10 Chapters
Medium 9781945349027

Chapter 9

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF

9

Proficiency Scales and

Rubrics in Action

The genius of rubrics is that they are descriptive and not evaluative. Of course, rubrics can be used to evaluate, but the operating principle is you match the performance to the description rather than “judge” it.

—Susan M. Brookhart

I

n general, success criteria describe qualities of exemplary work; the more direct expression of criteria comes through rubrics and scales, solidifying criteria as a natural progression of sophistication (Andrade, 2013). While teachers can develop scales and rubrics in a variety of formats, the fundamental purpose is to make performance criteria transparent and accessible. Scales and rubrics work together in tandem, with the rubric providing a more narrow and detailed view of success with a particular standard or skill, and the proficiency scale providing a more holistic, overarching view.

Moving From Rationale to Action

Scales and rubrics are similar in that both attempt to create a continuum that articulates distinct levels of knowledge and skill relative to a specific topic (Marzano,

See All Chapters
Medium 9781945349027

Chapter 1

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF

1

Standards-Based

Learning in Action

The past 20 years have seen an accelerating growth in studies of formative assessment. However, this has not been matched by a corresponding development in summative assessment.

The net effect has been that the changes have not improved the state of discord between these two functions.

—Paul Black

A

move to standards-based learning requires some fundamental and significant shifts in how teachers organize, execute, and assess their students.

After they have identified the standards, it becomes clearer to teachers what they should teach and assess—and what they should not. Most teachers would have to go out of their way to avoid covering the mandated standards by topic; however, the existence of standards doesn’t always equate to teaching to standards. Standardsbased learning is anchored on a teacher’s commitment to designing instructional experiences and assessment that make proficiency against standards (not the accumulation of points) the priority outcome.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781945349027

Chapter 4

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF

4

Effective Feedback in Action

Feedback is what happens second, is one of the most powerful influences on learning, occurs too rarely, and needs to be more fully researched by qualitatively and quantitatively investigating how feedback works in the classroom and learning process.

—John A. C. Hattie

U

sing assessment data is fundamental to closing the gap between where students are and where they need to be. The unpredictability of learning makes feedback essential to effective learning and improvement (Wiliam, 2013).

Despite deep and wide research, there is no definitive answer to the question, What’s the most effective feedback strategy?

Everything about assessment is contextually sensitive and nuanced; a strategy that is effective in one class might be ineffective in another. Although it is a more favorable practice to utilize formative feedback in the absence of grades or scores, the definitiveness with which some reference the research on feedback minimizes the complexity of the feedback process. Almost everything teachers do in responding to assessment can, on some level, be classified as feedback (grades, for example); however, the real question is how effective the feedback was in producing the desired result of advancing proficiency.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781945349027

Chapter 5

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF

5

Meaningful

Homework in Action

The range of complaints about homework is enormous, and the complaints tend . . . toward extreme, angry, often contradictory views.

—Brian Gill and Steven Schlossman

F

ew aspects of schooling rival homework in terms of multiple perspectives and definitive opinions. While some lament the very idea, others believe there is a place to extend learning beyond the school day. This chapter’s purpose is not to stake out a position on one side. Rather, we present a more productive, meaningful approach to homework should teachers decide it is a necessary part of the standards-based learning experience. Students’ age and stage of development undoubtedly play an essential role in teachers’ decisions about the role of homework, which means they must contextualize the ideas we put forth in this chapter to determine the applicability for each teacher’s classroom.

Moving From Rationale to Action

Because homework practices, strategies, tasks, and responses can vary so widely, homework is essentially a neutral practice that will either contribute to or take away from students’ learning experiences based on how teachers utilize it. The latest research about homework lays the foundation so teachers can put the subsequent strategies into action to make it meaningful. Because there are many diverse

See All Chapters
Medium 9781945349027

Chapter 10

Schimmer, Tom Solution Tree Press PDF

10

Standards-Based

Reporting in Action

A standards-based report card identifies the specific learning goals within the curriculum so that the appropriate rigor can be ensured. It also communicates more detailed information about student learning progress with regard to those goals to bring about higher levels of success.

—Thomas R. Guskey and Jane M. Bailey

T

he full transformation to standards-based learning in action culminates with reporting by standards. The move to standards-based reporting is fundamentally optional in that schools could maintain a more traditional reporting construct (such as grades A to F) while changing everything else related to determining those grades. To be clear, however, we think that the final piece in fully transforming to standards-based learning is a move to a more modern, aligned reporting system.

When educators implement standards-based reporting at the school or district level, it is important that they invest the appropriate amount of time in changing teachers’, students’, parents’, and stakeholders’ mindsets first. After establishing those mindsets, then doors to standards-based reporting at the school or district level swing wide open.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters