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Browse Assessment, Grading & Evaluations Articles

  • +6

    Why Grading on the Curve Hurts

    Why Grading on the Curve Hurts
    Remember the game of musical chairs? It's the game where children dance around a circle of chairs to music. When the music stops, kids rush to sit in the chairs. There are never enough chairs for everyone, and the slowest children are out of the game once the faster children have found seats. The game is set up so that for ...
    Rated: +6
  • +6

    The Red Ink Myth

    The Red Ink Myth
    Few students have ever gone through school without the experience of laboring on an assignment only to have it returned covered in exasperated red ink. Several years ago the trend was for teachers to forgo red ink-as if those terse comments would somehow be less harsh in purple, green, or orange. Today’s educators, however, know that there are many different ways ...
    Rated: +6
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    The Greatest Assessment on Earth

    The Greatest Assessment on Earth
    For those of you who don’t know what a school psychologist does, a big part of our job is to assess children for disabilities. A popular referral question is: “Does my child have Attention Deficit Disorder?” An assessment for ADD is often the most complex of all assessments because there is no “test” for ADD. It is a process where you ...
  • +7

    Survey Reveals What Students Really Think of Teachers

    Survey Reveals What Students Really Think of Teachers
    Pearson recently released My Voice Student Aspirations Survey. The survey focused on eight areas of student aspirations: Belonging, Heroes, Sense of Accomplishment, Fun & Excitement, Curiosity & Creativity, Spirit of Adventure, Leadership & Responsibility, and Confidence to Take Action. The survey questioned more than 400,000 students in grades 6-12, representing 569 different schools and 32 different states. Each student answered 57 ...
    Rated: +7
  • +1

    The Debate Over Assessing Student Performance

    The Debate Over Assessing Student Performance
    A week ago, the Department of Education announced that as part of its Race to the Top initiative, it had set aside $350 million for states to join form groups that would explore the "next generation of assessments"—essentially redesigning standardized tests so that they are more effective at determining "what students know and can do." The experts at The National Journal's ...
    Rated: +1
  • +14

    11 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid

    Professional writers often worry that their work is unnecessary. After all, can't anyone with even a basic education write? The answer: no, they can't. Even college graduates don't seem to be learning composition basics. Of course not everyone is going to be the next Mark Twain, but career success does depend on avoiding certain errors. It takes just one person ...
    Rated: +14
  • +3

    Assessment Methods: Easy For You or Best For Them?

    Assessment Methods: Easy For You or Best For Them?
    Do you remember watching the television show Make a Wish? For a while, it was televised on Saturday, but I mainly remember seeing it if we played hooky from church on Sunday. The star of the show was Tom Chapin. One site reminds my cobwebbed covered mind that Chapin would introduce the topic of the show like this – “I think ...
    Rated: +3
  • +1

    Make Grades More Meaningful for Students

    Make Grades More Meaningful for Students
    At the end of my second year of teaching, I was asked to do some research on why so many freshmen were failing English. The results were fairly predictable: most of the kids were either not doing their homework and failing or not coming to class and failing. This led to a discussion among the administrators and teachers about whether or ...
    Rated: +1
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    Does Teacher Tenure Devalue Teaching?

    Does Teacher Tenure Devalue Teaching?
    In the rarified world of academia, the mantra is "publish or perish." Young professors need to get their work out to the extended community of researchers or the general public via scientific journals, academic presses, and other means—hopefully garnering grants and attention for the university they work for. Bust your hump proving your academic bona fides for several years, litter publications ...
  • +10

    Awkward Conversation #247 at School

    Awkward Conversation #247 at School
    As a school psychologist, I get many little notes in my mailbox when I enter my school building. They are usually cryptic and anonymous: Check in with Darius. He’s sad Susana wrote in her journal that she wanted to hurt herself. Can you see her? Not signed. No last names. Detective Branstetter is on the case. One I got the a ...
    Rated: +10
  • +1

