DeVos and Assessment

Mackey, Megan

CA

Nobles III, W.P. (2018). Betsy DeVos approves efforts to change English tests in Louisiana. Nola.com. Retrieved from https://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2018/07/betsy_devos_louisiana_tests.html

A short article on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s approval of Louisiana’s new assessments approved through the more flexible Every Student Succeeds Act.

The article describes how Louisiana will experiment with new assessments that use familiar texts with the students rather than randomly selected texts. While this initially seems like a good idea, how will this be standardized?  Will this lead us back to where we were before the Common Core when the quality of a child’s education vastly differed among states? I’m looking forward to following up on the results of this next summer after these new assessments are implemented and scored.

Educators, Parents Debate the Common Core

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

CBS Sunday Morning. (2014, September 14). Educators, parents debate the Common Core. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpptv5bSIi0

Summary

Despite being a federal initiative, Common Core was started as nationwide collaboration from the state level to develop nationwide standards. 45 states and D.C. initially adopted Common Core and were offered grant money in return for participation. One of the benefits of Common Core was that it raised the standards of states like Tennessee and allowed more accurate comparisons of the academic achievements rates of various states. Despite these benefits, implementation of the Common Core has not been without pushback.

Many conservatives felt that the federal government should not be dictating curriculum even if it was the states who had the power to accept or reject Common Core. Opposition to Common Core was also strong in Progressives states. One of the criticisms of progressives was that the standards that Common Core set were unrealistic; and to support their argument, they singled out have specific test questions as being too difficult for certain grade levels. Education can be condensed into a series of increased standards. While Common Core may be flawed, it was a step in the right direction.

Evaluation

This is an outstanding synopsis of the controversy surrounding Common Core.

 

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

The Understood Team. (n.d.). The difference between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/your-childs-rights/basics-about-childs-rights/the-difference-between-the-every-student-succeeds-act-and-no-child-left-behind

Summary

This resource gives a side by side comparison of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In both acts, the onus is on the States to hold students accountable. One of primary differences between the two acts is that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is more flexible about the of setting academic goals than its predecessor the No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Also, NCLB did not limit the proportion of students who could take an alternative test whereas ESSA limited the proportion to 1% of test takers. As a measure of accountability, the ESSA allows a wide range of factors such as reading and math test scores, high school graduation rates, as well as other optional factors such as kindergarten readiness. In contrast, the NCLB’s measures of accountability focused on academic achievement relying primarily on reading and math test scores.

Evaluation

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind is a great overview on the differences between Every Student Succeeds Act and its predecessor (No Child Left Behind). It doesn’t cover the minutia but is perfect for someone who only needs a summary of these two pieces of legislation.

 

 

Mason, Ariella

CA

Carnegie Mellon University. (n.d.). How to Assess Students’ Learning and Performance. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/ assessment/assesslearning/index.html

This resource provides teachers with suggestions for several different methods to assess student learning. It gives ideas on assignment creation, exams, concept maps, rubrics, and group work.

This resource will be helpful in the completion of projects, giving ideas for assessment that are different than traditional tests. I found it helpful, and would recommend it to others taking this course.

Common Core and School Librarians: An Interview With Joyce Karon

Frey, Jennifer

CA

Kramer, P. K. (2011). Common Core and School Librarians: An Interview with Joyce Karon. School Library Monthly, 28(1), 8-10.
Summary:
      This interview explains what common core standards are and how they affect education. The person being interviewed, Joyce Karon, is a former school librarian and advocate for school libraries. She answers questions about the common core and simplifies what it means to teachers, students and librarians. She addresses how they are different from other standards and what school librarians need to know about them. The article also mentions the AASL Crosswalk of the Common Core Standards (http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/crosswalk), I looked up the website and found some really useful information there for school librarians.
Evaluation/Opinion:
       In my reading plan I had decided I wanted to learn more about school standards. I am not a teacher myself or have any background in teaching so I found this article helpful since it simplified this area I wanted to become more familiar with. For someone with little to no prior knowledge who wishes to see how the Common Core Standards also affect school librarians this article is helpful. I liked the interview format, it made it easy to read and broke it up. I also liked how it encourages school librarians to step up to the plate and start collaborating and learn more about the standards and what they can do to help implement them. 

CA-Formative and Summative Assessments

Rebecca Robinowitz

CA

Marsha Lovette PhD, director of Carnegie Mellon University and Psychology professor (2009) What is the difference between formative and summative assessment? Retrieved from: http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/formative-summative.html

Summary

According to Marsha Lovette PhD, director of Carnegie Mellon University and Psychology professor (2009), summative assessment appears to be in contrast with formative assessment. Formative assessment evaluates student development and progress and summative assessment evaluates a learner’s knowledge of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Examples of summative assessments include a midterm exam, final project, paper, or standardized tests. Summative assessments provide education stakeholders tangible information about future curriculum needs. However, summative needs can be used in a formative way if it is used to guide educator efforts and activities in subsequent course.

Common Core and New Adoption: Race to the Top

Shibrie Wilson

ET- New Trends
ET- Restructuring
ET-Standards-based Education
CA- Who Decides
CA-Common Cores Assessments

Cappiello, M. A. (2014). When Racing to the Top Slows Us Down- On Common Core. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2014/10/opinion/on-common-core/when-racing-to-the-top-slows-us-down-on-common-core/

Summary: Mary Cappiello has had the opportunity to network with different persons from teachers to librarians all in different states and able to learn more about Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Common Core State Standards continues to be in the forefront of educational debates. Many have perception that supporting CCSS one supports standardized testing. Cappiello stated “being against them suggests a belief in a top-down government and/or a corporate takeover of education, plus a massive mandate for more testing.” Race to the Top (RttT) is a different implementation of educational curriculum. It seems as though Common Core State Standards is the problem its Race to the Top in which enforces excessive testing and specifically tracks achievement by numbers. Schools that have adopted Race to the Top funding are only focused on test scores of students and not the experience and their intellectual growth, everything is based around numbers. Not only are students under pressure with RttT but teachers as well because their performance is dependent on test scores. 

