Blogs on Performance Assessment

Blogs on Performance AssessmentRSS
Bob LenzDecember 20, 2012

In my last post, I discussed how schools and systems can use a different and more powerful type of accountability to drive intrinsic motivation for high performance by students and teachers. (This is opposed to an accountability system of rewards and punishment.) By making student work and teacher practice public and transparent, we can improve student learning faster and with more sustainability. Also in that post, I highlighted public exhibitions of work and instructional rounds as two "accountability" tools used by Envision Schools.

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Shawn CornallyDecember 20, 2012

In a conversation with a veteran educator -- a man with years of experience teaching English and acting as a headmaster -- I was confronted with a prejudice so ingrained in my teaching that I was almost embarrassed to admit it.

He said, "You know, when I ask a student to write a paper and turn it in to me, that's ridiculous; I'm the worst audience they could have."

I was intrigued.

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Bob LenzDecember 5, 2012

How do we foster intrinsic motivation, for both teachers and students, to work towards high performance? Can we create a system of accountability that will drive this performance? At Envision Education, we answer with a resounding, yes. However, our accountability is not driven by a system of rewards and punishments; it is driven by an authentic system of accountability driven by making the work of students, teachers, and the school public.

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Will RichardsonNovember 1, 2012

With few exceptions, all the things our children are using to connect and learn outside the classroom -- social media, cell phones, Internet connections -- are banned inside classrooms. In my kids' case (and they have more access than many), school is the only place in their lives where they can't use the technology they carry around in their pockets and backpacks to answer questions.

The only place. Why is that?

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Katie PiperSeptember 18, 2012

In recent years, most students in my project-based AP Government classes have indicated, in both class discussions and anonymously on surveys, that they prefer project-based learning to a more traditional classroom experience. They find PBL more fun and believe that it leads to deeper learning. However, two types of students often resist this model. Students of the first type generally do not enjoy school at all, and are looking for the path of least resistance. Because a PBL classroom is student-centered and calls on students to produce, less-motivated students will find it more difficult to "hide" and be left alone. The second type of student has already been very successful in traditional classrooms and is deterred by the challenges of this new model. These students are often highly motivated by grades, and worry that the project cycles will detract from direct content delivery.

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Amber GraeberSeptember 11, 2012

As a new teacher, I once believed that teaching and learning were one and the same. I taught, and the students learned. In creating a student-centered classroom, I began to embrace project-based learning. However, I did so in a very superficial way. I thought I had PBL nailed if my students did a presentation or poster at the end of an instructional unit. My room was full of student work. Anyone who walked in my room could see learning . . . or could they?

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Bob LenzSeptember 6, 2012

"What does it take to get really good at something?" Envision Schools teachers and leaders were given this driving question, launching our 2013 school year professional development. In this workshop, we asked our staff to be learners in a "Slice of a Project" -- facilitated by the Envision education support leaders, including yours truly.

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Bob LenzAugust 23, 2012

I am excited to announce that Envision Schools is now Envision Education. Envision Education encompasses our schools division, with our four high-performing college prep schools in the Bay Area, as well as our consulting division, Envision Learning Partners, which is bringing professional development and coaching to schools and districts around the country.

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Suzie BossJuly 13, 2012

In rural Howe, Oklahoma, home to about 700 people, the school has long been the heart of the community. Students from pre-K through high school all congregate on the same campus. Now, thanks to the creative efforts of high school students and their teachers, the campus will be getting a facelift that should make local pride shine even brighter.

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Andrew MillerJune 1, 2012

It's never too late to address this subject. Yes, many of us are gearing down from the epic standardized testing season, enjoying the freedom, released from the many pressures that come with the tests. However, these tests will keep happening. Whether a yearly course assessment, a six-week benchmark exam or a state-level competency test, teachers and students are inundated with testing. Because of the way that testing permeates education culture, I often hear some "pushback" from teachers and their implementation of project-based learning. Here are some tips and responses to that tension between PBL and standardized tests.

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