Thursday, May 29, 2008

A different way of assessing student learning

is rather than by tests by portfolios and performances. Yesterday I attended a conference in Providence, Rhode Island co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Department of Education which was mainly put on by the Coalition of Essential Schools, an organization which flows from the work of Theodore Sizer, who was one of the speakers.

I plan to write in depth about what I saw when I have time to organize my thoughts - I did not get home until 1 AM this morning, and I still have my own school responsibilities. I saw some examples of student performances and portfolios, I have where possible tried to use the approach in my own teaching, know there is literature that supports the approach, and mention right now that the state of Rhode Island now includes this as a graduation requirement.

But since I may not post my more detailed report for several days, and there is something of value tomorrow, I wanted to be sure if you are interested in performance assessment, whether as an educator, a parent, a student, a policy maker, or simply a citizen, tomorrow you will have a very special opportunity, and I wanted to give you the heads up now.

Here is the press release that explains what you can experience tomorrow:
To mark the end of this year’s National Exhibition Month, CES will host a unique web event on Friday, May 30th (2:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 a.m. Pacific), allowing educators, policy makers, parents and students to see, in action, the power of exhibitions as a means of assessing student learning.

CES will webcast (
an exhibition that occurred earlier in the month in which a student presents her Graduation Exhibition to a panel of evaluators and guests that determines whether she has met proficiency requirements. During the webcast, CES Executive Director Lewis Cohen will be available to answer questions about the exhibition in real time.

Gail Stafford, a senior at Francis W. Parker Essential School in Devens, Massachusetts, is the featured student in the webcast. Her exhibition is the culminating presentation of her year-long senior project that applies Professor Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences to an analysis of modern dance, integrating the theory in an original choreography.

We invite the CES community to view the webcast this Friday!

Date: Friday, May 30th
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 40 minutes
Log on to:

If you have any interest in a better way of assessing learning beyond the ubiquitous number two pencil and scantron, you might find it worthwhile to clear the time to watch this webcast.


1 comment:

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