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From Formative Assessment

June 24, 2012 | | Comments 0

From Formative Assessment to Assessment FOR Learning:
A Path to Success in Standards-Based Schools. By Rick Stiggins
As the mission of schools changes from ranking students to ensuring that
all learn to specified standards, Mr. Stiggins argues that the purpose and
form of assessments must change as well.

My Response to the above article.

“Super Bowl Sunday, World Series week, both sorted on best performance. STEM initiatives to take the United States from 39th world ranked in math and science to #1. Annually new cars are ranked by mileage, comfort, and size, all sorted for your convenience. Our homes and neighborhoods are a sort of our income. We live in a sorted world.

A football or baseball team that ends up at the bottom will probably lose their coach. The United States sinking lower and lower is concerned about losing its technology edge to China thus losing trade dollars. Our cars get older and older and we have to get new ones and we all know what happens to our homes when our income sorts lower and lower.

This article starts off with the premise that sorting students by achievement is bad and has hurt our educational system, that “society” has found a new way. If this is true then why is our history books full of people we praise as achievers that grew up in this system. If “society” has found a new assessment model then it certainly does not fit into the rest of society. Let’s change the Super Bowl so last year’s last place team, because of x, y, z parameters can be in next year’s Super Bowl, even though they lost most of their games.

I personally don’t think the problem has or is ranking and sorting. I think the problem is student motivation and I think most of it stems from teachers not being skilled in presenting their subject. Of course, some students have learning issues, family issues, and many other issues but so does everything else in life. Yes, we all know that Mississippi holds many educational last rankings and something has to be done about it. New methods are good to look at, however, from my personal observations over the last 20 years teachers are unskilled, boring, and just plain uninterested in teaching. Can we expect more of students?

The author suggests that sorting students by performance and motivating by maximizing anxiety is old school. Personally, I think it works and as proof, Dr Ortwein’s, email edict that this posting and several others have to be in by the end of the today is proof, at least, for this student.”

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