webinar tomorrow! “Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?”

rassroots Education

Schott Foundation's 
25th Anniversary Celebration Webinar Series:

Bursting the Bubbles: Is There a Link Between Standardized Tests and Improved Learning?
Friday, December 9 at 2:00pm EST

SVP Today

High-stakes tests became a centerpiece of education reform under No Child Left Behind: countless fill-in-the-bubble sheets that could impact everything from a student's academic placement and a teacher’s employment to school climate and whether their school will be closed. But what’s the origin of standardized testing? What does the research show? What can standardized tests truly measure, and how are policymakers (mis)using them?

Meanwhile, across the country students are walking out, parents are opting their children out, and teachers are refusing to administer these exams. A cross-sector movement has emerged to challenge test-heavy approaches to education reform. Our two webinar guests will examine both the tests themselves and the communities mobilizing against them. They will point toward better ways to assess how well public schools are educating our children and what a child-centric — not test-centric — classroom looks like. Finally, we’ll discuss opportunities under Every Student Succeeds Act to enrich student learning and improve equity.

Our featured speakers will include:

Jesse Hagopian, history teacher, commentator, and organizer
Dr. Monty Neill, FairTest Executive Director
Dr. John H. Jackson, Schott Foundation President & CEO (Moderator)

Jesse Hagopian teaches history at Garfield High School in Seattle. The recipient of many awards, including “Secondary School Teacher of Year” in 2013, Hagopian helped organize the MAP test boycott that began at Garfield High School, quickly spread to several other Seattle Schools, and helped ignite a national movement against the abuses of standardized testing. He is a prolific writer on not only education issues but the larger world of social justice, particularly the Black Lives Matter movement. His commentary has been featured on TV and in print across the nation. Earlier this year Hagopian established the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award, a scholarship award for young organizers making a difference in their communities. He earned a Master’s degree in teaching at the University of Washington.

Dr. Monty Neill is Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), and has led FairTest's work on testing in public schools since 1987. He has initiated national and state coalitions of education, civil rights, religious, disability and parent organizations to work toward fundamental change in the assessment of students and in accountability policies. In October, FairTest released its latest report, Assessment Matters: Constructing Model State Systems to Replace Testing Overkill. The report describes how states can overhaul their assessment systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in a way that minimizes standardized testing and encourages student-focused classroom practices while still giving communities and policymakers useful information to evaluate their schools. Neill has taught and been an administrator in pre-school, high school and college. Neill earned a doctorate at Harvard University’s School of Education.

Join the Schott Foundation for an exclusive webinar — part of our 25th anniversary celebration — in which we will discuss how to burst the bubble of the overemphasis on high-stakes standardized testing.

Come with questions, insights, and calls to action during our Q&A session at the end!
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GrassrootsEd and #Schott25

SVP Today

hare on Facebook!weet this!

Could your children’s toys be violating their privacy?

An international coalition of consumer watchdogs says Nuance Communications is violating the privacy of children who play with two toys that use the Burlington company’s speech-recognition software.

The toys, My Friend Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot, use Nuance software to answer questions posed by children. But in complaints they expect to file with federal regulators on Tuesday, the consumer groups allege that Nuance is saving recordings of those interactions with children for future use without providing adequate warning to parents, in violation of a 1998 federal law to protect the online privacy of minors.

Continue reading...

How do you judge a school? Mass. looks to expand the criteria

Students in Revere tried the online PARCC test in 2014. Massachusetts officials are looking to broaden the way schools are judged, moving beyond test scores and graduation rates to other measures.

State officials are looking to broaden the way school performances are judged to comply with new federal standards, moving beyond test scores and graduation rates to other measures, such as the atmosphere a school creates and the availability of art, music, and college-level courses.

The goal is to provide the public with a more holistic view of the quality of education at each school in Massachusetts by shining light on areas that get overlooked in a state accountability system that maintains a laser-like focus on standardized test scores.

Mitchell Chester, the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education, said his agency has not yet decided how many new measures might be added.

“We want to make sure that collectively the indicators in the system provide more signals than noise,” Chester said. “One concern I have is if we have too many signals, it might not be clear where things are going well and where schools need to buckle down.”

Continue reading...