TEDx Talk: What Standardized Tests Don’t Measure

Name: Chambers, Louise

Main Topic: CA

APA Citation: TEDx Talks. (2014, November 13). Nikki Adeli: What standardized tests don’t measure [Video]. TEDxPhiladelphia. https://youtu.be/woVtj8GH678

Summary: In this TEDxPhiladelphia presentation, then junior in high school student, Nikki Adeli, delivers a powerful critique of US schools focus on standardized test scores. Adeli offers a comparison to the focus of schools systems in South Korean and Iran and an argument why US schools should focus on inquiry instead of competing in test scores rankings.

Evaluation: Inspirational viewing! Adeli’s three-part call to action to educators is my huge takeaway: 1) Believe in the power of teenagers to create change, 2) Have high standards for teenagers and provide support, and 3) Make teenagers the leaders of today in their communities so that they can be prepared to be the global leaders of tomorrow.

DeVos and Assessment

Mackey, Megan


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.

Student As A Citizen: Teaching Critical Civic Literacy Skills in the Library

Plummer, Shannon


Levin, S. J. (2016). Student as Citizen: Teaching Critical Civic Literacy Skills in the Library. Knowledge Quest44(5), 28–31. Retrieved from: http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=114940552&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Summary: An article written by a school librarian who’s goal is to teach students to become responsible citizens. Allowing them to discover a sense of purpose and feel they are important to the democratic process. She defines civic literacy as, “a cornerstone of a democratic society, and the ability to name, analyze, and act on a social or political issue.” A sample project is provided where students engage in civic literacy work as a freshman and continue throughout high school. During these project students, focus on an aspect of their own identity, allowing them to recognize their own values and then apply them. They participate in off-campus community organizations, putting their civic literacy skills into action.

Evaluation: I think this is a wonderful way to inspire students to discover that they have a voice in relevant issues in their own communities. I really like that they choose something to work on that they themselves identify with, allowing for deeper meaning. A democratic society depends on informed citizens who can participate in and initiate social change.

Standardized Testing

Morlan, Meaghan


Wright, L. (2018). Does standardized testing help students. Educationpost. Retrieved from http://educationpost.org/does-standardized-testing-help-students/ 

Summary: Article that discusses the positives of standardized testing. Why the government does it. How it helps.

Evaluation: I am against standardized testing in general. As someone who has never tested well, I don’t like it at all. I also don’t like that many schools seem more concerned about raising test scores than educating students. “Teaching to the test”, as it were. However, this article discusses the other side of the issue in that testing helps identify which students need more help and in what areas. I still don’t agree that standardized testing is the best method of identifying those students and addressing the problem areas in education, but I can at least see why they do it. This article sheds a positive light on the issue.

A Vision for Personalized Learning in Massachusetts

DeMonte, Jennifer


French, D. & Lebeaux, D. (2017). A vision for personalized learning in Massachusetts (White Paper). Retrieved from Center for Collaborative Education website: http://cce.org/files/A-Vision-for-Personalized-Learning-in-Massachusetts.pdf

The white paper discusses trends in Massachusetts that suggest a growing achievement gap. Where the state has usually been at the forefront of education, this has become a concern. It describes a movement toward Personalized Learning based on competencies rather than standards, and authentic learning experiences that are student-driven and flexible.

Much of the first half of the paper is skimmable. What I found most interesting were the principles of Personalized Learning enumerated in the paper, and Massachusetts plan to support districts in the move toward this practice. The description of a school that functions according to these principles is almost utopian in nature.


Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement

DeFrancesco, Joe


Lopez, E. Caspe, M. MCWILLIAMS, L. (2016). PUBLIC LIBRARIES: A Vital Space for Family Engagement. Harvard Family Research Project. Public Library Association. Retrieved http://www.ala.org/pla/sites/ala.org.pla/files/content/initiatives/familyengagement/Public-Libraries-A-Vital-Space-for-Family-Engagement_HFRP-PLA_August-2-2016.pdf

This Harvard Family Research Project will highlight how the Public Library is a vital space for family engagement.  Family engagement is a shared responsibility and this 26 page detailed report will enhance your skill sets associated with becoming a public librarian that is viewed as a great resource to the community it serves.

