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Better Assessment; Flipped Classrooms

The education reform I envision is based on more accurate assessment of student learning. We have to look at the evidence for student failure under previous reforms, including the current standards/accountability reforms that ask for ever more intense standardized testing. Are these tests helping us? The reforms of the last twenty years depend on the use of standardized testing to hold states, schools, teachers and children accountable. On the surface of this reform, standardized testing sounds like the most efficient way to measure student learning and hold the system accountable for its effectiveness. But instead of accountability, it has documented failure. More students are failing. The tests themselves do not reveal very much about learning. More teachers feel like failures. More schools are failing larger numbers of students.

If the current standards/accountability reforms have failed to move large groups of children into better performances, we need to acknowledge that failure, in order to move on! Until we acknowledge the current failures of standardized curriculum, teaching and testing—we won’t embrace new reforms like the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom flips classroom lectures into the homework time and the student homework into the classroom time. The result is a much better understanding because teachers can assess individual student understanding and improve it from that assessment. Notice that I am using the term assessment, which from the French means to sit next to. I am not using the word testing. The old reforms use standardized testing to simply let teachers and students know they are not doing something well and that they are really failing the measurement system.

Check out this video that my friend Tom Underwood sent me (Thanks Tom!): http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/11/05/flipped-schools-clintondale

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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