Emulating the style of a famous report published 30 years ago called A Nation at Risk, Yong Zhao urges us to stop tweaking education and overhaul it. “History is not kind to idlers” (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983, p.1). It is even crueler to reckless reformers who keep fiddling with the past to… Continue reading Must Read Monday: A World At-Risk
Many of us are in the throes of testing season, and with many schools implementing the new CCSS aligned tests for the first time, it is bound to be a month of fret and anxiety. I remember administrators at my previous school declaring "no field trips in April" because preparing for the big state test… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: But we have to focus on “the test”…
I had dinner last night with a good friend of mine who gave me his impassioned reasons why we should abolish national, yearly standardized tests and his skepticism of the Common Core. My friend's main argument is that standardized tests harm low-income, minority students. He cited Claude Steele, psychologist who coined the term "stereotype threat"… Continue reading Thoughts on Tests
Although I haven't formally run the stats, I'm pretty sure this is our most popular post of all time. And it's no secret why: assessment is HARD, and it drives so many other things we do as educators. If you've been struggling to assess differently, here are a few thoughts to help out this week.… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: 7 Tools for Authentic Assessments
I love this image we created for our Fellowship Summit. How long has our modern design for schools been in existence? It often feels like we've always done school with desks in rows and a teacher in the front, students separated by age and written tests to check for learning -- but the pink portion… Continue reading An image is worth a thousand words…or a couple hundred thousand years
One of the purposes of this blog is to push our thinking beyond our current boundaries. So, today I wonder how our priorities would change if we measured only two things: 1) How fulfilled are the lives of our students and alumni? 2) What impact are they making on the world? Sound too idealistic?… Continue reading How would your priorities change?
One of our most popular posts is 7 Tools for Authentic Assessments, published in May 2013. Since then, our team has spent a lot of time with assessments and now we wonder: What is the best thing to measure in schools? Tomorrow's post will ask: What if we measured student and alumni happiness as the… Continue reading Which treasure should we measure?
In his 2013 interview with Thomas Friedman, Tony Wagner made a claim that Ed2S readers won’t be surprised by: Reimagining schools for the 21st-century must be our highest priority. To do that we need what Wagner calls ‘Accountability 2.0.’ Our educational system is certainly a testament to the motto: what gets measured gets treasured. So what… Continue reading Trending: What Assessments Assume
Pedro Noguera, NYU Professor of Education says, "No". They're not quite the same. When you focus on achievement, you focus on test scores and you could miss out on whether or not the kids are actually learning. From the ASCD Capital Connections Newsletter (reprinted here): Less than half of the general public, and only 30… Continue reading Are learning and achievement the same thing?
What's my grade?This is my least favorite question. Luckily, it rarely comes up during the first week of school. During the first week, maybe two, we're still in the honeymoon period where it hasn't dawned on kids that I may be evaluating their work and that there may be a number in a spreadsheet somewhere determining… Continue reading Hate grading? Have the kids do it!