Year: 1997-1998
Month: April
Leader: Group F

Situation/Case Study:

My role in integrating the graduation rule into curriculum and trying to improve student state assessment scores.

Performance assessments "should" allow students to demonstrate their learning in ways other than paper/pencil. Learning style differences affect student ability to learn and demonstrate their learning. The curriculum needs to be updated. Districts should be given an opportunity to set up their own criteria for success. Teachers are being asked to follow paths that they may not agree with. They feel pressured, obligated, frustrated. The graduation rule is like a dark cloud. However, it may improve my student's learning. We need to look at the obstacles and barriers. I am concerned that we may be behind in our preparations for the rule. Teachers need direction or they feel frustrated when there is no black and white answer.

Theories behind practice:

Impact on others:

Public needs assurances of quality and student achievement. Policy makers need accountability and value for the resources invested. New learning about performance assessment and a belief that it can increase student achievement and responsibility. Dynamics of individual teacher expertise/interests at play with system/schools needs to ensure equity for student experiences. Aligning what students need to know and be able to do with what teachers need to know and be able to do. Teachers can change if they have time to work together. In theory, if you are doing the job, you will be okay. Concern that teachers will just record results to get them done. Will it improve learning or be a barrier to it? There is greater interest in preparing teachers to prepare students. Some students will engage actively, others will do what they need to do to "get the grade". Teachers need structured time. Elective course teachers are concerned...they want to have a standard attached to their courses. Parent involvement is necessary, however, some parents are not yet interested in the rule. It is difficult for parents to understand because of the educational jargon. It is ambiguous and complex. Need a knowledge base and facts.