Leadership: School Librarian Evaluation
Moreillon, J. (2013). Leadership: school librarian evaluation. School Library Monthly, 30(2), 24-25, 59. Retrieved from: http://www.abc-clio.com/Portals/0/PDF/FeaturedArticles/LU/SLMFreeArticles/1113_v30n2p24_Leadership_Moreillon.pdf
The implementation of Common Core influenced a review of teacher evaluations.  Teachers are evaluated on many aspects of their teaching including student achievement on standardized tests.  While school librarians are not specifically evaluated based on student assessment, they should be concerned about student success and how it can be achieved.  This article suggests that with the use of formal and informal assessments, such as pre- and post-tests, reflections, graphic organizers, and checklists, school librarians can accurately assess student learning and achievement.  It is also important for school librarians to practice self-assessment.  Some suggestions in the article for self-assessment include reflection on teaching, collaboration with teachers, professional development, outreach, collection access, leadership, and planning and evaluation.  The article even provides an example of a self-assessment, “School Librarian Self-Assessment: Five Roles of the School Librarian” as a resource for teacher librarians and school administrators.

This article provides a guide to school librarians with specific standards that should be met based on the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 21st-Century Approach to School Librarian Evaluation. An emphasis in the standards is placed on the collaboration and co-teachingof school librarians with other teachers and faculty members.  Self-assessment and self-evaluation are important tools for any person to reflect upon if they want to become better.  The resource provided at the end of this article is a great tool to help school librarians initially self-assess themselves so that they can set goals for future improvement.

Calling for a United Front on Assessment FOR Learning

Maricar Laudato

CA-Formative and Summative Assessments

Dixon, M. (2009). Formative assessment practice, formative leadership practice, formative teaching practice, assessment of learning, assessment for learning, assessment as learning. New Zealand Principals’ Federation Magazine, 15-17.

In this article, Malcolm Dixon makes the case for the important distinction between Assessment of Learning and Assessment for Learning. In Assessment of Learning, administrative and governmental entities call for the collection of information that assess and compare the performance of students against a set of academic standards. Examples of Assessment of Learning would be the annual standardized tests that students would be required to take under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (2015). Dixon argues that the nature of Assessment of Learning does not enhance student understanding or improve the quality of learning. This is when Dixon proposes a simple switch in words from “of” to “for” causes a revolution when educators start moving towards Assessment for Learning. In this situation, teachers put the focus on asking students questions about what and how they learn and supports the developmental needs of a more Constructivist learning approach.

I really liked reading Dixon’s article; so much so that I searched Twitter to see if he had an account so that I could follow him but I couldn’t find any (I try and follow library professionals that I admire and other organizations that align with my professional goals). His theories on formative assessment is probably the one I read that come closest to The Big Think theories. I liked how he was able to pack in some large theoretical ideas in relatively easy to understand language that was engaging. Plus, he used bullet-points throughout his article to underline major points and to visually break up the article in discernible chunks, which I thought was another great strategy to make his article more accessible to readers.

Going Gradeless: Student Self-assessment in PBL

 Leslie Fox

Weyers, M. Going gradeless: Student self-assessment in PBL. (2016). Edutopia. Retreived from:
In this short article Matt Meyer explains his positive experience with going “gradeless” in his 6th grade PBL class.  Meyer’s was inspired to try this new method after reading about Mark Barnes’ ideas of using narrative feedback rather than grades to affect mastery of specific learning targets within a larger project context. Meyers describes his intention to promote learning, increase student’s ability to metacognitively assess their own work against a set of standards. He details the plan to keep parents and administration in the loop as well as using Mastery Connect for formative assessments on a weekly basis.  Results include students asking in a continuous flood of emails “what can I do better?”

While at the time of writing this article, Meyers had only been trying this method for less than a quarter but his enthusiasm at his student’s engagement in the process is definitely exciting and contagious. This article lays out a simple, but powerfully effective plan to begin getting students more engaged in learning. It also offers a breakdown of conferencing with students to find out what they believe they did well or need to do better. This system encourages deeper metacognitive thinking than doing work for a grade. While the idea of “gradeless” classes seems extreme and makes most teachers, administrators and parents extremely nervous, this article shows how incorporating self-assessment into larger units can benefit learning in the classroom. 

An Interview with Grant Wiggins: The Power of Backwards Design

Leslie Fox


Johnson, B. (Nov 19, 2013). An interview with Grant Wiggins: The power of backwards design.


In this interview Ben Johnson talks with Dr. Wiggins, president of Authentic Education, about his thoughts on assessment. Grant Wiggins who co-wrote Understanding by Design with Jay McTighe, asserts that assessment should be central to instruction not an afterthought. The interview focuses on problems teachers face, especially in upper grades, of providing individual feedback  to guide instruction. Formative assessments are key, not just teaching to prepare students for the State tests. Wiggins points out that many teachers are still confused about summative and formative assessments. He claims that formative assessments “do not have to be elaborate.” For example, focusing on the present, not looking back at what was taught, but where the student is now and that not everything needs to be graded to be formative assessment. When administrators are looking for evidence of learning success when they observe teachers. Preparing the evaluation first (backward design) may not be as easy for teachers as Wiggins had hoped, apparently, it’s not instinctual, however, teachers can be more effective in planning lessons when they at least think about the evaluation as they plan the lesson. Wiggins offers some examples of ways for teachers to perform simple summative assessment on a daily basis.

