Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

Hacking School Ratings & Test Scores

CJ Westerberg, October 30, 2014 1:00 PM


A The Daily Riff Classic post

"Recognizing that their students learn best when actively engaged, consortium schools typically use inquiry-based methods of learning with classrooms steeped in discussion, project-based assignments, and student choice  . . ."
-Martha Foote

acking School Ratings & Student Assessments
- C.J. Westerberg

Very important article (PDK) brought to light by today's Jay Mathews' post at The Washington Post.   A must-read regarding student assessment, rating schools and standardized testing, based upon Martha Foote's article in PDK's (Phi Delta Kappan education journal), "Keeping Accountability Systems Accountable":

"It is widely assumed that if students pass state tests that are aligned with state standards, their school is doing a great job in educating them, and if they pass the state's exit exam, they are ready to face the challenges of college.  Ms. Foote challenges these assumptions and presents an alternative way of judging the quality of a student's high school education."

Bravo, Ms. Foote for taking the conversation about our high schools, which have turned into test-prep factories, to another line of thinking in terms of assessment and quality.  Credit for bringing this article back on the front burner goes to Monty Neill at Fairtest as credited by Jay Mathews.

Excerpts to the Mathews' post, "Intriguing alternative to rating schools by test," including mention of Deborah Meier's extensive contribution to this subject, with link Here:
"Recognizing that their students learn best when actively engaged, consortium schools typically use inquiry-based methods of learning with classrooms steeped in discussion, project-based assignments, and student choice. Consortium schools are also committed to using complex, performance-based assessments to gauge student learning, with four specific performance tasks required of all students for graduation.

They are using assessment methods developed from those first pioneered by Deborah Meier and her colleagues at the Central Park East Secondary School in the 1970s. 'These days, each consortium student must complete  -  an analytic literary essay, a social studies research paper, an original science experiment, and the application of higher-level mathematics,' Foote said.

What I liked about Meier's assessments, and these, is that they do not depend entirely on the judgments of teachers who might be tempted, at least subconsciously, to give students they know and love better grades than they deserve, and undercut the school's standards. . . "

And the results?  Drumroll, please:

"Foote said, compared to averages for New York City high schools in general, 'consortium schools post a lower dropout rate, higher college-bound rate, and higher daily attendance'.

Related article from The Daily Riff: "Why Testing Fails Us"


Orig. Published by The Daily Riff July 2010
  • Michaele Wakabayashi

    Love your site!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook

mad girl group.jpg

NEW POST: Does your high school promote clique culture?

CJ Westerberg, 11.19.2014

"You see us as you want to see us... "

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories


Chinese Super Schools?

CJ Westerberg, 11.09.2014

"No one, after 12 years of Chinese education, has any chance to receive a Nobel prize, even if he or she went to Harvard, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge for college . . ." Yong Zhao

Read Post | Comments

Failure: It's the Badge of Honor in Silicon Valley & the OPPOSITE in School

CJ Westerberg, 11.09.2014

Would this EVER Happen in a School Setting?" . . . .up to 500 tech start-up newbies have gathered with industry veterans who dish on their "biggest fail" and lead round-table discussions with titles like "How to Conduct Yourself When It All Goes Off the Rails."

Read Post | Comments

Weekend Funnies: How to inspire kids to be "Not a scientist"

CJ Westerberg, 11.08.2014

Man-Made Climate Change?The Colbert Report  - VideoThe "I'm not a scientist" riff starts at the 2:50 mark.  The entire video (under 5 minutes)  is well worth the watch: The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video...

Read Post | Comments

MIT Prof argues that Higher Ed Online Learning is Misguided

CJ Westerberg, 11.06.2014

Bring in the Hollywood budgets and special effects

Read Post | Comments

Ask a student, how does your teacher learn?

CJ Westerberg, 11.05.2014

"They (educators) need to be able to model their own learning process for their students. Ask just about any student how much her teacher knows, and you'll get a quick answer. Ask a student how her teacher learns, and you'll likely get a confused look. This must change . . ." -Will Richardson

Read Post | Comments

Stephen Colbert's Sound Advice: How To Ace The SAT's

CJ Westerberg, 11.05.2014

Tip #1: "Spend A Lot Of Money . . ."

Read Post | Comments


CJ Westerberg, 11.04.2014

Now almost 16 million views - "brilliant" video - under two minutes

Read Post | Comments
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for test-taker.cartoonbox2.slate.com.gif

The problem with tests that are not standardized

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2014

Alfie Kohn delivers a blow to teacher-created tests (the wrong kind for the wrong reasons)

Read Post | Comments

More Featured Posts