Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wanted Authentic Assessment

As the details of the RTTT assessment requirements are unveiled, dare we ask that the two major assessment options create authentic measurements for performance-based evaluations?   In a day-and-age where an employees' performance is measured by what we produce--the job we do--the things we create--the ways in which we perform-- dare we ask that the performance of students be measured the same way?   
The CCSS ask us to graduate students who are college and career ready, who know how to perform--not take tests.   If employers wanted good test-takers, then they would likely not get creative individuals.   For some reason, I see a disconnect.  
I love the Common Core.  The content is scaffolded, well-developed, rigorous and relevant.  The key anchor standards within the CCSS ask teachers to teach in an Inquiry based learning environment, challenging students to think, create, debate, conclude, investigate, synthesize, and problem solve.  This is all higher-order Bloom's taxonomy.  Good 'ole Blooms...Long live the King.  

Dare we speculate how computer-based assessment will ever graduate from the bottom floor of Blooms triangle?   Rote and recall, here we come.  The latest unveiling from the PARCC group doesn't inspire me to great confidence that we will move away from rote and recall.   Despite the threat of low-levels rote and recall testing, we need to teach at the top.  I refuse to stoop to teaching to the test. If good instruction is planned and student-directed research assignments are prevalent, research shows that students perform better on rote and recall tests.  Therefore, please encourage teachers to return to creative teaching, research-based investigations, Socratic questioning, debates, student-owned projects and more.  This is the only way we will graduate career-ready individuals who are ready to perform--regardless of what form the assessments take. 

See your librarian cybrarian today, and plan a student-centered inquiry investigation.  This is 21st Century Learning.  This is crafting instruction for the Common Core.  This is how to foster student-achievement.  This is real learning.  Long live the King.

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