It’s time for you, Mr. President, to remind Americans of the paramount significance of education; how schoolsconcretely—and sublimely—affectour lives, the health of the nation and the greater good of a broader world. As your actions over the past month have shown, sometimes a leader needs to intervene, ignore the point/counterpoint analysis and inspire the efforts of opposing sides towardbroader approaches and bolder solutions.
My last day of school was June 17. In the days leading up to summer vacation, the majority of hallway conversations that I had with colleagues revolved around summer plans. At the same time, I couldn't help but notice a few snarky "Wow, it must be nice to have the summers off" comments from non-educators and even from one parent.
The parent-teacher relationship seemed peripheral at best when I started teaching. Now that I'm getting ready to send my oldest child to Kindergarten, I'm dreaming big about it. My greatest hope? That you'll be the expert and keep me in check.
In 1996, I assigned my class to read an essay by an African-American author and came face to face with racist resistance. When I saw the arrest of South Carolina Dylann Roof for the killing of nine people, I recognized that face from many I had seen in my own classroom.
When I queried my sentences on 100 "life inventory" questions ranging from "Who would be happy for you if you won a million dollars?" to "Why do you write?" to "Where does God live?" it was the answers to the question "When will you die?" that caught my attention. I noticed a strange pattern emerge among the answers given by my AP and my regular English students.
Lately I’ve been thinking deeply about some questions around the Teacher Leader Model Standards: Which domains do teachers feel they are “living in?” Which ones do they feel the weakest in? And which domains are our public education systems utilizing and underutilizing? So I did a little on-the-fly informal research using social media. Over 100 teachers responded, giving some great insight into a small sample.
What does authentic assessment look like in practice, and how does it differ from traditional assessment? What are the benefits — and challenges — of authentic assessment on teaching and learning? Over the next two months, educators from across the country will share the risks and reward of authentic assessment.