This interview gives a refreshing and practical clarification of formative assessment. It also helped me understand more about an administrator’s role in assessing teachers when they observe. Assessments are necessary but can be seen as a tool used to teach, not just an end. Assessment does not have to be the enemy.

Frustrated With One-Shot Library Instruction?

Maricar Laudato


Buchanan, Heidi E., & McDonough, Beth A. (2014). The one-shot library instruction survival guide. Chicago: American Library Association.

In the introductory pages of this fairly short book, Buchanan and McDonough explain that they were pressed to write this book because of the great, and largely unmet need, for discussion on how librarians could improve “one-shot” library instruction sessions. This slim, 7-chapter book is only 124 pages, and it covers topics such as collaborating with teachers, classroom strategies to engage students’ attention, how to make instruction student-centered rather than teacher-centered, and the importance of assessment.

I think that this book is an excellent source for anyone working in school libraries. While I was thinking over what to classify this resource under (ET, CA, CO, or IL), it could have been all four! However, I deliberately chose ET because I feel that this book is a realistic response to the great amount of theory we have to absorb in our classes. Don’t get me wrong, theory is great and is the reason for why school libraries are able to transform into innovative spheres of learning. However, this book was a reminder that “one-shot” library instruction is often the norm for most school librarians and we only get about 45-minutes to teach a class of 30 or so students. Also, we do not determine what the students learn, it is the teacher that provides librarians what they want the librarians to teach. It is a rare thing indeed for a teacher to want to collaborate with a librarian when it comes to planning lessons. Librarians are oftentimes not included in the curriculum planning process, thus making us less effective when we do teach such skills in a “one-shot” lesson. This book provides sample scripts on how to approach teachers so that librarians can gain insight into the lesson-planning process. It also gives tips on how to change traditional demo-like teacher-centered lesson plans into more collaborative student-centered learning experiences. Overall, I think that this “survival guide” does a good job of living up to its name.

California Public School Library Standards

      While exploring possible subjects for our blog reading, I stumbled upon qualitative gold!  The report, “Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve” , located on the California Department of Education website reveals an inside look in the health and condition of California school libraries, but even more interesting; a review of California’s adopted school library standards. This adoption is dated back to two thousand and ten, but is still relevant and still needs a great deal of implementation. It is my hope for California, that grants are on the way to establish these standards in public schools across California. Four standards are outlined in the report, each standard classified by grade level. Standard 1 reviews how students access information. Including how to locate and use the library and the tools and resources available within the library. Standard 2, Students evaluate information. Standard 3, students use information. The student will organize, synthesize, create, and communicate information. Standard 4. Students integrate information literacy skills into all areas of learning (CDE, 2010). After reviewing the standards, it’s encouraging to know that the CDE values library services and is educated on current library practices and expectations. The report also stresses that schools that offer quality library programs demonstrate a direct correlation with improved academic scores. This report is a fantastic resource for librarians and MLIS students.
Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve.
Adopted by the California State Board of Education September 2010

A review of: Statistics About California School Libraries

A review of: Statistics About California School Libraries
This is the annual data collection of trends pertaining to California School Libraries and the level of library resources made available to students from year to year.
This information isn’t derived from an article, but from the source that directly collected the information.  I reviewed quantitative data that’s been collected for the California Department of Education reflecting the 2013/2014 School Year to examine the availability and types of services offered to California students in grades K-High School.
According to the California Department of Education, in 2013-14, 4,273 California schools completed the survey representing 43 percent of schools (CDE). The CDE report shares, “The following statistical snapshot is based on these data as well as data collected by the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) (CDE)”.
While the intentions of what California will do with this information is unclear, it is encouraging to learn library surveys have gone out to schools across the state.  Findings shared by the California Department of Education show that, California continues to rank at the bottom of professional library staffing numbers. In 2012, the California ratio was 1:7,374 (2011-12 CBEDS Report) and in 2014-15 the ratio dropped to 1:7,187(CDE). Considering the size professional staffed deficit, I’m intrigued and curious as to why California ranks so low in areas of professional librarian support systems. What first comes to mind is the size of California. According to the California Department of Education Fingertips Facts on Education, there are 6,235,520 students in grades K-12th in the state.  Student to educator ratios in general are often compromised, and teacher librarians as important and valued as they may be, are low on the list of improvements for quality the state desires. Another factor that might influence these low rankings can come from the specific requirements Teacher Librarian Service Credential holders are required to have. These requires are in addition to the standard Teaching Credentials these educators must have. In many instances the pay for teacher librarians offers little compensation for amount of extra education and training required to obtain this specialized credential.
Another area of interest in this report, is the acknowledgement of print material as well as web-based. The need for print material is connected to the Common Core State Standards. This condition, validates the significance of having a credentialed teacher librarian as part of the team to increase the quality of student educational experience. 
Since 2011, a steady decline of teacher librarians work in California Public Schools. In my research experience, this decline correlates with state budget cuts. The question isn’t if California can increase the quality of their libraries for students, but when. Many new grants are becoming available within the state to improve California public school libraries.
Statistics About California School Libraries
This is the annual data collection of trends pertaining to California School Libraries and the level of library  resources made available to students from year to year.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
 Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | CFIRD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 8, 2015

