Cleveland Schools Considering ‘Mastery’ Learning Initiative That Would Scrap Grade Levels

Recently The 74 reported on a new initiative in Cleveland designed to confront Coronavirus learning loss by focusing on mastery learning. Excerpts of the piece appear below: A bold proposal in Cleveland could set the tone for how schools around the country could restart in the fall, one that takes into account students’ vastly different Read more about Cleveland Schools Considering ‘Mastery’ Learning Initiative That Would Scrap Grade Levels[…]

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May Issue Brief: Competency-Based Learning

It sounds simple—award credit based on student learning. But as schools grapple with how to determine what students have learned during this period of social distancing and how to award credit for this learning, questions have arisen about the best way to go about implementing competency-based approaches. Complexities related to student grouping, curriculum design, scheduling, Read more about May Issue Brief: Competency-Based Learning[…]

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For Student-Centered Learning to Work, Schools Must Rethink How to Assess Learning and Award Credit

Thomas Arnett, writing for the Christensen Institute, recently reflected on the necessity of mastery-based grading to facilitate personalized learning. Excerpts of the piece appear below: Student-centered learning offers enormous potential to better meet each students’ individual learning needs. By varying the time, place, path, and pace of learning, student-centered learning helps those who struggle, those Read more about For Student-Centered Learning to Work, Schools Must Rethink How to Assess Learning and Award Credit[…]

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Boosting Learner Agency with Student Self-Assessment

Writing for KnowledgeWorks, Sarah Pazur reports on the results of a program to increase learner agency through self-assessment in FlexTech High Schools. Excerpts of the piece appear below: Teachers who leverage the power of self-assessment can significantly raise student achievement by teaching students self-regulatory processes. At FlexTech High Schools in Michigan, educators piloted three tools Read more about Boosting Learner Agency with Student Self-Assessment[…]

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Time to Help Teachers Be Advocates for Students, Not Their Judge and Jury

A recent article by Michael Horn of the Christensen Institute reviews the problem with teachers being both evaluators and facilitators of student learning. Excerpts from the piece appear below: In her bestselling book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” Stanford professor Carol Dweck wrote, “When teachers are judging [students], [they] will sabotage the teacher by Read more about Time to Help Teachers Be Advocates for Students, Not Their Judge and Jury[…]

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Frameworks for Evaluating Cognitive Complexity in Assessments

Achieve is excited to release three new frameworks – one each for mathematics, reading, and science – for the educator community working on high-quality student assessments. The frameworks, which were developed by content experts and practitioners, can be used to evaluate the cognitive complexity of assessment items (the tasks students must complete on a test) Read more about Frameworks for Evaluating Cognitive Complexity in Assessments[…]

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Learn Next: A Toolbox for Educators to Transform Practice

Every student deserves access to powerful learning experiences – experiences that help them develop agency, grow their skills and expand their curiosities. Many schools are shifting their practices to be more student-centered in hopes of ultimately developing these qualities in students. We know in transformative environments that the learning and facilitation looks very different. This Read more about Learn Next: A Toolbox for Educators to Transform Practice[…]

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What Students Can Show Us About How School Is Letting Them Down-and How to Fix It

Three years ago, TNTP set out to understand how so many students could graduate from high school unprepared for the lives they want to lead. To find out, they followed nearly 4,000 students in three large urban districts, one small rural district, and one charter network with three schools in separate cities to view school Read more about What Students Can Show Us About How School Is Letting Them Down-and How to Fix It[…]

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The Research Base for Formative Assessment

Mary Ryerse and Susan Brookhart, writing for Getting Smart, recently analyzed the research base for formative assessment. Excerpts from their piece appear below: The original research base on formative assessment is most typically traced back to the 1998 publication Assessment and Classroom Learning (Black & Wiliam, 1998), the first widely cited review of literature on Read more about The Research Base for Formative Assessment[…]

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What Predicts College Completion? High School GPA Beats SAT Score

Preston Cooper, writing for Forbes, has reviewed a new article by Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute that finds high school GPA to be a better predictor of college completion than SAT score. For excerpts from the article, see below:  For obvious reasons, students who exhibit better academic preparation in high school are more likely Read more about What Predicts College Completion? High School GPA Beats SAT Score[…]

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Achieve: Do not use SAT or ACT as state summative assessment

Achieve released a new brief warning against the use of ACT or SAT exams as the summative high school assessment for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Achieve highlighted three reviews of these tests, looking at their alignment to states’ college- and career-ready academic standards and how using the tests for accountability would impact students, Read more about Achieve: Do not use SAT or ACT as state summative assessment[…]

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50-State Comparison: State Summative Assessments

The Education Commission of the States’ Comparison on State Summative Assessments was just updated and now includes information on the assessments that each state is using to meet federal requirements in 2017-18. As a condition of receiving federal funds, the Every Student Succeeds Act requires state education agencies to implement statewide assessments in mathematics and Read more about 50-State Comparison: State Summative Assessments[…]

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Ten Principles of Building High-Quality Systems of Assessment

How do state and district leaders cut through the clutter to make decisions on assessments for student success? Finally, there is unprecedented support on how to answer this question with the release of Ten Principles for Building a High-Quality System of Assessments, a collaborative effort led by Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit Read more about Ten Principles of Building High-Quality Systems of Assessment[…]

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What’s Working in America’s Public Schools

Earlier this month, John White, Louisiana state superintendent of education and board chair of Chiefs for Change, wrote a piece for the Washington Post that explored the progress made in America’s public schools over the past decade. Excerpts appear below: On the extremes of the right and the left, there is a growing desire to Read more about What’s Working in America’s Public Schools[…]

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In Case You Missed It!

February Issue Brief: Performance Assessment

Educators seeking to measure student attainment of 21st century skills and deeper learning are increasingly looking to performance assessment as a way to assess student performance meaningfully. ESSA’s innovative testing pilot and new test-optional college admissions policies are removing roadblocks that once stood in the way of widescale adoption of performance assessment. In this month’s Read more about February Issue Brief: Performance Assessment[…]

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The Promise of Performance Assessments

As states, districts, and schools are expanding instruction to include the competencies associated with college, career, and civic readiness, they are also developing ways to measure mastery of these deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills. These measures include performance assessments, such as portfolios, capstone projects, and senior defenses, alongside classroom performance. Meanwhile, more than 900 Read more about The Promise of Performance Assessments[…]

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