Classroom Assessments

Bader, Devorah

CA – Curriculum and Assessments

Conderman, G. & Hedin, L. (2012). Classroom assessments that inform instruction. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(4), 162-168. doi: 10.1080/00228958.2012.733964 Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00228958.2012.733964?journalCode=ukdr20

Summary/Abstract: Many techniques are suggested to gather continuous formative student assessment data and adjust instruction accordingly.

This is a very well written and useful article that gives concrete examples of many types of formative assessments and how to integrate them into a unit of learning.  It also touches on rules for creating assessment questions either in a formative assessment or summative assessment (i.e. multiple choice, T/F questions, etc.).



Assessing Creativity

Galang, Johnny


Brookhart, S.M. (2013, February). Assessing Creativity. Educational Leadership 70(5), 28-34. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

This article presents a clear definition of “creativity” and presents ideas for stimulating and assessing creativity. There is a creativity rubric, written with the caveat that the goal is not to grade creativity but rather to help define creative and to promote thinking about concrete strategies for teaching and promoting creativity.

This article present great information in an easily understood format. Furthermore, it includes examples from real classrooms, which helps to envision how this information can be applied.

A Review of the 2018 AASL Standards

Sasaki, Lori


Loertscher, D.V. (2018). A Review (National School Library Standards — AASL). Teacher Librarian, 45(3), p. 36-48. Retrieved from http://teacherlibrarian.com/2018/02/08/dr-david-v-loertscher-reviews-the-new-aasl-standards/

This is a lengthy and detailed review and analysis of the new AASL 2018 standards. The review points out a few strengths, namely that the standards address inquiry in more detail, and many, many areas of concern. Some areas of concern that stand out include the role of the library in affecting learning in the greater school vision, the lack of a central role for technology, and the absence of free and independent reading. For all of the concerns, there is also a section with recommendations for “thinking ahead.”

This article should be required reading for anyone working in school libraries, whether they have tried to make sense of the new AASL standards or not. Underlying the entire review is the sense of urgency for the profession to demonstrate the indispensability of the role of teacher librarians and school libraries in a time when their existence is being questioned. The recommendations push teacher librarians to think deeply and critically about their role in learning, to imagine what learning can look like, and to create learning commons for 21st century learners.

The Future Is Performance Assessment

Bagley-Rowe, Heather


French, D. (2017). The Future Is Performance Assessment. Voices In Urban Education, (46), 6-13. http://vue.annenberginstitute.org/issues/46/future-performance-assessment

French examines examines future accountability systems in light of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and highlights the benefits of performance assessments: creative student learning and life skills development, differentiation in teaching, and bringing teacher expertise to the forefront. Standardized testing falls short in measuring how well students develop citizenship skills. Teachers use performance assessment to measure student learning. Students demonstrate knowledge transfer by applying problem-solving skills and building or creating a new work. Students voice that performance assessments enhanced their learning, honed their thinking skills, and helped them develop skills in ways they learn best. Performance assessment schools require teacher expertise to ensure measures match appropriate standards. The benefits include student learning enrichment, and teachers’ craft improvement through teacher collaboration. Although more research is needed, early evidence shows that performance assessment systems improve the way students learn, and the way teachers teach.

As the author mentions, the field may benefit from additional research. The examples French uses tell an interesting story of student experience with performance assessment, but may be isolated, or given by students who may very well excel regardless of the type of learning and assessment. I was glad to see the mention of teacher collaboration as a benefit to placing teachers at the center of an assessment system. Some schools may be content to allow each teacher to work individually, but through my MLIS studies, I have learned that teacher collaboration improves both the student experience, as well as boosts teachers in their teaching.