Tagged “Assessment”

Melissa Mellor

ASCD Shares Civic Learning Recommendations

ASCD Shares Civic Learning Recommendations

ASCD recently sent feedback to the U.S. Department of Education on reinvigorating civic learning and engagement across the country. This feedback is a response to the department's call for suggestions on four provisions in its road map for advancing civic learning (PDF).

Research and test scores show that our students lack knowledge of the U.S. government system and their civic responsibilities, but many schools struggle to prioritize civic learning amid competing academic concerns. ASCD believes that civic learning is an essential component of a whole child approach to education that gives students a voice in a safe and supportive environment and ensures that they understand their opportunities in and obligations to their schools, their communities, and the nation.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Transitioning to Standards-Based Learning

Cathy Vatterott began her ASCD Conference on Teaching and Learning session, "Not Your Mother's Gradebook: Transitioning to Standards-Based Learning," by asking participants to think about the reasons that conventional tests may not be the best method to assess student learning.

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Klea Scharberg

A Progress Report on Teacher Evaluation

In the past three years, 36 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have changed their teacher evaluation policies, mainly to qualify for federal Race to the Top funds or No Child Left Behind waivers. States are drafting, implementing, and using new systems that incorporate measures of student achievement, levels of performance, classroom observations, and performance-based tenure decisions. All these elements must come together to produce results relevant to the improvement of teaching and the development of teachers themselves.

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David Snyder

Evaluating Teachers of Non-Tested Subjects in the Age of Value-Add

With many U.S. states overhauling their teacher evaluation systems and introducing student test scores as a factor, how can schools ensure fair evaluation of teachers of non-tested subjects, like art and physical education? One of the first states to begin implementing evaluation reform was Tennessee, and back in February, Education Week's Teaching Now blog noted the efforts of arts teachers in Memphis to devise alternative evaluation criteria based on portfolios, work that went on to be lauded by Arne Duncan. Absent alternative criteria, such teachers would be evaluated in part on a schoolwide value-added score unrelated to their subject specifically.

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Paula Mirk

Evaluating Teachers on the Hidden Curriculum

Teachers should be evaluated on the atmosphere they create in their classrooms and the degree of trust they have established with their students. Several findings from the Schools of Integrity and other research literature support examining both classroom culture and teacher-student relationships.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Five Levers to Improve Student Learning

Educators constantly look for new tools and programs to stimulate and motivate learners, enhance student performance, or change the role of the teacher. Recent trends include flipped teaching, red-shirting (postponing kindergarten entrance so that a child is one year older than his peers), merit pay, year-round school, and a longer school day.

Which strategies or innovations are likely to have the greatest effect on student learning? According to Tony Frontier, assistant professor of doctoral leadership studies at Cardinal Stritch University, most education innovations and policies can be placed in one of five categories, some of which provide more powerful leverage than others. Frontier presented these ideas during his ASCD 2012 Conference on Teaching and Learning session, "Five Levers to Improve Student Learning."

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Megan Wolfe

Teacher Evaluation for Effectiveness

Teachers know it, parents know it, and even students know it, but there seems to be no consensus across states, districts, and schools about how to measure it and ensure that it is measured fairly. I'm talking about teacher evaluations. Having an effective teacher at the head of the class is the most important in-school factor influencing student learning, and teacher evaluation systems are supposed to assess just how good teachers are in the classroom, with the goal of helping them improve as needed. But many teachers report that they are not evaluated often enough and, in some cases, are not even evaluated in the subjects they teach.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout November: Teacher Evaluation

Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor influencing student learning and achievement. Research shows that students with high-performing teachers can progress three times as fast as students with low-performing teachers and each student deserves access to highly effective teachers in every subject. In turn, all teachers deserve a fair and accurate assessment of their skills, how they perform in the classroom, and how they can improve. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on accurate and fair evaluations, based on multiple measures, including—but not solely based around—their students' performance in the subjects they teach.

Teachers should be evaluated based on their performance in their own subject area using a range of criteria, including observations, peer reviews, parental or student input, and analysis of agreed-on student learning evidence. Join us throughout November as we take a look at models of effective evaluation that produce results that truly benefit students, schools, and educators.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Educators Strive to Provide Students a Well-Rounded Education

Post written by Matthew Swift and originally featured in Policy Priorities.

Teachers, students, and administrators are aware that any major changes to ESEA could have a huge effect on their school districts. Issues such as common core state standards and waivers are among the many policies that could be affected. Even without reauthorization, ESEA (currently known as No Child Left Behind, or NCLB) affects districts across the nation in numerous ways. Despite the issues ESEA presents, educators are still doing their part to ensure students get a good education.

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Whole Child Virtual Conference

Your Summer PD: School Improvement

2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference

ASCD conducted its second Whole Child Virtual Conference in May. This free conference showcases schools, authors, and research about implementing a whole child approach for a worldwide audience. View and share archived session recordings, presenter handouts, and related resources at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.

Gain insight into ways to implement comprehensive, sustainable school improvement through these presentations:

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