Testing and Assessments

Formative Assessments: It’s about growth and behavior change!

First, we must acknowledge three things about assessments: We are not experts on testing, especially about when and how to assign scores or grades The whole enterprise is fraught with questions of legitimacy and fairness It is such an enormous part of formal schooling The three of us dream of a teaching and learning setting… Continue reading Formative Assessments: It’s about growth and behavior change!

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Testing and Assessments

The Power of Effective Feedback

Teacher feedback on student work can be a powerful tool to dramatically improve student learning BUT the quality must be good or it can actually have negative effects on student growth. Many researchers and authors give attention to this significant topic. We like Susan Brookhart’s definition and guidance the best. In her book, How to… Continue reading The Power of Effective Feedback

Testing and Assessments, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Are we melting their brains?

Earlier this month, art students at Burlington High School in Massachusetts were asked to create pieces that responded to this question: "How do you FEEL about standardized tests?" Their teacher, Ms. Chang, published some of their pieces on her class website, here. Check out two of the pieces below. The first is by Josephine Samarjian and… Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Are we melting their brains?

Testing and Assessments

Thoughts on Tests

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

Testing and Assessments

Which treasure should we measure?

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?

Stage 2: Active Processing, Testing and Assessments

Are learning and achievement the same thing?

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?