Assessments for University-Level Teacher Librarians

Johnson, Meghan


Sobel, K., & Wolf, K. (2011). Updating your tool belt: Redesigning assessments of learning in the library. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50(3). Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org

Academic librarians face unique difficulties in assessing the effectiveness of their teaching strategies. Unlike most primary school librarians who may have weekly scheduled meetings with students, academic librarians may only have a single 75-minute instructional session with a class in an entire quarter. An appropriate assessment of these one-shot sessions, though, can be crucial in encouraging collaboration with other faculty members on campus.

As far as assessments in academic are concerned, Karen Sobel and Kenneth Wolf are proponents of group assessments to illustrate knowledge of information literacy. While this will not necessarily gage the competence of individual students at the end of a library session, it will illustrate the knowledge gathered by the group, and individuals will benefit from this group knowledge. When comparing 3 different types of assessment (pretest and posttest combos, posttest only, and activities), they found that students responded best to activities. While it was not always easy to fit the “activity” assessment into library instruction, students responded positively to this kind of participatory learning. The only downside to this type of assessment was that it would take time for instructors to develop a rubric for assessment. Ultimately, Sobel and Wolf encourage academic librarians to experiment with all 3 core assessment types discussed and find what works best for them.

I worry that Sobel and Wolf are too accepting that these “one-off” interactions for academic librarians are the norm. In this article about updating tools for academic librarians, they don’t provide any tools that might encourage more lasting and strong collaborations between instructors and academic librarians. Additionally, Sobel and Wolf seem hesitant to take a stance on which assessment type is most successful. Despite all of the positives that are associated with activity-based assessment, Sobel and Wolf choose to focus on the time commitment it will require from faculty and teacher librarians to successfully practice this assessment. This would be another fantastic opportunity for Sobel and Wolf to discuss the ways that librarians can encourage collaboration between themselves and faculty.

One thing that I am optimistic about in this article is the acknowledgement of Sobel and Wolf of the importance group learning can play. They acknowledge that there are benefits to gauging not only what the individual learns, but what the group learns as well. I am also encouraged by their encouragement for librarians to experiment with Web 2.0 tools as far as assessment is concerned. They want librarians to begin experimenting with these online tools.

Overall, though, I feel that Sobel and Wolf are too accepting of the divide that exists between faculty and librarians as far as student literacy assessment is concerned.   

Learning outcomes, portfolios, and rubrics, oh my! authentic assessment of an information literacy program

Rachel Sandoval



Diller, K.R., & Phelps, S.F. (2008), Learning outcomes, portfolios, and rubrics, oh my!

               authentic assessment of an information literacy program. Libraries and the 
               Academy, 8(1), 75–89. Retrieved from


This article cover the creation and implementation of an assessment strategy at the University of Washington Vancouver. The paper focuses on the involvement of the library faculty in determining the information literacy aspects of the assessment. The chosen type of assessment was an ePortfolio designed by  faculty/staff committee and chaired by a librarian. Students added to pieces of evidence for each learning goal in the ePortfolio. Evidence could be course work, co-curricular activities, work experience, description of work, volunteerism of other life experiences. Students then wrote reflections pieces for each learning goal.
While, both librarians and faculty felt that more training and class instructional time to explain the new system was needed they felt that the new assessment had merits. Other issues such as question options and wording were changed after the pilot study in order to garner more accurate and relevant student interaction with the ePortfolios. Perhaps the most revealing for student was that they started to see how their general education courses and co-curricular activities overlapped to create a whole educational experience. 
Although mainly categorized as assessment strategies, this article also cover collaboration. This is a great article that shows how librarians can help impact curriculum development and assessment on a college campus. In addition, with so much emphasis on assessments by administrators, accrediting bodies, and legislators, it demonstrates that “old fashioned” survey style or grade based assessments are not the only route. 

‘World’s best teacher’ does not believe in tests and quizzes

Beverly Rupe
CA-Assessment Strategies

Brown, A. (2015, April 29). ‘World’s best teacher’ does not believe in tests and quizzes. [Television broadcast]. Washington, DC: PBS NewsHour Productions, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/worlds-best-teacher-believe-tests-quizzes/

This is a transcript of a television interview with Nancie Atwell, who was awarded the $1 million Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation, which has been called the Nobel Prize for education. Atwell was honored for starting a demonstration school called the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, ME, with the purpose of teaching children and training teachers at the same time. Atwell’s basic idea is to give kids choices, and let them follow their passions. The students are evaluated on their portfolios, and the students self-assess. The teachers assess the students daily during discussions. This approach supports favoring formative over summative assessments.