On this day of remembrance of Nelson Mandela, I am reminded that he had his priorities right, and told them to all who would listen, even the businessmen who was giving him money for schools…. “Well, I have written to … Continued
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013, is one of my favorite examples of what peace can achieve. In the face of a ruling elite, a long prison term, a communist perspective and a stance for the equality of every man, his peaceful step … Continued
What do you do with bad kids? First of all, don’t call them bad kids! Kids are learners who make mistakes and need help and guidance along the way, right? So what are we doing about Zero Tolerance policies that throw a disproportionate number of minority students into criminal status? We should craft new school policies that support student transgressions through better guidance, more support and much more attention to their access to quality learning opportunities. An old “rule of thumb” of teaching is that if the learning is interesting, there are less behavior problems. A new rule of thumb for teaching is to make the learning more equitable.
One of the most exciting new developments in performance assessment is the new edTPA. This test for new teachers was developed at Stanford University by a group of educators who have lots of experience in making tests into performance assessments—where … Continued
A major conference at Teachers College on December 9th will seek to defuse the ideologically hyper-charged current national debate over educational testing by exploring the historical roots of educational achievement testing as well as scenarios for its future. The conference will … Continued
Fred Smith, retired analyst, has testified about the Common Core steamroller that is over-running New York State parents and students. In his testimony in front of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Education on 10/29/13 he documents with graphs that “raise questions about the scales being used to weigh student achievement and the veracity of the [NYState] ELA and Math results.”
In 1945, UNESCO was founded as The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This group of intellectuals deals with many of the cultural parts of aid to countries around the world. I have made reference to the Education For All (EFA) movement on other parts of this website as something we should all be aware of, and something that maybe some of us would like to get involved with. Could this be you? Read on:
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. 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 produced failure. More students are failing. More teachers feel like failures. More schools are failing larger numbers of students.
Between 2008 and 2010, I worked as a consultant for the Theatre Communications Group. Their efforts, called “Building A National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models” supported new types of assessments, consolidated into four models, in order to build the assessment capacity of education departments in American theaters.
In my work for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), I have argued in a briefing paper (The Rise of Standards and the Need for Assessment Models in the Arts; A Briefing paper written for TCG’s TEAM meeting on May 9-10, 2006), that when standards are involved, the need for better assessments is paramount. In fact the quality of standards depends on the accountability provided by assessments. In this particular paper, I wrote that, in 1994, the second discipline to join the standards movement after Math was the Arts. The Consortium of National Arts Education Associations realized that: