Five or eight years ago, after Reading First (and NCLB ) had been the law of the land, districts were implementing scientifically based reading research, and publishers were revising their curricular materials to meet the new rigor of RF, we started to see an uptick in student reading performance. Test scores were on the rise, and they were on the rise for all students.
Earlier this week, EdSec Arne Duncan issued one of his strongest defenses of Common Core State Standards to date, taking CCSS haters to task for spreading misinformation and and offering “imaginary” criticisms of the non-federal standards issued in by the Federal government through Race to the Top and other new programs.
Lost in the excitement of this week’s NCLB waiver waivers and NCTQ’s teacher prep scorecards was a new report coming out of Stanford University’s Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, or SCOPE. The report offers up the thought-provoking title, Criteria for Higher-Quality Assessment.
- New assessments should tap the “higher-level” cognitive skills that allow students to transfer their learning to new situations
- Assessments should evaluate the critical abilities articulated in the standards, such as communication (speaking, reading, writing, and listening in multimedia forms), collaboration, modeling, complex problem solving, research, experimentation, and evaluation
- Assessments should be as rigorous as those of the leading education countries, in terms of the kinds of tasks they present as well as the level of performance they expect
- Assessment tasks should also represent the curriculum content in ways that respond to instruction and have value for guiding and informing teaching
- An assessment should represent well the knowledge and skills it intends to measure, be used appropriately for intended purposes, and have positive consequences for instruction and for test-takers, guiding better decisions rather than restricting opportunities
Today is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of West Virginia. The Mountain State is one of Eduflack’s adopted home states (as this morning demonstrated, though, you can take the boy out of Jersey, but you’ll never take Jersey out of the boy). I graduated high school from West Virginia (Jefferson County High School in Shenandoah Junction) and I was able to proudly serve the state for several years as a staffer to the legendary Robert C. Byrd.
Mr. President, today I rise to speak to you in honor of the people of the great State of West Virginia in recognition of our State’s 129th birthday.On the 20th of June in 1863, the State of West Virginia was born. The product of a crisis between the States, West Virginia earned its place as the 35th State to join the Union, through incredible bravery and initiative.This spirit of initiative has remained with our fair State since its inception. The proud people of West Virginia have consistently served this country through the good times and the bad. We have fought valiantly for our country, we have provided for our families through hardship and prosperity, and we have worked to establish the greatest community, State, and country that we possibly could.Mountaineer pride is evident still today, throughout the State. This pride has attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers to our fair State. They have fallen in love with our majestic mountains ideal for skiing, our racing white water rivers, and our beautiful national parks. One only needs to open any local West Virginia newspaper to see the numerous letters written from vacationers commending the State on both its attractions and its people.THis feeling has led many people to continue to visit the Mountain State and has brought many more to relocate permanently in our fair State for good. Thanks to the hospitality and kindness of West Virginia’s native residents, our Mountain State quickly becomes home for her new citizens, and remains a place where pride and hard work thrive.So, on this, the 129th birthday of our State, I ask you, Mr. President, and my other colleagues, to join me in recognizing this important day for West Virginia, and for all her citizens who have made West Virginia a State that I am proud to represent and call home.
Last night’s unexpected passing of actor James Gandolfini has many talking The Sopranos this morning. The HBO series was probably one of the best-witten shows ever to appear on television. And Eduflack would even say it was better than the beautifully written Aaron Sorkin masterpieces SportsNight and The West Wing.
At the stroke of midnight last evening, the National Council on Teacher Quality released its Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report. The long-anticipated report provides a deep look at how more than 1,100 colleges and universities prepare prospective teachers and where our deficiencies may be in teacher preparation for the elementary, middle, and secondary grades.
“Best-of and worst-of lists always garner attention, so we understand why NCTQ would use that device. While its ‘do not enter’ consumer alerts will make the intended splash, it’s hard to see how it will help strengthen teacher preparation programs or elevate the teaching profession. We need a systemic approach to improving teacher preparation programs and ensuring that every teacher is ready to teach …While we agree with NCTQ on the need to improve teacher preparation, it would be more productive to focus on developing a consistent, systemic approach to lifting the teaching profession instead of resorting to attention-grabbing consumer alerts based on incomplete standards.”
Graduates from low-performing D.C. schools face tough college road via
@washingtonpost http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/graduates-from-low-performing-dc-schools-face-tough-college-road/2013/06/16/e4c769a0-d49a-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_story.html …
Did you miss me? Earlier this year, Eduflack announced that he was taking a bit of a sabbatical from this blog to focus on some other writing projects and some new ideas. Well, now I back and ready to relaunch Eduflack in earnest.