Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching and Learning

Views: 705
Ratings: (0)

This anthology brings the ideas and recommendations of many of the world's education leaders into one resource that illustrates the many perspectives on effective assessment design and implementation. From involving students in the assessment process to ensuring accuracy and applying assessments to English learners and students with special needs, you will find compelling insights and proven strategies.

List price: $36.99

Your Price: $29.59

You Save: 20%

 

4 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Section 1 Classroom Assessment

ePub

Thomas R. Guskey

Large-scale assessment programs provide the foundation for nearly every modern education reform initiative. Policymakers and legislators at the state and national levels see assessments as essential for change. They believe that good data on student performance drawn from large-scale assessments will help focus educators’ attention and guarantee success, especially if consequences are attached to the assessment results; however, large-scale assessments, like all assessments, are designed for a specific purpose—to rank-order schools and students for the purposes of accountability, and some do that fairly well. But assessments designed for ranking are generally not good instruments for helping teachers to improve their instruction or modify their approach to individual students. Students take these assessments at the end of the school year, when most instructional activities are near completion. Teachers do not receive the results until many months later, and by that time their students have usually moved on to other classrooms with different teachers. Finally, the results teachers receive usually lack the level of detail needed to target specific improvements (Barton, 2002; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Kifer, 2001).

 

Section 2 System-Level Assessment

ePub

Larry Ainsworth

Educators today are awash in assessments, from those required by their states for the No Child Left Behind legislation to the quarterly district assessments that benchmark students’ progress toward proficiency of the state standards—and the assessment deluge does not stop there! Teachers also struggle with the numerous school-based assessments they must administer throughout the school year. The continual pressure to administer these regularly scheduled tests looms large in the classroom, establishing a pace of instruction that is often too fast for students. Given this, how can we suggest that busy teachers consider adding yet another regular assessment to the mix? Even the idea of it can understandably create resistance.

Classroom assessment requires time. With so many standards to teach, and with so many diverse student learning needs to meet, instructional time is becoming increasingly precious. Robert Marzano (2003) reported that the instructional hours during each school day that are actually devoted to instruction vary widely from a low of 21% to a high of 69%. How, then, can we urge educators and leaders to consider adding yet another type of assessment that will take even more time away from instruction? We must first determine the actual impact of existing assessments on instruction and student learning by determining the real worth of each of those assessments. Once this is accomplished, educators are in a much stronger position to decide whether to continue administering assessments that consume precious instructional time without yielding the kind of valuable feedback on student learning that can be used to adjust instruction.

 

Section 3 Assessment Challenges

ePub

Lisa Almeida

Many different terms have been used to identify students whose second language is English: They have been called limited English proficiency students (LEPs), English as a second language students (ESLs), and second language learners (SLLs). At present, educators refer to these students as English language learners (ELLs)—a term that more accurately reflects the process of language acquisition. Whatever the label, the number of these students in our schools has increased at exponential rates in both urban and rural districts. This dramatic demographic shift has produced many challenges for our public school system as educators struggle to meet the needs of English language learners—often without any specialized training.

In the United States, 47 million people (18% of the population) speak a language other than English at home. English language learners are the fastest growing segment of the K–12 student population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003). One of every six children of school age is a language-minority student (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs, 2004). Spanish speakers make up nearly 79% of English language learners; the majority of growth in this population is in the primary and intermediate grades (Kohler & Lazarín, 2007). The English language learner population is quickly becoming a majority in our communities, and therefore, in our schools. These students have a unique set of learning and assessment needs, and effective assessment practices are key to their success. Educators need reliable and valid measures to monitor their academic progress and learning.

 

Section 4 Assessment Leadership

ePub

Dylan Wiliam

Raising student achievement is important, but not for the reasons many educators think. Forget No Child Left Behind and adequate yearly progress. Forget district and state reports that rank schools by proportion of proficient students. Raising achievement is important because it matters for individuals and society. If you achieve at a higher level, you live longer, are healthier, and earn more money. For those with only a high school diploma, the standard of living in the United States is lower today than it was in 1975; for those with degrees, it is 25 to 50% higher.

In addition, people who earn more money pay more taxes, are less likely to depend on Medicaid or welfare, and are less likely to be in prison. It has been calculated that if a student who drops out of high school would stay to graduate, the benefit to society would be $209,000 (Levin, Belfield, Muennig, & Rouse, 2007). This sum is made up of $139,000 in extra tax revenue, $40,500 savings in public health costs, $26,600 savings in law-enforcement and prison costs, and $3,000 in welfare savings. Eric Hanushek (2004), a leading economist of education in the United States, has calculated that if we could raise each student’s achievement by one standard deviation (equivalent to raising a student from the 50th to the 84th percentile), over 30 years, the economy would grow by an additional 10%, and just the additional taxes being paid by everyone would more than pay for the whole of K–12 education.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
2370004243122
Isbn
9781934009840
File size
0 Bytes
Printing
Disabled
Copying
Disabled
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata