I just attended a workshop about assessments and in particular, we looked at the results of our state’s high stakes testing (MCAS). We scanned, compared, looked at the challenges and weaknesses of our students in terms of what is tested and then our principal asked us to create a list of other ways we can show growth in our students aside from the MCAS.

So we broke up into groups and created a list – a list of ALL the other assessments we have and do with our students each year to help us show the growth in our students from year to year. All the while I sat with a burning question: what about the non-paper and pencil, non-timed, non-quantified assessments.???

Finally, one woman spoke up. She asked if we could put authentic assessments up on our list. (YES!) And then we spoke for the last 5 minutes about the true growth we see each day in our students: when they speak in front of the class for the first time, get excited about learning, dance joyfully, write a great story, participate in class. When are THESE things going to “count” as a true means of assessment?

I guess it could start with us – the teachers. We can’t hold these stories in, but must share them and in doing so express the importance they carry. It’s not about the score, it’s about the whole child!

In Response to Mae Jemison talk on Ted.com
21st Century Skills

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