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Better Standardized Testing (Myths and Falsehoods) | Cognitive Rigor to the Core!

Better Standardized Testing (Myths and Falsehoods) | Cognitive Rigor to the Core! | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Argument: Testing doesn't assess everything a child needs to learn!

This argument is a form of the Nirvana fallacy, where an idea is rejected because it doesn't provide a perfect solution to a problem or fails to meet every single criterion for effectiveness. No matter how well a test is designed, it will never capture all of the factors needed for students to succeed. 
Sharrock's insight:

Walkup raises important points that points back to the need for others to evaluate our thinking and actions. We are human, so we can't be perfect. The most obvious of our imperfections is captured by the endless list of fallacies and biases. In the end, only (mostly) the most mentally ill will see herself as the bad guy in her life story. No matter what we do, we have rationales or rationalizations. Even when we're wrong, we can only mostly see our errors in retrospect. (To experience this, try editing your own writing then hand it over to someone else to edit.Then compare the editing suggestions.) 

 

On the other hand, we also need to trust and respect our evaluators. This is something that standardized testing--based on how they are constructed--can provide based on objectivity and sample sizes. And we all believe in testing. "When a calculus teacher assesses her students on Taylor series expansions, she knows fully well that her assessment will fail to capture many of the personal traits needed to be a successful mathematician. Yet, she still assigns the test."

 "Standardized testing is no different. Results of standardized testing are limited to uncovering gaps in basic concepts/skills acquisition. We should acknowledge as such."  

This is better than depending on the opinionated colleague down the hall who finds success certain ways that fits his personality, but doesn't fit well for anyone else. 

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Sharrock's curator insight, March 8, 7:18 PM

Walkup raises important points that points back to the need for others to evaluate our thinking and actions. We are human, so we can't be perfect. The most obvious of our imperfections is captured by the endless list of fallacies and biases. In the end, only (mostly) the most mentally ill will see herself as the bad guy in her life story. No matter what we do, we have rationales or rationalizations. Even when we're wrong, we can only mostly see our errors in retrospect. (To experience this, try editing your own writing then hand it over to someone else to edit.Then compare the editing suggestions.) 

 

On the other hand, we also need to trust and respect our evaluators. This is something that standardized testing--based on how they are constructed--can provide based on objectivity and sample sizes. And we all believe in testing. "When a calculus teacher assesses her students on Taylor series expansions, she knows fully well that her assessment will fail to capture many of the personal traits needed to be a successful mathematician. Yet, she still assigns the test."

 "Standardized testing is no different. Results of standardized testing are limited to uncovering gaps in basic concepts/skills acquisition. We should acknowledge as such."  

This is better than depending on the opinionated colleague down the hall who finds success certain ways that fits his personality, but doesn't fit well for anyone else. 

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Policy Priorities:Full-Service Community Schools:Full-Service Community Schools

Policy Priorities:Full-Service Community Schools:Full-Service Community Schools | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

In a high-stakes education environment, can schools afford the time investment required to build community relationships? "Schools cannot afford not to build such relationships. Leaders of today's community schools movement understand that education reform is not an 'either/or proposition,'" says Marty Blank, director of the Coalition of Community Schools (Blank, 2004, p. 62).

Research has shown a strong correlation between areas with high levels of poverty, crime, and mobility and low student achievement. Despite these challenges, studies also show that supportive neighborhoods can mitigate the harmful effects of economic disadvantage on students and form the foundation for high achievement (Holloway, 2004). Education reforms will have a limited effect if they focus solely on the classroom. Policymakers need to consider what research has shown to be true—what happens in the community can and will affect the teaching and learning that happens in schools.

In Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools, the Coalition for Community Schools (Blank, Melaville, & Shah, 2003) summarized the major findings from community school initiatives. It reports,

Significant and widespread gains in academic achievement and nonacademic development.Increased family stability and greater family involvement with schools.Increased teacher satisfaction and more positive school environments.Better use of school buildings and increased security and pride in neighborhoods.

 

In addition, in evaluations spanning from 1992, the Children's Aid Society (n.d.) finds that community schools

Improve student achievement;Increase parental involvement;Demonstrate higher student and teacher attendance;Improve school climate;Increase community engagement;Decrease special education referrals; andImprove mental and physical health for students.
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More Progressive Ways to Measure Deeper Level of Learning

More Progressive Ways to Measure Deeper Level of Learning | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

How do we measure learning beyond knowledge of content? Finding that winning combination of criteria can prove to be a complicated and sometimes difficult process.


Via Deborah Arnold
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 15, 2014 1:29 PM

Rubrics do become disguised as quantitative measures and outcome checklists. Used well, they can offer a qualitative approach to feedback and learning.

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Why the PISA Debates Are Misleading -- and Useful

Why the PISA Debates Are Misleading -- and Useful | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
If the PISA test results give us the impetus we need to truly prioritize academic education -- in our families, communities, governments, and schools -- then all the hype will be more than worthwhile.
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Methinks the bloggers doth protest too much. China is not the issue. Chinese statistics are not the issue. The statistical issues Dillon and Fallows discuss may explain why Shanghai significantly topped scores from ALL non-Chinese nations tested. They don't explain why the United States ranked 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of 34 countries surveyed. Or why students across Europe excel in two languages (three in Finland, which also tops the science ratings) while ours score in English below countries for which English is not a native language."

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In PISA Test, Top Scores From Shanghai Stun Experts

In PISA Test, Top Scores From Shanghai Stun Experts | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

“The technical side of this was well regulated, the sampling was O.K., and there was no evidence of cheating,” he said.

Mr. Schneider, however, noted some factors that may have influenced the outcome.

For one thing, Shanghai is a huge migration hub within China. Students are supposed to return to their home provinces to attend high school, but the Shanghai authorities could increase scores by allowing stellar students to stay in the city, he said. And Shanghai students apparently were told the test was important for China’s image and thus were more motivated to do well, he said.

Sharrock's insight:

It's only stated as a possibility, but this made a statement. 

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Medical Mysteries by Sandra G. Boodman - The Washington Post

Medical Mysteries by Sandra G. Boodman - The Washington Post | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
The Washington Post's Sandra G. Boodman is looking for challenging medical cases--ones that have been resolved but in which the patient's symptoms were puzzling to doctors or suggested an immediate diagnosis that would have been wrong.
Sharrock's insight:

These are medical, but School Leaders can learn from these stories when puzzling over student mysteries in child study meetings (Response to Intervention student studies groups) or CSE meetings. Key ideas are commitment (!), experience, expertise, dignostics, and training. But trust and perseverence also come to mind. Some skills are purely medical or clinical, but there when do we know for sure when we can't support a student within the school setting? Something to think about.

 

In some ways, better than TV because they are real. Some of the tv show episodes were apparently based on one or two of these articles. Some bring to mind what Daniel Kahneman states about expert intuition in Thinking, Fast and Slow: "Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition." Daniel Sivers also noted from the book "Valid intuitions develop when experts have learned to recognize familiar elements in a new situation and to act in a manner that is appropriate to it." 

 

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A Model for the National Assessment of Higher Orde

In our view, a rich, substantive concept of critical thinking, and it alone, provides an intelligible and workable means of meeting all 21 criteria. In this section we will briefly consider each objective in turn, not as a definitive response to the criteria, but merely to suggest the fuller response in Section Three below.


Section Three: The Four Domains of Critical Thinking

What are the four component domains of critical thinking and their implications for the assessment of higher order thinking?




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The Treachery of Images - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Treachery of Images (French: La trahison des images, 1928–29, sometimes translated as The Treason of Images) is a painting by the Belgian René Magritte, painted when Magritte was 30 years old. The picture shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe."

The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture "This is a pipe," I'd have been lying![2]

The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in his 1966 painting, Les Deux Mystères.[3] Currently it is shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Sharrock's insight:

This simple work of art does so much to the critical thinking mind. Discussion beginning with it can lead to great understanding of the issues/challenges of symbols, the map-territory relation, the insights and cognitive/intellectual traps of models, etc. And, of course, it can begin a discussion about the validity and relevance of testing and assessment. The snapshot of a student is not the student.

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Principal: Why our new educator evaluation system is unethical - Washington Post - Washington Post (blog)

Principal: Why our new educator evaluation system is unethical - Washington Post - Washington Post (blog) | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Principal: Why our new educator evaluation system is unethical - Washington Post Washington Post (blog) regents Here's a new post from award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York about the state's controversial new...
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Andreas Schleicher: Use data to build better schools | Video on TED.com

How can we measure what makes a school system work? Andreas Schleicher walks us through the PISA test, a global measurement that ranks countries against one another -- then uses that same data to help schools improve.

Via Grant Montgomery
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Designing for Learning's curator insight, May 6, 2013 11:03 PM

What makes a great education system? Watch Andreas Schleicher administer a test to compare student performance around the world. 

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Understoodit: Formative Assessment Tool

Understoodit: Formative Assessment Tool | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

"If you are looking for a new formative assessment tool check out Understoodit https://understoodit.com/ .  Whether your students are on iPads or have access to the web from desktops, Understoodit is a fantastic free assessment tool that is perfect for collecting data when presenting new information to students."


Via John Evans
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Nancy Jones's curator insight, January 5, 2013 10:05 AM

This sounds like it might be what I have been looking for.

Alan Ovens's curator insight, January 5, 2013 3:02 PM

Another interesting possibility.  However, it costs am worried about how these  continue to create a market place out   becomes too expensive.

Donny Anderson's curator insight, February 20, 2013 4:55 PM

Understoodit is a perfect piece of technology that moves far beyond what clickers can provide.  You get real time feedback.  I wonder if the graphic can be enbedded into presentation software?

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This is what happens to test scores when you pay teachers $125,000 a year

This is what happens to test scores when you pay teachers $125,000 a year | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Not including bonuses.
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Guess which country does the most good for the planet?

Guess which country does the most good for the planet? | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
The Good Country Index measures how much each of 125 countries contributes to the planet. Announced today, the Index features some unexpected winners — and even more surprising losers. (Sorry, USA....
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More Than Half of Students 'Engaged' in School, Says Poll

More Than Half of Students 'Engaged' in School, Says Poll | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
A new report from Gallup Education shows just how powerful schools and teachers can be in motivating students to take an active role in the classroom.
Sharrock's insight:

This is more about engagement and motivation. Read carefully that this reports refers to school climate, learning, hope for the future, positive approaches, and passion.

 

excerpt: "Students who have teachers who make them “feel excited about the future” and who attend schools that they see as committed to building their individual strengths are 30 times more likely than other students to show other signs of engagement in the classroom—a key predictor of academic success, according to a report released Wednesday by Gallup Education."

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The Sour Grapes of Pisa

The Sour Grapes of Pisa | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
  The new Pisa 2012 will be released on Tuesday, which for those who are unfamiliar with it is a recurrent survey on the performance of schoolchildren from all over the world. The winners in this s...
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Usable Knowledge: Measure for measures: What do standardized tests really tell us about students and schools?

Usable Knowledge: Measure for measures: What do standardized tests really tell us about students and schools? | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
In this Usable Knowledge video interview, HGSE Professor Daniel Koretz shares insights about the strengths and limitations of standardized tests from his new book, Measuring up: What educational testing really tells us.
Sharrock's insight:

Use "Daniel Koretz" in Youtube to find video clips of him explaining his ideas and insights. 

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Data Discussion

Data Discussion | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it

How can teachers capitalize on data about student learning that are generated in their classrooms every day? How can this information best be collected and used to increase student learning? Making data part of instructional planning can be challenging, especially if teachers are not used to thinking about assessment and data as a regular part of the process.

Effective feedback  is a great way for teachers to use collected data in order to improve student learning.

Results from almost any assessment can be of great benefit to students, provided they are used to make instructional adjustments. And — the shorter the amount of time between assessment and adjustment — the more powerful its effect on learning. Just like a diet plan that sits on your desk…until you actually pick it up and DO something with it, it isn’t going to affect much!


Via Mary Perfitt-Nelson
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Mary Perfitt-Nelson's curator insight, January 8, 2014 6:00 PM

How do you use data as a classroom teacher? 

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Emotional Intelligence and a Loyal, Motivated Staff

Emotional Intelligence and a Loyal, Motivated Staff | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Ruth Malloy is global managing director of the Hay Group Leadership and Talent practice, where she works with Fortune 500 companies to help them achieve their strategies. I've asked her to guest blog
Sharrock's insight:

from the article: 

"Boss B (Worst Boss)

Has his own agenda, keeps information to himselfVolatile, unpredictableCritical – any feedback is negativeGoals or vision tend to be around numbers versus a meaningful purposeDoesn’t listen well, is not really interested in my perspective or inputTakes all the credit, doesn’t acknowledge team contributions
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Brain Test to Diagnose A.D.H.D. Is Approved

Brain Test to Diagnose A.D.H.D. Is Approved | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first brain wave test to help diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Via Maggie Rouman
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Maggie Rouman's curator insight, July 16, 2013 1:55 PM

Interesting... new way to diagnose ADHD using an EEG. Will it be more accurate? Could be more effective and will provide more evidence. Thoughts?

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Does Closing Underperforming Schools Help or Hurt Students?

Does Closing Underperforming Schools Help or Hurt Students? | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
Those on both sides of the debate believe they're championing civil rights. But there's no one-size-fits-all solution.
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» Vision Through Darkness - World of Psychology

» Vision Through Darkness - World of Psychology | School Leadership, Leadership, in General, Tools and Resources, Advice and humor | Scoop.it
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” This is one of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King quotes. It is remarkable, in
Sharrock's insight:

I wonder what is meant by the author who says that seeing a client as "physiology,parenting, brain function, or even an amalgam of these is never transformative, even when it is helpful." Is this more about a fixed-mindset lens? The first quote is powerful though: “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” It speaks to me about symptoms but also about science itself. So often, we don't really understand causality and metaphysics; we only understand what we experience and such limited reflection on those experiences. Most of us don't know with certainty what fire is; we do know that it is hot and gives light; we know that it can spread. But why doesn't it form as a cloud or as spheres? We see the seasons--winter, spring, summer, fall--but do we really understand that the only cause of the seasons is our relationship to the sun? And what about the moon's phases? Do we really know the explanation? I saw a video presentation that documented that quite a few people don't know (I certainly didn't know, and I had truly believed that I did know). 


In education, this is even more evident. We don't know what theories of learning are most accurate. We don't know the specific resources in a students community, home, or school environment that might have led to a student's successes just like we don't really know the specific reasons for a student's apparent shortcomings. Even with data, there are too many variables we can't control or rule out. We APPROACH truth with answers we suggest, but there is always room for doubt. This is particularly true when trying to improve school attendance. 

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