Tag Archives: Testing

Looking Ahead to the ELA Exams: What We Have Already Mastered & Developing Next Steps, 3-8

ELA Exams

Written By Anna Gratz Cockerille

Probably the greatest advice we ever hear about preparing kids for high-stakes tests is that a strong curriculum is the best test prep there is. When children are reading and writing daily for long stretches of time, they are far more likely to be successful on an exam that tests reading and writing. There are two key considerations when planning a curriculum that supports success with ELA exams: time and level of text complexity. 

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Revisiting “Schooling Beyond Measure” with Alfie Kohn

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Before he departs as Education Secretary this winter, Arne Duncan has revealed a "Testing Action Plan," which seeks to reduce the amount of testing in schools. The plan states that testing should take up no more than 2% of instructional time.

Today on the blog, we return to an essay from Alfie Kohn, who writes of testing, "You’ve heard it said that tests and other measures are, like technology, merely neutral tools, and all that matters is what we do with the information? Baloney."

Revisit "Schooling Beyond Measure" below.

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Alfie Kohn: What Kind of Learners Do We Want Our Children to Be? [Video]

Recently, Tom Newkirk joined Alfie Kohn to talk about Kohn’s new book, Schooling Beyond Measure and Other Unorthodox Essays About Education. In today’s clip, they discuss enthusiasm for learning, intrinsic motivation, and if current education policies and practices actually support this.

Watch the entire clip:

Alfie Kohn’s new book, Schooling Beyond Measure, is a collection of provocative and insightful essays that address big-picture policy issues as well as small scale classroom interactions. In it, he looks carefully at research about such topics as homework, play, the supposed benefits of practice, parent involvement in education, the alleged inferiority of U.S. schools relative to those in other countries, and summer learning loss—discovering in each case that what we've been led to believe doesn't always match what the studies actually say.

Click here to learn more about Schooling Beyond Measure and to read a sample from the book. Follow Alfie Kohn on Twitter @alfiekohn or visit his web site at AlfieKohn.org.

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​Alfie Kohn has been described in Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” The author of over a dozen books, he has helped shape the thinking of educators and parents for over two decades. Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the “Today” show and “Oprah”; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications.

Alfie Kohn: Testing Does Not Promote Equity [Video]

Recently, Tom Newkirk joined Alfie Kohn to talk about Kohn’s new book, Schooling Beyond Measure and Other Unorthodox Essays About Education. In today’s clip, Kohn talks about the flawed belief that the standards and testing movement is essential for helping the most disadvantaged students in our country. Rather, he argues, this focus on test scores does even greater harm to the schools and students that have the greatest need.

Watch the entire clip:

Alfie Kohn’s new book, Schooling Beyond Measure, is a collection of provocative and insightful essays that address big-picture policy issues as well as small scale classroom interactions. In it, he looks carefully at research about such topics as homework, play, the supposed benefits of practice, parent involvement in education, the alleged inferiority of U.S. schools relative to those in other countries, and summer learning loss—discovering in each case that what we've been led to believe doesn't always match what the studies actually say.

Click here to learn more about Schooling Beyond Measure and to read a sample from the book. Follow Alfie Kohn on Twitter @alfiekohn or visit his web site at AlfieKohn.org.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

​Alfie Kohn has been described in Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” The author of over a dozen books, he has helped shape the thinking of educators and parents for over two decades. Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the “Today” show and “Oprah”; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications.

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week of June 21–27

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We have a handful of great links for your last weekend in June! Each week we find around five interesting reads for you to take into the weekend. These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

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Author Jo Boaler wrote an Op-Ed for The Hechinger Report:

Brain science tells us that the students who are better memorizers do not have more math “ability” or potential but we continue to value the faster memorizers over those who think slowly, deeply and creatively – the students we need for our scientific and technological future. The past decade has produced a generation of students who are procedurally competent but cannot think their way out of a box. This is a problem.

Click through to read all of "Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises."

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On the Teaching Channel blog, teacher and math specialist Kristin Gray (@MathMinds) reflects on the difference between solving problems to learn math and learning math to solve problems. She asks, “How often do we give teachers ideas they must implement in their classroom and tools to do so, without offering the opportunity to think about how these tools work for them?”

Click through to read "Powerful Problem-Solving… For Teachers and Students."

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Melanie Meehan at Two Reflective Teachers wrote about balanced assessment for Tuesday's Slice of Life:

How do we get around the fact that assessments create GPAs, and in competitive high schools, GPAs are important components of college applications? Do we count formative assessments into GPAs? Within our conference room of teacher leaders, we did not have consensus. Some teachers do count formative assessment, while others use it only to provide information to students about how they are doing. If they don't average formative assessment into reported grades, should students who reach targets more quickly receive higher grades?

Click through to read "Thinking About Balanced Assessment."

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And Jennifer Ward wrote a post called "Getting Testy About Testing":

As Afflerbach states, the negative consequences of such high-stakes assessments far outweigh the positives. Students broke down and cried during our six days of state assessments. Students began school with two hours of state tests and then went through their regular classes. A full day of classes following a grueling two hours of high stakes tests upon which their graduation is dependent.

Click through to read the full piece.

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That's it! Be sure to check back next week for another round of links. If you have a link or a blog, be sure to mention them in the comments below. Cheers to your weekend!