Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thoughts on Summative Assessments... Comments please!!!

Well, as the school year winds down, I have been reflecting on the practice of Standards Based Grading. My current practice is use formative assessments throughout our class time, then give a "summative" assessment at the end of each unit. I then allow students who want to re-learn a standard do some practice/re-teaching and then redo any of the learning targets they want to. I've liked this method, it's more work for me, but I can see the students continue to learn.

My question is... how does this prepare them for the challenges of mid-terms and final exams in college? Is it my job to model the methods of assessment that many colleges utilize??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Off the beaten path.... #edchat

This post has been a long time coming.... I've participated in various #edchat's on twitter. If you haven't yet, I'd really encourage you to. If you want to to spend an hour watching your computer screen explode with passion for education, then join on in!

Anyway, the real reason for my post is a reflection on #edchat in general. I love conversations about education. My extended family is filled with educators.. My brother Matt, sister Becky, and her husband Russ are all in education, along with myself and my wife. Our family get togethers are filled with talk of education. There are times where we put a moratorium on ed. talk during certain holidays.

Anyway, back to #edchat convo...Sometimes I'm torn during #edchat. Torn in a sense of lack of control, lack of a belief for a real change. Many of the conversations are what I call "out there" The conversation moves to a realm of almost unreachable desires of what education looks like. Many will say that we need people with vision in our world. I totally agree, but what's really going to change and when will it happen? I believe that education needs to change in the United States. Many will say that local control is still important... Really? The students we have are going to compete in a global market, not just for a job at the local mill.. We have to prepare our students to compete with students from India, China, France, wherever....The SYSTEM needs tweaking, but how much? The conversations I've had in #edchat are great and my thinking is always challenged (Which is why I participate!) Who's going to take charge and rock the ship?

My struggle is when is this change going to happen? All this talk about how education needs reformed, how standardized testing is hurting education keeps happening, but nothing has changed. #edchat has given me hope! Hope that there are over 1000 people in Tuesday's 12pm chat who want to create a change... I just hope it happens soon!