Sunday, December 29, 2013

Is it time to stop doing 'common' assessments...?

Most have been using common assessments for quite some time now. The idea in theory is good because teachers can collaboratively develop an assessment that assesses the most important skills that students need to demonstrate in that particular course or grade level.

Once the assessment is complete teachers can then sit down and collaboratively go through the data to determine where a majority of the kids are finding success or perhaps even struggling. This will allow teachers to discuss which activities and instructional strategies they are using that yield the best results in terms of student learning.

Now, like I said, this is all good in theory and common assessments have shown to be effective to some degree.

Most have seen this image before. Most chuckle and give a little laugh when looking at it. Most nod their heads in agreement and question why we force kids to all take the same types of standardized assessments when we know it's not appropriate and an accurate measure.

So, I go back to the title of this blog post... is it time to stop doing common assessments?

If we all agree that this image is not fair and is not an appropriate measure for assessing students, then we have to question the practice of common assessments.

What if as Rick Wormeli believes we started using 'common evidence' as our new assessment practice?

What if teachers worked collaboratively to determine the most important skills and knowledge that should be acquired by students but they gave each other the freedom to determine how best to evidence that learning?

What if teachers had the autonomy to develop their own assessments that are personalized, customized, and differentiated to best meet the needs of their students?

What if students were given the option of choosing an assessment that is most appropriate to demonstrate their mastery of the content?

What if...