYING NOW IS, AS
WE MOVE INTO THE WORLD OF
TEACHER EVALUATION AND
CONNECTING TEACHERS’ EVALUATIONS
TO MEASURES OF STUDENT LEARNING,
INSTEAD OF USING PURELY
STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS, WE’RE
TRYING TO PILOT A SENSE OF
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS IN WHICH
TEACHER DESIGN TEAMS HAVE BEEN
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH US
IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE UNION THAT
HAVE ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE
ALIGNED WITH THE COMMON CORE
THAT THEY BELIEVE ARE GOOD
MEASURES THAT THEY WANT THEIR
KIDS TO LEARN, THAT THEY WOULD
BE WILLING TO BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE FOR AS PART OF THEIR
EVALUATION.
AND THERE’S SOME REALLY GREAT
STUFF THAT’S EMERGING FROM THAT,
AND IT BEGINS TO CREATE A SENSE
OF OWNERSHIP, AND A SENSE THAT,
OKAY, THIS IS FAIR, AND IT’S
ACTUALLY CONNECTED TO WHAT I
WANT TO TEACH.
>> I WANT TO THANK BOTH OF YOU
VERY MUCH.
I WISH WE COULD CONTINUE.
WE’RE UNFORTUNATELY LIMITED BY
TIME ON THIS.
YOU HAVE GENERATED A LOT MORE
QUESTIONS, AS WELL AS YOU’VE
SUPPLIED A LOT OF ANSWERS.
SO I WANT TO LET THE VIEWERS
KNOW AND PARTICIPANTS KNOW THAT
SOME OF THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE
SENT US, WE WILL TRY TO GET
ANSWERS TO.
I WANT TO THANK VERY MUCH THE
WILLIAM AND FLORA HEWITT
FOUNDATION FOR MAKING THIS
WEBINAR POSSIBLE.
I PARTICULARLY WANT TO THANK OUR
PARTICIPANTS SHARON ROBINSON AND
SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY FOR THIS
INFORMATIVE DISCUSSION.
I DON’T THINK WE COULD HAVE TWO
BETTER PEOPLE TO DISCUSS THIS
ASPECT OF THE GORDON COMMISSION
REPORT.
I FINALLY WANT TO THANK VERY
MUCH PROFESSOR EDMUND GORDON FOR
HIS LEADERSHIP IN CONVENING THIS
COMMISSION OVER AN EXTENDED
PERIOD AND THEN LEADING IT.
I DON’T KNOW — I HAVE NOT HAD
THE PRIVILEGE OF MEETING
PROFESSIONOR GORDON BEFORE THE
COMMISSION CAME TOGETHER, BUT
HIS INTELLECT AND THE
CULMINATION OF INTELLECT AND
COMMITMENT RESULTED IN A WIDE
RANGE OF VERY DIVERSE
PERSONALITIES AND PEOPLE COMING
TOGETHER AROUND THIS REPORT IN
THE FUTURE OF ASSESSMENTS.
AND SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE ANYONE
TO GO AND REVIEW THE GORDON
COMMISSION REPORT.
WE WILL BE — AND ALSO STAY
TUNED FOR DETAILS ABOUT A FUTURE
WEBINAR THAT WILL EXAMINE THE
IMPLICATIONS OF THE GORDON
COMMISSION REPORT ON POLICY AND
POLICY MAKERS.
FOR THE ALLIANCE FOR EXCELLENCE
IN EDUCATION, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US.

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