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The reality in the United States right now is that we focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We then choose one-size-fits-all fixes based on those test scores while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways kids learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship must be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable information from multiple sources.
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we're taking a look at the meaning and purpose of assessment; the different types, including formative and summative, standardized and subjective, and informal and formal; and how assessments are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback, and adjust teaching-learning activities to maximize student progress. What should we know that assessments can’t do for us? What should we think about when we look at that data, assess its meaning, and decide how to use it for future planning? You'll hear from
- Nancy Frey, professor of literacy in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and coauthor of several ASCD books, including The Formative Assessment Action Plan and Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom.
- Tom Whitby, adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and founder of #Edchat, which has been recognized with an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Educational Twitter Series.
- Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary in New York, consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, and author of the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week and the upcoming book Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students.
Follow host Molly McCloskey and our guests on Twitter @Molsmcc, @NancyFrey, @tomwhitby, and @PeterMDeWitt and share your thoughts on assessment. In January's episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we will continue the conversation by looking at what the future of assessments should be.
How do we demonstrate our high expectations of students—and ourselves—through our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices?