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Chapter 5 - Tracking Student Progress

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

In chapter 2, we saw that tracking student progress over time is one of the defining features of the process of formative assessment. This chapter describes four basic approaches to tracking student progress. Each has unique characteristics, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Whether a particular teacher uses one approach over the other is frequently a matter of style and philosophy. It is also a matter of the content that is being addressed. A teacher might use one approach within a particular unit because it lends itself to the content of that unit; he or she might use a different approach in another unit for the same reason.

Approach 1: Summative Score Assigned at the End of the Grading Period

One approach to tracking student progress begins with designing assessments that include all levels of the assessment scale from the very beginning. For example, a mathematics teacher working on a unit about proportions designs and administers assessments that contain items for score values 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 from the scale regarding proportion. Right from the first assessment, students can obtain scores that represent the full range on the scale—on the first assessment, students can receive scores as low as 0.0 and as high as 4.0. Of course, at the beginning of a unit, many students will probably not be able to answer items at score 3.0 and 4.0 values because this content has not yet been taught. However, a number of students might be able to answer items at score value 2.0 because those items contain content that is part of the students' general background knowledge.

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Medium 9780983351276

Chapter 4: Standards-Referenced Reporting

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Chapter 4

Standards-Referenced Reporting

Level 4 addresses how well a school’s reporting system identifies specific subject and grade-level topics as well as each student’s current status on those topics. A school that reaches level 4 high reliability status operates at a rarefied level because it reports student achievement in more detail than is possible with overall letter grades alone. Specifically, the school reports student achievement for specific topics (called measurement topics) within each subject area. Level 4 has two leading indicators:

A system in which student achievement is reported for specific measurement topics within each subject area is a standards-referenced reporting or grading system. Standards-referenced reporting systems, the focus of level 4, are frequently confused with standards-based or competency-based education systems, the focus of level 5. The difference between the two, and the reason that schools commonly work to achieve standards-referenced reporting (level 4) before moving toward a standards- or competency-based system (level 5), is that in a standards-referenced reporting system, students do not have to demonstrate proficiency in each measurement topic to move on to another level. In a standards- or competency-based education system, they do. Thus, standards-referenced reporting systems are an important step on the path to implementing a standards- or competency-based education system.

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Medium 9781574411744

3. The Wave Swells

Kathleen Krebs Whitson University of North Texas Press PDF

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fter returning stateside and to civilian life, Priest continued his studies full-time for his master’s degree at the University of California Berkeley. He completed it in May, 1946. Utilizing some of those graduate courses toward the doctorate and his master’s thesis, “Administration of Philippine Education Under the Commonwealth Government,” as the first chapter of his dissertation,

“Philippine Education in Transition,” he earned his Ed. D. from

Berkeley a year later, in May of 1947.

Priest’s war assignment had assisted in his collection of data and had given him the rare opportunity to research a subject for which no other North American academician would have the same knowledge base as he. Finding the time to write had not been a challenge. Priest had acquired a job teaching algebra and basic math at Mountain View, a high school in the Bay Area of northern

California. The classes took little preparation for him and allowed him to work on his dissertation from three p.m. to eleven p.m. each weekday. Gaining approval for his dissertation to move to the next step of defense with the University’s committee was unusually simple. He took the document to his major professor who held it

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Medium 9781936764457

Chapter 1 The Shift to the Common Core: Transitioning or Transforming Your School

James A. Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 1

The Shift to the Common Core

Transitioning or Transforming Your School

Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.

—Margaret J. Wheatley

“What are you doing out there, Leonardo?” the young boy asked.

“I’m searching for answers to things I do not understand,” da Vinci answered.

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“True, but it may. It is very important that I ask,” the inventor responded. “When I asked why a bird sustains itself in the air, I engineered a way to fly; when I investigated the mystery of the circles a stone makes when dropped in a pond, I comprehended force; when I questioned why thunder is slower and lasts longer than lightning, I understood the speed of sound. My life has been given to asking important questions and finding deeper meaning in the answers.”

