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Student assessment is becoming a topic of conversation. It is spurring discussions about how and why we test students and what we do with the data from those assessments. School boards will play critical roles in determining where that conversation goes in terms of public policy and student performance.
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Testing experts worry about the many ways value-added can fall short of expectations. They urge policymakers to follow best practice principles and design prescriptions when using value-added. A few key prescriptions are: demand top-quality tests; ensure educators know what the test covers; and, ensure accuracy of formulas.
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In 2002, Wyoming’s education officials set out to create accountability tests capable not only of accurately evaluating their state’s schools, but also of stimulating better instruction. Birth pangs are common with new enterprises, and that was the case in Wyoming. While not definitive, the results are definitely encouraging.
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Teachers and Social Networks
While scads of attention and literature have focused on protecting and guiding student use of social networking technologies, the same diligence has not been paid to covering actions by district staff and faculty. As embarrassment after embarrassment has shown, educators need educating on these matters, too.
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