Essa and School Libraries

Monaghan, Josephine

CA

ESSA and School Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://essa.aasl.org/aasl-position-statements/

Summary

In this website, the AASL unpacks the various provisions in ESSA relating to the school library as well as their official position statements. This includes defining what an effective  school library looks like as well as the instructional role of the school librarian. The website also links to state specific ESSA plans and on which page(s) library specifics are presented. ESSA updates and resources can be found on the resource and discussion board pages. 

Evaluation

I did not know a lot about how ESSA is impacting school libraries. I found this website very useful in understanding how the school library community is interpreting the language of ESSA, and defining what an effective school looks like. These position statements and definitions have become the foundation of the school library description in various states’ ESSA plans as well as reference for school library advocacy. 

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The Future Is Performance Assessment

Bagley-Rowe, Heather

CA

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.