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Medium 9781934009444

Chapter 4: 10 Signals That Your Board Is in Trouble

Mark Van Clay Solution Tree Press ePub

Because the board has a 50,000-foot view, it won’t see all of the tactical and, especially, the operational dynamics within the school district. The board’s perspective is like looking at the outside of an anthill and trying to guess how many ants are underneath and what they’re doing. But many boards feel they have 20/20 vision at every level of the school district because they see so clearly at their strategic level. But boards don’t have 20/20 vision at all levels—no one in the school district does. And what the board can’t see often affects, directly or indirectly, the successful implementation of its strategic vision and goals.

So what can you and other board members do with limited organizational vision? First, recognize that you don’t need to see everything. Others have 20/20 vision at their levels for you, especially when all roles are working in an aligned, collaborative way. Conversely, the tactical and operational roles need your 20/20 strategic vision to provide the proper context to their work. When strategic, tactical, and operational roles are aligned, the entire school district has 20/20 vision.

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Medium 9781475819281

From Paraeducator to Teacher: Perceptions of the 1st Year of Teaching

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

M. VICTORIA RODRÍGUEZ

ABSTRACT: This article explores the 1st-year teaching experience of five Latino paraeducators. Through interviews, they discussed their challenges and successes, how their experience as paraeducators influenced their teaching experience, and what suggestions they have for schools and colleges to help ease new teachers into the profession. The study suggests that although these teachers were placed in challenging classrooms, they considered their 1st year to be a difficult but successful experience, despite the lack of systematic and institutionalized support from their schools. They stressed the need for experienced and qualified mentors to nurture novice teachers on the basis of their needs.

The nation is facing a shortage of teachers, especially in the areas of bilingual education, special education, and the sciences. There is also a shortage of qualified teachers willing to serve in urban schools and other settings where the majority of students are minorities and/or of low income (Voke, 2002), as there is a shortage of minority teachers in general, despite the increasing number of minority students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005; National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force, 2004). This problem is compounded by the high attrition rate of teachers. Close to one third leave the profession within the first 3 years and, in urban settings, nearly 50% during the first 5 years (National Education Association, 2003). One of the strategies used to address this problem has been to tap into the large number of paraeducators serving students nationwide. This strategy addresses the shortage and retention of qualified teachers in general and minority teachers in particular. In fact, a high percentage of paraeducators are members of racial/ethnic minority groups. Once they become teachers, they are more likely than traditional beginning teachers to teach and stay in high-need districts and schools. In addition, they are highly effective in all areas of teaching, specifically in establishing an adequate environment for student learning (Clewell & Villegas, 2001).

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Medium 9781935543695

Chapter 2 The World Within Your Classroom

William Kist Solution Tree Press ePub

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Laozi

The late environmental educator Donella Meadows (1990) is the originator of the concept of “If the world were a village of 1,000 people.” This was one of the first global awareness activities that I conducted in my class. I would calculate the percentages based on a traditional class of twenty-five and ask the students to group themselves according to the various populations that Meadows describes. The students were amazed to see, for example, just how small North America is in relation to the rest of the world or how few doctors or teachers there are in relation to other professions. For example, if the world were a village of twenty-five people, it would include:

• 14 Asians

• 6 Africans

• 2 Europeans

• 2 Latin Americans

• 1 from the territories of the old USSR

• 1 North American

• < 1 Australian or New Zealander

• 8 children (only 4 are immunized against preventable infectious diseases)

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Medium 9781942496113

Chapter 3: Data Literacy Projects: Understanding Big Data

Suzie Boss Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 3

Data Literacy Projects: Understanding Big Data

We live in a world awash in data. Every Google search, ad click-through, standardized test, public health report, and political poll adds to the mountains of information available for analysis.

