Teaching Matters’ authors show how to use measurement in a helpful way when approaching Common Core

Learning Forward's Journal of Staff Development is featuring an article co-authored by members of Teaching Matters’ staff and an independent researcher. The piece presents a systematic way to use assessments and serve student interests.

Well-designed and implemented assessments are feedback tools for teachers that let them know where their lessons are succeeding or not, and what might need to be modified in their instruction. Getting it right is a critical component of responding effectively to Common Core challenges, and giving students the best learning opportunity.

An “assessment” does not necessarily mean a test. For example, teachers routinely assess homework and in-class performance. “Assessment is not the enemy,” said Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters’ Executive Director. “The key is to make sure that teachers are doing it correctly, with support.”

Teaching Matters has experience on the ground showing the value of collaboration in effective assessment. Its  WritingMatters  program has employed a joint assessment methodology, and student performance has increased. The process involves scoring, “norming,” and “calibrating” student work, meaning that teachers make sure that their assessments conform to an agreed standard.

“When we introduced the coaching component and focused on helping teachers use assessments to inform practice, we saw student scores rise,” said Naomi Cooperman, Director of Program Design at Teaching Matters. “We are happy to share what we’ve learned, especially at this crucial time, and we’re honored by Learning Forward’s decision to feature our article in their Common Core issue.”

“Reading, Writing, and Rubrics,” authored by Naomi Cooperman, Senior Consultant Libby Baker, and independent researcher Barbara Storandt, is in this month’s issue of Learning Forward’s journal available at:  http://www.learningforward.org/docs/default-source/jsd-august-2013/baker344.pdf

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