Blogs on Comprehensive Assessment

Blogs on Comprehensive AssessmentRSS
Gaetan PappalardoFebruary 16, 2012

I'm cranky. Are you? I've just been a downright Scrooge, though I really don't mean to. And I didn't know why until today. You see, for the last three months I've been aligning and adding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to all of my lesson plans. And, like drinking wine tainted with an undetectable, scentless, tasteless, and usually in powder form, poison, it's been secretly making me ill.

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Dr. Richard CurwinFebruary 13, 2012

There is an ongoing nationwide debate on the issue of merit pay for teachers. Many national policy makers and media pundits have essentially said, "How can we improve the quality of education if we don't reward the best and brightest teachers with more money?"

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Harold KwalwasserFebruary 10, 2012

Downtown Brownsville, Texas, has an otherworldly feel. Nestled in a crook in the Rio Grande near where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, the narrow streets are filled with stores selling cheap merchandise to Mexicans or to the poor from the local Hispanic community, which is often just a few years removed from the other side of the border.

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Andrew MillerFebruary 8, 2012

Project-Based Learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction. PBL experts will tell you this, but I often hear teachers ask for real examples, specifics to help them contextualize what it "looks like" in the classroom. In fact, the inspiration for this blog came specifically from requests on Twitter! We all need to try out specific ideas and strategies to get our brains working in a different context. Here are some specific differentiation strategies to use during a PBL project.

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Mark PhillipsJanuary 31, 2012

A very important controversy related to children is flying under the radar of most educators. It's a controversy in which educator voices could play a highly constructive role.

Some background first. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It's used by mental health professionals, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers. There have been a number of revisions since it was first published in 1952, and each revision has included more mental disorders.

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Danielle Moss LeeJanuary 26, 2012

Naturally, I understand that there's no significant magic or difference in providing college planning and counseling services to students of color per se, but there are important ways to help build upon their college aspirations in the course of doing this work. A while back, several colleagues and I got into a long discussion about the quality of their college advisors during the critical junior and senior years of high school.

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Bob LenzJanuary 19, 2012

"How do I assess 170 students deeply?" -- Middle School Teacher

"We love project-based learning but when will we get time to plan with our colleagues?" -- Union Leader

"We want to have our students participate in rigorous project learning but our teachers need to learn how to do it -- it's challenging." -- Middle School Principal

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Andrew MillerJanuary 18, 2012

Rubrics are a beast. Grrrrrrr! They are time-consuming to construct, challenging to write and sometimes hard to use effectively. They are everywhere. There are rubrics all over the web, plus tools to create them, and as educators, it can overwhelm us. Rubrics are driven by reforms, from standards-based grading to assessment for learning. With so many competing purposes, it only makes sense that rubrics remain a beast to create and to use. Here are some (only some) tips for designing and using effective rubrics. Regardless of the reforms and structures you have in place, these can be used by all educators.

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Elena AguilarJanuary 18, 2012

"My mom is a hero," Alfredo said, cutting me off one sentence into a picture book about Martin Luther King, Jr. His chubby second-grade body perpetually squirmed on the rug where my 32 students were seated. "She brought us here from El Salvador by herself. Me, my two sisters, and our baby brother. We walked."

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Todd FinleyJanuary 11, 2012

In a Buick LaCrosse crowded with English teachers on the way to a wine bar in Raleigh, Dr. Lil Brannon explained her trouble with rubrics: "Did you ever watch kids play Dance Dance Revolution, the video game where they put their feet in the right squares drawn on a mat? That doesn't look like real dancing, does it?"

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