From the World Bank to local government bureaus, organizations are becoming increasingly transparent about the information that they gather. People who know how to analyze and interpret open data can crunch numbers to make predictions, explain historical trends, or poke holes in faulty arguments. Increasingly, data scientists leverage their specialized insights to address social and environmental challenges, from climate change to global poverty. Some cities have improved local services by inviting citizens to crowdsource data about needed park repairs or potholes in need of filling.

Students who become data literate enjoy an advantage when it comes to problem solving. They get a head start on posing good questions, analyzing information, and supporting their conclusions with reliable evidence. “Analyzing data, spotting patterns, and extracting useful information have become gateway skills to full participation in the workforce and civic engagement of the 21st century,” according to the Oceans of Data Institute, an initiative of the Learning and Teaching Division at the Education Development Center (EDC Oceans of Data Institute, n.d.b).

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Medium 9781934009062

Section 1 Classroom Assessment

Douglas B Reeves Solution Tree Press 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).

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Medium 9781935542629

Appendix A: The Habitudes Notebook

Angela Maiers Solution Tree Press ePub

APPENDIX A

The Habitudes Notebook

The purpose of the habitudes notebook is to teach learners to take responsibility for their individual thinking and learning during the habitude study. The notebook provides students with a tool for reflection and inquiry and serves as a window into their minds as they process and apply the habitudes throughout their day. Students can record information about the lessons and class discussions in an interactive and engaging way. They can:

1. Transform important ideas and concepts into their own words

2. Record and prioritize the main points from each lesson

3. Set and organize personal goals around the habitudes

4. Make connections to success in other individuals and events

5. Creatively and strategically apply the habitudes principles throughout their own study

For teachers, the notebooks become portfolios that demonstrate students’ individualized learning through content that:

• Is personal

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Medium 9781475819205

Kaleidoscope Feature

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature

SUSAN M. BENNER AND GINA BARCLAY-MC LAUGHLIN

ABSTRACT: The authors of this article present a synopsis of one simultaneous reform effort of a teacher preparation program and a partner urban elementary school. We have attempted to blend the realities of urban teaching and teacher preparation without compromising our beliefs in constructivist theories of learning, cooperative learning, and inclusion. We accept the responsibility to create parallel opportunities for growth and development for ourselves, school-based personnel, and teacher education candidates. Through our partnership we have collaborated with school-based personnel to identify and implement methods that improve student outcomes in the bureaucratic context of mandated programs and curricula. Using the research in effective urban education as a guide, we present specialized curricular content and activities used in our teacher education program designed specifically for urban teaching. Our combined efforts continue to be aimed at improving the academic success of children in urban elementary school classrooms through the exploration and implementation of effective teaching practices and the implementation of innovative approaches to teacher preparation.

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Medium 9781475811568

Defining Spirituality: Critical Implications for the Practice and Research of Educational Leadership

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

MADELINE M. HAFNER
COLLEEN A. CAPPER

ABSTRACT: This essay problematizes the current discourses on spirituality and leadership, particularly in terms of how spirituality is defined. To this end, the authors provide a brief overview of the different definitions of spirituality as explicated in the literature on spirituality and leadership, identify the underlying epistemologies of these definitions, and discuss why epistemology matters when thinking about spirituality and leadership. Additionally, the authors outline how an “endarkened feminist epistemology” (Dillard, 2000) can assist our thinking about spirituality and leadership, and advance not a definition per se but perspectives to consider when teaching and conducting research on or about spirituality and leadership, and when practicing leadership that takes into account social justice.

Our interest in how spirituality is defined in the leadership literature stems from our research and writing on the topic of spirituality and leadership. One of the first questions asked of us by students and research participants has consistently been “What do you mean by spirituality?” In addition, colleagues have strongly urged us to define what we mean by spirituality. To this end, we have immersed ourselves in the multiple discourses that inform how researchers and leaders come to define spirituality and leadership.

