Thursday, April 5, 2012

What Can be Done with Limited Resources?

Many districts lack the resources to effectively implement the new standards.

With capacity limited, they ask: what work is most valuable? If we only have time to do one thing, what would it be? Just as teachers gain greater efficiency in their classrooms by, for example, teaching literacy skills around science content, school leaders can do the same.

Here’s my proposal: 

In teams, teachers select a model curriculum unit that features a performance assessment. They collaboratively adapt the unit to their student population, implement it, and reflect on the implementation, all the while supported by their own PLC, by instructional coaches, and by administration.

The key component here is when teachers collaboratively score student work on the performance assessment. This step provides the opportunity for teachers to agree on what high quality work looks like. Time spent analyzing how students tackle a high-quality assessment puts teachers at a crucial nexus-- the intersection of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Many thanks to Christina Brown, CCE, and Annie McKenzie, LPVEC, for their contributions to this post.

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