Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When we all do well on the NAEP ...

1. Teach to the test: set aside well-thought out, child-centered activities to have students memorize possible NAEP content AND to have students practice taking standardized tests.
2. Test to the test: set aside well-thought out, child-centered activities to have students take standardized tests like the NAEP  periodically (e.g. monthly, quarterly) throughout the year.  These "intermittent tests", like NWEA or Scantron or MAPS to name a few, report to have a statistical predictive correlation with how students will perform on the "big ones".
(In addition, the "intermittent tests" can be used for what we call a "universal screener" to monitor progress. I know that prior to the testing explosion, GOOD TEACHERS WORKING TOGETHER WITH KIDS AND PARENTS were monitoring progress, but ...
Apparently, we have decided that if we are not doing well on the NAEP, we are failing.  So, when we all do well on the NAEP, where will we be?
1.  Testing companies profits will soar.
2.  Kids will be adept at filling in bubbles, "thinking INSIDE the box".
3.  More kids, and parents, will be disillusioned and disenfranchised with the schools.
4.  Higher Order Thinking Skills will have been replaced by teaching, and testing, to the test.  Same with the arts and subject areas not tested.
5.  The curriculum at your local school will have been dumbed down for success on standardized tests.
6.  We will not be happy with where our kids are, what they are able to do, and the schools will be blamed.
If our goal is success on the NAEP, why not look at what it will be like when we have achieved that goal BEFORE we commit to it?
I have not discussed the construction, administration, scoring, and disemination of the NAEP.  Go to your local school and find out about the NAEP.  Ask:
1.  Who administers the NAEP?
2.  What is on the NAEP?
3.  Who scores the NAEP?
4.  How did your school do the last time you gave the NAEP?
5.  What was done with your school's NAEP results?
6.  How did you, the local school, use the NAEP results to benefit the students who took it?  Change curriculum?  Change instruction?  Provide follow-up diagnostics and services to individual students based on the results?
You will be shocked.  The NAEP is educational malpractice.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Tweet that Was Brilliant in Simplicity!

Brilliant in it's Simplicity:!/davison_carol/status/203312002737766401

PLC's are effective when the walls that adults build to divide, to separate, to compete, to obfuscate - are torn down. 

Then, the adults in a PLC with one purpose - to benefit their students.  Pride, defensiveness, embarrassment, etc. are abandoned.

PLC's then become purposeful.

As noted by Carol Davison, PLC's are not about field trips, recesses, assemblies, and specials schedules.

They are about looking at student work to advance all student learning.

Thanks, Carol, for the exhortation and the reminder.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EdcampMKE - Wow! Top Ten

The Top Ten things about EdcampMKE:
1. I learned a ton about Evernote!
2. I went to a Tech Smack Down.  Wow!
3.  - Document of learning from the smack down.
4. I belong at Edcamp.  Driving there, I did not know.  I was nervous.
5. You belong at Edcamp.  Everyone does.
6.  The unique structure of Edcamp, coupled with the freedom for the attendee, really maximizes learning.
7. It is great to get together with other Higher Ed people.
8. @pernilleripp 's blog of advice for attending an Edcamp is a must read! Thanks, Pernille.
9.  More people who attend Edcamps either need to be in administration, or go into administration.  Unrelenting, unbridled, unencumbered, unimpedable, purposeful, intellectual,  DEDICATION TO THE FUTURE OF THE CHILDREN WE SERVE - what the EdcampMKE was all about.
10.  Next Edcamp for me: Oshkosh, Wisconsin on August 1.
It was also great to connect with my Merton and Arrowhead friends and people I follow on Twitter but had never met, and to make new connections.