Monday, January 9, 2012

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...January 9, 2012

While NCLB turned 10-years old yesterday, pardon me if I do not celebrate. Let's all hope that 2012 is a year when we start to look at real solutions for making our schools a bit more relevant for students. This article which ran in Valerie Strauss' column in the Washington Post's Answer Sheet was written by Boston-based Fair Test.  Here's an excerpt that sums up the feelings of many educators in regards to NCLB:
"Policymakers must abandon their faith-based embrace of test-and-punish strategies and, instead, pursue proven alternatives to guide and support the nation’s neediest schools and students."
Who in their right mind would advocate for continuing a legislation that has
"failed to significantly increase average academic performance and significantly narrow achievement gaps" over a 10-year period?

It's 2012: Help Me Find Some "Bold Schools" - Will Richardson

This post from Will Richardson is a plea for examples of schools where students do well on the "traditional" standardized tests and at the same time teach relevant 21st Century skills that will prepare them to be successful when they leave their formal schooling.  According to Richardson these schools are those that are:
"creating student-centered, inquiry-based, technology-rich learning opportunities in our classrooms can help kids navigate the world they live in AND pass the test."
Wouldn't it be great to be a school like this? I think we are on the right path, but there is much work to be done. For more on Richardson's thoughts on "Bold Schools," check out his article from the latest issue of District Administration - Are You An Old School or a Bold School?

Consequences of Teaching To The Test - via

Common sense would tell us that the number-one goal of testing should be to ensure student learning. It seems that we have accomplished a great many things with our focus on teaching to the test, but I am not sure that there is any data on this chart that proves our students are learning and/or acquiring skills that will ensure them success. Anyway, the chart below is a worth a look!
Teaching to the Test
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