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Medium 9781935542230

5 Using Staff Data

Edie L. Holcombe Solution Tree Press ePub

The Mode Middle School data team has gathered and prepared data on student achievement and on nonacademic factors that impact students’ opportunity to learn and their success. The team knows there will be teachers making the claim that some of those nonacademic factors are outside their control. They will respond to that reaction by turning the focus to the factors that are within the school’s control. The most powerful in-school factor affecting student learning is the quality of instruction, and that certainly falls within the purview of the school. The school improvement/leadership team will need data that are related to developing teacher capacity and responding to teacher needs. Their search for that data begins.

The purpose of using data is to make the best possible decisions regarding how to increase student learning. Actions that need to be addressed on a schoolwide basis are addressed through the school improvement plan. Actions that relate directly to instruction and assessment in specific grade levels, courses, and classrooms are carried out through teacher teams. Data on staff preparation and practice inform the analysis of current practice, help plan and coordinate professional development for new practices, and identify ways to help support staff through change.

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Medium 9781475811544

Distributed Leadership and the Culture of Schools: Teacher Leaders’ Strategies for Gaining Access to Classrooms

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

MELINDA M. MANGIN

ABSTRACT: Formal teacher leadership roles—such as coach and coordinator—have become a standard component of education reform efforts intended to support teachers’ instructional improvement efforts. Yet the culture of schools is widely understood to favor autonomy and egalitarianism, suggesting that classroom teachers may be resistant to peer leadership. This study examines how 12 elementary-level teacher leaders negotiate access to classrooms and encourage instructional change in light of teacher resistance. Findings suggest that teacher leaders make concessions that may ultimately limit their impact on instructional improvement. Also, for these positions to contribute to instructional change, teacher leaders require the support of school administrators who offer guidance to teacher leaders and set expectations for teachers with regard to the enactment of teacher leadership roles.

Formal teacher leadership roles have become a standard component of education reform efforts designed to improve teaching and learning, especially in traditionally underserved districts. These school-based leadership positions, such as instructional coaches and coordinators, are intended to support teachers in changing their practice. The notion of teachers as leaders builds on the belief that, in addition to being the gatekeepers of instructional change, teachers have a situated perspective on teaching that may make them the logical leaders of changed practice. Yet the culture of schools is widely understood to favor autonomy and egalitarianism, suggesting that classroom teachers may be resistant to leadership from their peers. Given teachers’ lack of receptivity to change and peer leadership, teacher leaders, as facilitators of instructional improvement, face many obstacles. Currently, little is known about the strategies teacher leaders use to address those obstacles.

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Medium 9781475810554

From the Classroom to the Living Room: Eroding Academic Inequities through Home Visits

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Eric J. Johnson

From the Classroom to the Living Room: Eroding Academic Inequities through Home Visits

ABSTRACT: This article illustrates the experiences of teachers who conducted home visits as a way to cultivate sustainable avenues of school–home communication with families from an immigrant and/or language-minority background. The data stemming from these experiences are used to outline a sociocultural approach to conducting home visits and strengthening relationships with parents. This particular analytical lens addresses a significant gap in the literature concerning how educators across the K–12 spectrum should implement home visits. This article is especially relevant for school administrators seeking to establish what Auerbach (2012b) calls “leadership for authentic partnerships” with families and communities.

In the current U.S. educational environment where standardized tests and educator accountability drive policy decisions, parental outreach efforts are often overshadowed by the immediacy of rapidly accumulating student achievement data and looming assessment preparation strategies. While it is easy for educators to get bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of these ever-present challenges, Epstein (2009a) reminds us that there “is no topic in education on which there is greater agreement than the need for family and community involvement” (p. 1). Even though the immeasurable contextual differences among classrooms across the United States make it difficult to put forth a comprehensive set of guidelines for effectively integrating families and communities into schools, the most formidable aspect of this process is often figuring out how to start cultivating such relationships (Auerbach, 2009, 2012a). Moreover, the logistical complexities involved in collaborating with families are intensified in districts where there are greater differences in the socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds between educators and students (Cooper, 2009; M. Johnson, 2011; Lopez, Scribner, & Mahitivanichcha, 2001; Olivos, 2012).

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