Reflection: I have heard more negative things associated with Common Core State Standards than positive. Now I see that not only is CCSS becoming an issue but Race to the Top. Numbers, numbers, numbers that seems be all legislators care about. Maybe it is because they are trying to compete with other students globally but I am sure there is another way to go about this. I do not believe standardized test should solely determine a students performance throughout their educational career. Curriculums such ad these presented are taking the joy out of being an educator. 

School Libraries and maker spaces

Shibrie Wilson

IL- Creative Thinking
ET- Standards-based Education
CA- Common Core Assessments
IL- Media Literacy

 Bell, J. (2015, May 12). School Librarians Push for More ‘Maker Spaces’ Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/05/13/school-librarians-push-for-more-maker-spaces.html

Summary: Term “maker space” has been added to vernacular of 21st century school libraries. These spaces allow student to interact and research different things in which some schools do not have part of their curriculum’s. With the large push of STEAM- science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics has encouraged the integration of a “maker space.” There are arguments as to whether the spaces are valuable, but scientist have not conducted quantitative research to provide this type of information. Issue with integrating make spaces into schools is that some districts are formal and have not adopted this type of ideology. Districts with such mindset are concerned with creating a space in which prepares students for standardized test and providing materials in which meet curriculum for each subject area. This poses a problem for administrators and librarians when defending reason as to why maker spaces are vital in school libraries. Common researchers are developing data in which provides information as to how student are developing skills that new standards require, specifically that of problem solving and critical thinking. The largest problem some librarians have faced, especially librarian in blog is that of time. Time is crucial and there is not enough for students to develop, construct, and create a large final project.

Reflection: Enjoyed reading this article considering that this is revolving discussion in libraries. How are maker spaces vital and what type of change is being implemented from this innovative idea. A problem that I see posed are those who have a traditional concept as to what library services involves, and will not want to branch out. Maker spaces in school libraries can allow collaborative opportunities for science and math teachers, opposed to typical usage from language arts and social studies teachers.

Students as Global Citizens: Educating a New Generation

Monteiro, Sarah
Montiel-Overall, P. (2012). STUDENTS AS GLOBAL CITIZENS: EDUCATING A NEW GENERATION. Library Media Connection, 31(3), 8-10.
Summary:
Patricia Montiel-Overall’s article is essentially making a call to teachers and librarians to help develop global citizens. She begins by discussing the global issues that our students need to be aware of. She feels that students should understand and be conscious of globalization, how the health of our ecology is not separated by borders but intertwined across the plant, how technology has connected us and can even be distributed unfairly, and how policies are not reflecting current global situations.
She goes on to explain how the Common Core State Standards are “opening doors” to developing global citizens. The Standards call for international benchmarks that will teach students how to be aware of the world around them and teach them to find solutions to global problems. Librarians and teachers are in a unique position where they are the ones who will be providing our children with these lessons. The standards are in place, but now it is up to the teachers’ and librarians’ willingness to accept these standards to help create a “new generation of global citizens.”
Review:
I completely agree with most of what Patricia Montiel-Overall had to say. Teachers and librarians are on the frontline of changing our way of thinking as humans. We are the ones who will be influencing our future generations about the global world, our impact on it, and how to make it better for everyone. The CCSS benchmarks do clearly state that we are trying to create better people, but I really do not believe that the actual standards and ridiculous requirements that are being put on teachers and librarians are helping us do so. The insane education “reform” we call CCSS and the testing that goes along with it is, in my opinion, doing the exact opposite of what its benchmarks claim to be doing. What teachers and librarians are going through with the new standards and teaching to the test in public schools is as far away from educating global citizens as possible. We are creating test taking machines, robots who only know what it takes to write the formulaic essay that is demanded by the CCSS and its assessments. Monteil-Overall says, “new educational standards are a starting point for forward-thinking and rigorous action” could not be further than the truth. If we were just relying on the standards but allowed teachers and librarians to put implement them they way they see fit, that statement could be true, but the CCSS standards are assessed using impractical, inaccurate, and unfair testing that completely negates the positive global citizenship we truly mean to teach our students. Sorry for the angry rant! Like I said in the beginning, I believe is everything she had to say about being global citizens. Seeing the CCSS part just upset me because I feel she was inaccurate with that.

CA-Common Core Assessments

Experts Lay Out a Vision for Future Assessments

Leslie Fox
CA
Gewertz, C. (2010). Experts lay out a vision for future assessments. Education Week. Retrieved 
Summary:
This article reflects the discussion of assessment changes by policy makers and educators.  A vision for a new way of assessing that calls for more analytical thinking and problem solving rather than rote memorization and would function as both summative and formative assessment. The panel was led by by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University.
Evaluation:

This article is helpful in better understanding how summative and formative assessments relate to the bigger picture and Common Core standards, which are discussed as “inadequate” yet “essential.” Gewertz asserts that the future vision is to move away from multiple-choice tests toward “deeper, more analytical questions and projects that ask student to solve and discuss complex problems.” Other topics touched on are the need for instructor preparedness and professional development, the price tag of improving assessment, and the idea that improved assessments play a better role in informing learning.