Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rethinking Literacy (and All) Assessment | radical eyes for equity

Rethinking Literacy (and All) Assessment | radical eyes for equity:

Rethinking Literacy (and All) Assessment

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To whatever degree I have been an effective teacher over a 33-year (and counting) career directly and indirectly connected to teaching literacy has been grounded in my inclination to assess constantly my practices against my instructional goals.
Teaching is some combination of curriculum (content, the what of teaching), instruction (pedagogy, the how of teaching), and assessment (testing, the monitoring of learning). When I was in teacher education as a candidate, the world of teaching was laser-focused on instruction—our learning objectives scrutinized and driving everything.
Over the three decades of accountability grounded in standards and high-stakes testing, however, and the rise of backward design, both how students are tested (test formats) and what tests address have become the primary focus of K-12 teaching.
Accountability’s state and national impact has increased the importance of standardized testing—the amount of tests students are required to take but also the format of in-class assessments teachers use to prepare students for those tests.
High-stakes and large-scale testing is governed in many ways by efficiency—formats such as multiple choice that can be marked by computer; and therefore, many K-12 teachers model their assessment content and formatson what students will face in these high-stakes environments.
Over my career, then, I have watched teaching to the test move from a practice shunned by best practice to the default norm of K-12 education.

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