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Posted on March 15, 2015 2:14 pm
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Kristin Doyon
Kristin Doyon
Reps: 108
Same Formative and Summative Assessments for All Teachers
With the growing concerns of the new End of Course testing requirements, administrators and the Instructional Lead Teacher at a high school have proposed that all teachers of the same grade level and content area must have the same formative and summative assessments. Their grade books will have to match regarding the titles of the assessments (daily and test grades). The Math teachers are concerned, but they know that this can be worked out. The English Language Arts teachers are the most concerned, because this takes the art of teaching away from them. The ELA teachers have common Unit Tests that are given every 4.5 weeks; however, their other assessment grades (vocabulary tests/quizzes, the short pieces of literature they read, and the activities they create for the literature) are different. The ELA teachers believe that they should be able to have the ability to create lessons, activities, and assessments that suit their teaching style and their students' learning styles. Is the freedom of their craft being taken away? How should these teachers address their concerns?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted March 15, 2015 11:44 pm

udapum
udapum
Reps: 101
If the teachers are working together to plan lessons and assessments, then their freedom is not being taken away as everyone is included in the planning process. When everyone works together, we are able to come up with the best possible lessons and assessments. While teachers may need to make small adaptations in their classrooms to the agreed upon lessons to meet individual student needs, it should impact the outcome of what standards the students are learning, therefore, common assessments are still valid. I have worked in schools where it is the expectation that an administrator could observe in every class during one period and learn an entire lesson because everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. The idea is not a lack of trust of teacher's abilities but the understanding that if good teaching can happen in one classroom in the building, it can happen in all of them if teachers work together, instead of everyone working harder to plan independently. Common lesson plans give teachers more time to analyze their students' learning and improve it because each person is not spending all of their time planning their lessons on their own.
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Kathy Allen
Kathy Allen
Reps: 100
I think you make a great point!
  Posted on: February 23, 2018 7:36 pm

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Solution 2
Posted March 15, 2015 3:27 pm

dyTuDu
dyTuDu
Reps: 103
I believe this is a situation where educators are going to need to come together to plan and feel like everyone present really has a voice. The need for consistency in grading is evident and parents feel more confident knowing students are all being assessed equally. As a language arts teacher, I personally spend a great deal of time creating assessments and would love the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers to create assessments. The teachers will need the support of administration with uninterrupted planning time, which is usually the biggest obstruction to this type of planning. Sharing concerns and gaining support from administration would be my first step as a teacher in this situation.
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Xunezu
Xunezu
Reps: 107
Collaborative planning, especially when creating assessments, is a wonderful strategy. Teachers have to learn to compromise, though, and that they may not always get their way when it comes to the types of assessments they give and how frequently they are given. If they are meeting together to plan lessons, then their assessments would be the same as well.
  Posted on: March 15, 2015 8:43 pm

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Solution 3
Posted March 15, 2015 3:27 pm

Katrina Hammonds
Katrina Hammonds
Reps: 103
My solution regarding this is to allow teachers to create their own formative assessments. Those assessments allow teachers to continual assess the students progress for mastery, give immediate feedback regarding the students progress, and helps teachers to determine what adjustments they need to make in their instruction for small group or one-to-one instruction. Teachers must be certain that they are addressing standards in their formative assessment which are addressed in the common summative assessment (to maintain consistency and alignment).
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Solution 4
Posted March 15, 2015 9:31 pm

equLyV
equLyV
Reps: 104
As an ELA teacher who receives common assessments, I definitely believe that they take the craft and fun out of teaching. It's almost as if we aren't being trusted with the knowledge we possess to teach our kids what they need to know. I am able to make short quizzes such as vocabulary quizzes and tickets out the door, but I am not able to make end of course tests or summative assessments to close out a unit. Another aspect of this is the common assessments are on grade level and not differentiated to meet the needs of each student. As a result, the scores for these assessments are never high across the board. As far as addressing the matter; there is really no way for teachers to address this. The state mandated assessments are always on grade level, not teacher made, and sometimes not even aligned correctly. Maybe the coaches who design the common assessments could ask for input from the teachers, but that would take a lot of time in creating each test to fit each child's needs.
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Solution 5
Posted October 4, 2015 10:37 pm

QeJupa
QeJupa
Reps: 104
Have the teachers rotate creating the assessments so each teacher gets the opportunity to do so.
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