Sackstein: End of Year Self-Assessments after a Year Without Grades


Reposted from Starr Sackstein’s Blog:

After a year without grades, a new solution for final grade submission was in order.

For each semester, students and I met to discuss their progress and a grade they felt appropriately represented their level of mastery.

For the first time ever, the end of year grades will rest in the students’ hands.

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Vander Ark: The End of the Big Test


Reposted from Getting Smart:

To get at the heart of value creation, Clayton Christensen taught us to think about the job to be done. Assessment plays four important roles in school systems:

  • Inform learning: continuous data feed that informs students, teachers, and parents about the learning process.
  • Manage matriculation: certify that students have learned enough to move on and ultimately graduate.
  • Evaluate educators: data to inform the practice and development of educators.
  • Check quality: dashboard of information about school quality particularly what students know and can do and how fast they are progressing.

Initiated in the dark ages of data poverty, state tests were asked to do all these jobs. As political stakes grew, psychometricians and lawyers pushed for validity and reliability and the tests got longer in an attempt to fulfill all four roles.

With so much protest, it may go without saying but the problem with week long summative tests is that they take too much time to administer; they don’t provide rapid and useful feedback for learning and progress management (jobs 1&2); and test preparation rather than preparation for college, careers, and citizenship has become the mission of school. And, with no student benefit many young people don’t try very hard and increasingly opt out. But it is no longer necessary or wise to ask one test to do so many jobs when better, faster, cheaper data is available from other sources.

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50 Ways to Test: A Snapshot of Current State Testing [PDF]


Reposted from the Education Commission of the States:

As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a need arose for new summative assessments. New standards require new assessments measuring the skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards.

The Education Commission of the States has received numerous inquiries for information on where states are in terms of state assessments for the 2014-15 school year. Constituents also request information about federal testing requirements.

This document provides a high-level overview of the two testing consortia and federal testing
requirements. The comprehensive chart that follows provides a snapshot of which assessments are planned in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for the 2014-15 academic year

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