The movement against high stakes assessment is in danger of throwing out the motivational and organizational benefits of assessment with the proverbial bath water. Many "opt-out" activists (a movement of which I am generally supportive) seem to suggest that any increase in stress or consequences for students is inappropriate. Perhaps this perspective is well-intentioned, but it seems misguided to try to shield students from healthy stress which could build their resilience.
Effective "multi-mic" participation can help engage students and give teachers a quick sense of what student know and don't know. Like a dipstick on a car, they can give a snapshot of the class and whether or not it is OK to move forward.
If we can fine tune the questions we ask when we do interact with students we may be able to get the information that we need to intervene and support at-risk students so that they can avoid this fate.
While I may not be a political insider or historian, I do have a front row seat to a world which provides insight into one of the key philosophical differences between the Trump and Clinton campaigns: are we a nation in need of walls or one in which we are "stronger together?"
Guest blogger Amber Chandler writes: I came to realize that there was a layer of Differentiation that doesn't seem to be occurring, and that is in the realm of social emotional learning. Why would I think that meeting kids where they were was a good thing academically without logically knowing that the whole child requires more than academic Differentiation, the whole child requires flexibility?
What I do know about the emphasis on "college and career" which so dominates our thinking about students' post-high school lives is that it excludes a lot: we are so much more than where we went to college and what we do for a living. I try to get students to more fully imagine their lives after college by asking them to send a gift to their friends at their 5 year high school reunion.
We should empower low income districts to commit to the kinds of deep learning experiences that middle and high income families self-fund. We should expand experiential and arts education for students in poverty, not cut them. To do this, states must recognize their a democratic responsibility to support that work.
Last week, I led a group of teachers who facilitated a two day mathematical orientation for our new students. These are the 4 goals that worked to create a productive mathematical journey for our students. Like the north star, they gave us a point to aim for and an indication when we got off track.
Surely we are better than this as a Department of Education and as the nation's biggest local union. Teachers and our families should be supported like other city employees and not shut out the way we have been for far too long.
I bet at some point you've overheard a teacher complaining to another about something coming from the district or administration: "why are "they" doing this to us?" I am a teacher and teacher leader who doesn't hear that any more and I want to help make New York City the one place in the country where teachers won't ever say it. Let's stop talking about "they" and create a system of "we."