The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) supporting school leaders in helping all students become college and career-ready and to succeed in post-secondary education and training
I went into the day thinking there was no other way to teach all students texts of great complexity other than through read-alouds
Mel Riddile's insight:
"With such a big focus on Tier 2 vocabulary in the Common Core, we knew we needed to ramp up our vocabulary instruction of Tier 2 words. Remember that we've been using the Marzano 6-step process for the last three years to teach content specific words from math, science and social studies."
"Superintendent John White said in an interview that state reviewers found that the textbooks generally didn't adequately match the skills measured in preliminary tasks unveiled by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of the two testing consortia designing exams aligned to the common standards."
The president of the College Board defends the role of non-fiction reading in Common Core curricula in an in-depth conversation with radio host Kurt Andersen. He insists fiction will not get short shrift under the new guidelines.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"According to Coleman, the majority of time in English classes will still be spent on fiction – drama, literature, narrative fiction, and poems. “The only thing that changes is that there’s some portion of time spent on high-quality literary nonfiction,” he said."
Twenty-five states have taken a big step toward designing a shared assessment: They've drafted an initial definition of what college readiness means, and descriptions of the skills and knowledge students must demonstrate at each step of the way toward that goal.
Released today, the college-readiness definition and the descriptors of achievement on each level of the test are part of the work of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two federally funded groups of states that are designing assessment systems for the Common Core State Standards.
Achievement level descriptors (ALDs) articulate the knowledge, skills, and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments.
Smarter Balanced is developing an integrated suite of ALDs aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment claims in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
Draft initial ALDs were developed in October 2012 by K-12 teachers and administrators and higher education faculty from two- and four-year colleges and universities representing Smarter Balanced Governing States. The ALDs are linked to an operational definition of college readiness, as well as a policy framework to guide score interpretation for high schools and colleges.
Background knowledge is critical for higher thought
Knowledge, not memorization, is a necessary precondition for understanding. It is "more desirable that the to-be-learned material is embedded in some interesting activity, so that the student will be likely to remember it as a matter of course."
"Exams seldom call for the creative deployment of knowledge. Instead, they call for the straightforward recall of knowledge. That's because it's very difficult to write exams that call for creative responses, yet are psychometrically reliable and valid."
Students might "gain pleasure of overcoming a formidable obstacle that you were not sure you could surmount."
Goal - rich content interwoven with a demand for critical thinking, delivered in a way that motivates kids.
The Smarter Balanced consortium will present only one performance task each in math and literacy, in addition to multiple-choice and other items.
Mel Riddile's insight:
From an original design that included multiple, lengthy performance tasks, the test has been revised to include only one performance task in each subject—mathematics and English/language arts—and has been tightened in other ways, reducing its length by several hours.
The final blueprint of the assessment, approved by the consortium last week now estimates it will take
Counselors are tasked with clerical duties, stealing their focus from student achievement, experts say.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Nearly 70 percent of high school counselors say they are tasked with administrative and clerical duties, according to a reportreleased Wednesday by the College Board."
Counselors can't effect change from behind their desks, says Peggy Hines, director of the Education Trust's National Center for Transforming School Counseling.
"They really need to be out of their office … teaming and collaborating to help the school better meet student needs," Hines says. "That means that school counselors are leaders and advocates, who use data to help the school figure out where, really and truly, they need to focus their school reform efforts and school improvement projects."
The Career Readiness Partner Council is a broad-based coalition of education, policy, business and philanthropic organizations that strives to forward a more comprehensive vision for what it means to be career ready.
Why do so many students choose Wikipedia when asked to find information on the Internet? I believe the answer is that Wikipedia is like the McDonalds of the Internet, you can always find it and you know what you’re going to get.
Light-switch changes are carefully orchestrated and designed, and occur with the flip of a switch.
Long-term, adaptive change requires learning and adaptation, typically over a long period of time, because the problem, solution, and means to implementation are unclear and frequently evolve and mutate with progress toward the goal.
2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki
What Teachers Can Learn from the New PARCC and Smarter Balanced Sample Assessment Items
CCSSO hosted a webinar with 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki on the recently released Partnership for Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced sample assessment items in English language arts.
Using the Common Core State Standards assessments to inform instruction won’t be so difficult because the exams match what English teachers already do — teach text analysis, said 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki.
Mieliwocki, a middle school English teacher, admits having concerns about students’ readiness for writing argumentatively, but gives high marks to the assessment samples recently released by the two consortia that are developing them to test what students are already taught.
“We have employers who are ready to hire workers right now – if the workers have the skills that the employers need – and we have workers in large number, both employed and unemployed who want these jobs but lack the skills and education level to access them.
At a current unemployment rate near 9% in the region, we have over 40,000 unemployed workers, many of whom are not currently equipped with skills to meet the needs of our employers for the openings they have.”