All the talk of closing the achievement gap in schools obscures a more fundamental issue: do the grades we assign to students truly reflect the extent of their learning? In a new ASCD book, Grading Smarter, Not Harder, Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content.
In this video, Dueck tells the story of how he saw the flaws in penalty-driven grading by trying to get his son to brush his teeth.
Educators across the nation are working to improve their students' academic achievement, engage families and communities in learning, and maintain safe and healthy learning environments. But in Washington State's Tacoma Public Schools, educators are being held accountable for all of these responsibilities, not just their students' performance on tests. That's because the district is strategically aligning its accountability system with its overall purpose of supporting the whole child.
Although most states plan to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during the 2014–15 school year, many questions remain about what the standards are, how they were created, and how they will influence students' and teachers' daily work. The current issue of ASCD Policy Points (PDF) outlines basic facts about the standards that you can use not only for your own background knowledge, but also to inform your discussions with your colleagues, community members (including parents), and local policymakers.
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers what the primary use of digital games is in their classrooms.
Get hands-on practice using the new FIT Teaching (Framework for Intentional and Targeted Teaching®) tool kit to help ensure high-quality teaching and learning. Join ASCD authors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey in a free webinar on June 4 to learn more.
The synergy of all the tools in a teacher's tool kit is what makes for high-quality instruction. Based on the work of Fisher and Frey, the FIT Teaching® tool kit provides teachers with these tools and skills around four essential elements to help ensure high-quality teaching and learning in every classroom. The essential elements are:
Because tests don't require connection and collaboration, classroom education is being driven in one direction, while technology enables creation, curation, and connection.
Educators are up against a global achievement gap, Tony Wagner explained in his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session, "Graduating All Students 'Innovation Ready.'" That is, the gap between the skills students need and the skills that are driven by the testing culture dominating U.S. education.
Across the United States, students have started test prep. Students march through test packet after test packet with the goal of increasing test scores on a standardized test. In North Carolina, all elementary schools administer the End-of-Grade (EOG) Test. The test is a standardized test which measures how well students understand grade level standards.
At the recent ASCD Annual Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter convened an international panel of education leaders from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Canada. Although their contexts differ, they share many of the same challenges as U.S. educators, and their global perspective provided a new lens for considering common themes in education. Here were some of the panel's responses.
I must begin this post by stating one fact; I am so very appreciative and do not take for granted the number of hours spent in Washington Montessori School on a daily basis by our volunteers and community partners. We partner with local businesses, agencies, city offices, and so many others. Some of our partners help provide food for our back-feeding program for the weekend (where students discreetly get to take home food to eat), clothes for our clothes closet, and healthy snacks for the school day. For example, West Market Street United Methodist Church helps us celebrate birthdays each month and provides supplies for students and staff throughout the school year as well as providing a week-long free summer enrichment camp for students.