    Teacher Effectiveness - As Defined By A Bunch of People Who Have Never Taught

    Teacher Effectiveness - As Defined By A Bunch of People Who Have Never Taught
    I perused an article today about Obama's plan to stress more competition for teacher grants aimed at improving teacher effectiveness and quality. (Phew - that's a mouthful!) (Imagine saying all that if you WEREN'T an educator already immersed in that dialogue and those ideas.) (Wait. What? A bunch of people who AREN'T teachers did just that? You're shitting me...) This article ...
    Rated: +1
  • +1

    A Tutor for Every Child

    A Tutor for Every Child
    For all the words spoken, books published, and legislation written about them, teaching and learning aren’t all that complicated. Teaching is simply the process of one person helping another person understand something. And learning is the process of figuring out what something is, how or why something works, or how to do something. Why, then, do so many children struggle in ...
    Rated: +1
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    Testing: Threat or Menace?

    Testing: Threat or Menace?
    Student achievement, as measured by test scores, is meaningless, writes Karl Wheatley, a Cleveland State education professor in a Plain Dealer op-ed. ". . . most of what matters in life is simply not on the tests. Many key subjects and skills that form the backbone of people’s careers are not being tested. Also, many of the top goals that parents ...
  • +1

    Preparing Progress Reports: No Small Matter

    Preparing Progress Reports: No Small Matter
    Today is Progress report day. I hate progress report day. My students hate progress report day. We hate it for different reasons however. To me, it is like a new beginning. Students get a wake-up call as to just how bad an average can be when you only turn in one assignment out of 10 but the chance to turn things ...
    Rated: +1
  • +1

    Who’s to Blame for Boys’ Low Academic Test Scores?

    Who’s to Blame for Boys’ Low Academic Test Scores?
    “Girls go to college to get more knowledge. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.” I heard this rhyme over and over growing up, and I have to admit that it has played a role in forming my view of the differences between the sexes. As an adult, I assumed this idea—that girls were more conscientious and dedicated to their ...
    Rated: +1
  • +1

    The Best Way to Identify Gifted Students

    The Best Way to Identify Gifted Students
    Two weeks ago, the New York State Department of Education announced that it sought a better way of identifying gifted students in its public schools. The move is intended to help find talented students amongst lower income and minority populations, which are underrepresented in current accelerated classrooms. An interesting conversation on the subject is taking place over at The New York ...
    Rated: +1
  • +3

    Why Do We Give Grades?

    Why Do We Give Grades?
    Grades are given to document academic progress, right? But there are common pitfalls in grading, according to Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom by Rick Wormeli. 1. Avoid nonacademic factors (behavior, attendance, etc.) 2. Avoid penalizing for multiple attempts at mastery. 3. Avoid grading homework. 4. Avoid recording zeros for work not done 5. Avoid group ...
    Rated: +3
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    Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?

    Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
    My first year teaching in Compton, California, I asked some of my students who they thought was the meanest teacher in the school. The consensus was unanimous: "Ms. Wysinger is SO mean! She makes you do all your homework. If you don't, you miss your recess. And she's always giving quizzes. And you can't talk in her class." After a few ...
  • +2

    First Days of School and Pre-Assessing Students

    First Days of School and Pre-Assessing Students
    Already into the first week of the school year, you will want to determine the specific needs of your students. This can be accomplished by conducting an informal needs analysis or pre-assessment. A pre-assessment is an organizational tool to help you identify differences between current performance and desired performance. It allows you to determine what the students already know and what ...
    Rated: +2
  • +1

    What is Student Achievement?

    What is Student Achievement?
    In today's education reform era, student achievement is king. We want to see our kids succeeding. We want to see test scores rise. We want to know we can better compete against foreign nations on things like PISA and TIMSS. We want assurances our students are getting a top-notch education measure by results, and not by processes. But what, exactly, is ...
    Rated: +1
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