Comprehensive Assessment: An Overview

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Laura H. (not verified)

This video brings up great

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This video brings up great points: promoting leadership, hands on, real world stuff. I think the idea of projects is great! It helps to make school and learning fun. Furthermore, I cannot stand tests. But - the question that kept coming up in my mind was: are students in a performance based assessing schools getting a solid foundation of knowledge? I think a research study could be conducted: schools that do not "teach to the test" should take the tests and see where they fall. Over a three year period of time (we want the study done soon) what have we found? If the students are performing well - great, if not then up the knowledge transfer while continuing projects and re do the study. In another post, a 20 year veteran teacher inferred that students do very well on testing when the performance activities are geared from the standards.
I think both projects and regular testing are needed. They serve different purposes beyond assessing knowledge.

regina k. (not verified)

Testing and assestment for students

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As a teacher in the public school system, I feel that we teach our students to be prepared for the standardized tests. I have seen that many teachers teach to the test--the students learn what they need to know and it is reveiwed continuously until they know it. It that helping our students gain a true education? I would love to see more assesment testing as we saw in the edutopia video. We need to challenge our students to think outside the box.

Donna W. (not verified)

Preparing For The Real World

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This video gives great examples from New York to Hawaii of students engaged in performance assessment. The criteria for these activities may meet many of the state standards that dictate the curriculum in classrooms. The current method for assessment around the United States involves high stakes testing. It is my opinion that high stakes testing does not fully prepare students for real life situations. The traditional college entrance exams are a prime example of how the results do not give a clear example of the student’s ability. Many colleges and universities are requiring interviews to get a better understanding of the student after viewing the application and test scores. The Key Learning Community school requires students to complete performance assessments throughout the curriculum. These presentations then become a part of the student’s multimedia portfolio. This is a benefit to the students as they and others assess the previous work the student has completed. Another benefit of performance assessment is the ability to provide learning opportunities and assessment in real world situations. Providing performance assessments in the schools gives students an opportunity to refine their skills. Currently most students don’t know if their knowledge works in a real world situation until they graduate. This method is outdated and does not benefit the student.

Akisha S (not verified)

Performance Based Assestment

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As an eduacator, in depth leaning should be our goal. This happens when the student has a stake in the lesson. For the this to happen it has to be intresting to the studnent. I believe performance based assesment offers this opportunity to the student. As I have completed class observations, I have noticed how important it is to find alternative ways to provide instruction because kids become disengaged so easily these days. Standardized testing has not evolved in that has benefited our educational system. This is evident since our country turns out such a limited amount of scientist and mathmaticians. I believe that the performance based assesment model has a number of positives o offer our children. I would like to see the standardized testing be mixed with the performance based assesment model.

Michael Burkey (not verified)

We're getting there

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I enjoyed the video very much. I am an Instructional Assistant in an MD classroom at a high school in Columbus, Ohio. I am also a grad. student working toward my certification as an Intervention Specialist, starting to work with students with mild/moderate disabilities next year. However, this year I work with high school students with multiple and more severe disabilities. Around here, virtually all high school students have to take the OGT, the Ohio Graduation Test. But students in classrooms like ours have to take the Alternative Assessment Test, an evaluation that takes place of the OGT, for students with disabilities. This is my first year doing this, so I don't know exactly what the test entails just yet (we are starting it soon), but I know it is less like the SAT/OGT and actually more like the types of assessments/evaluations shown on this video. Of course, they are on a very different level, but the concept is the same: make sure the students can DO things, not just KNOW things, to get them ready for whatever they will do when they leave high school and venture out into the "real world". I agree with the opinion of the people who made this video. I think it will take a lot more time for our country's schools to get where they want them to be, but the mission is right. Perhaps students we are assessing NOW won't get the full benefit of the new system we are trying to set up, but are helping in the cause, and we are getting there one step at a time. Hopefully, a few years down the line, the official standards will change. My favorite line from the video is this: "The time is not lost to teaching and learning-- the time IS teaching and learning" (when they were talking about how long it takes to do these big project and evaluations). I believe the people who got the SAT/ACT to be the standard had good intentions, and the best thing about it is its efficiency, timeliness and simplicity, as far as storing and keeping track of students grades. It's easy for the people doing the assessing. But we are all realizing now that it's not so great for the people being assessed.
---Mike Burkey.

Michelle (not verified)

Tests

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I think that standardized tests can be effective along with performance based assessment. I don't think that we should do away with standardized tests. There is something to be said for a student working hard to study for a test. Their memory is improved and they learn how to be consistent and dedicated to scoring well on the test.

Sue B. (not verified)

I think that the

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I think that the implementation of performance based assessments needs to be a district or school decision so that it can start in the very early grades and be developed as students progress through their education. The projects shown in the video were outstanding. My concerns are with the feeling that many students I know have not been asked to do these kinds of projects in elementary school and have instead been well trained in how to take objective tests. Often it seems like the information that the students are asked to learn is pared down to its most basic concept and more or less spoon-fed to the students. They know how to study vocabulary, rules, facts, etc., but when they are asked to apply a concept to a real world situation or come up with something on their own, they look at you like they have no idea what you are talking about. I tutor a number of middle school students and what their parents are paying me to do is help them get good grades on tests. I try to bring in concepts, but if those questions are not on the tests, we do not allocate much time to understanding concepts. In my experience, I think it has been at the college level where these types of performance based assessments are encountered and developed. For other students, it is through work-based apprenticeships where they learn to apply their knowledge (or intially learn the basics) in real world situations.

Standardized tests allow those doing the assessing to complete their task with much less effort than performance based assessments. Ohio Achievement Tests, Ohio Graduation Tests, and SATs offer cut and dried scores that appear to measure achievement. They are the lazy way out and we, as a society, have chosen the lazy way out. While many now realize that our educational model is not preparing students very well, we are faced with a huge challenge in working in the current environment of standardized testing while trying to design learning experiences which prepare students for the real world.

Allie S (not verified)

It's a great idea!

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I really like the idea of performance based testing. I think it truly is the best measure of knowledge and learning. I would love to be able to be a teacher who teaches using mainly performance based assessments. However, then the "real world" enters in. For example, my sister is a teacher in a school district in Ohio which is rated "excellent". She has felt a lot of pressure from the principal / adminstrators around standardized tests - they have gone as far as posting teacher's scores (on standardized tests) by classroom and teacher for all teacher's within that grade to see their ranking. A couple year's ago she appeared at the bottom of that list. Ever since appearing at the bottom of that list she has felt more pressure to "teach to the test". It is a sad testimony that a teacher wanting to teach for learning and knowledge feels "forced" to focus on their scores through "teaching to the test". The school district only had one thing that it cared about in the process - the rating they received on the state report card which is... based largely on student's test scores. So, the question to me becomes - we train teachers on the effectiveness and value of performance based assesments, but the real world does not allow them much flexibility in using that method...so, who do we need to be training??

MD (not verified)

Tests

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Performance testing will be able to test far more final knowledge of students. If you think about Gardners' MI theory this will allow students to bring their strengths to the forefront and demonstrate strong learning.

anonymous (not verified)

Everyone seems to agree.

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Everyone seems to agree. Isn't there anyone who sees a flaw in this assertion?

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