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The Learning Studio

John Holland

May 18, 2013

Test reform would create school reform


Jose - Here in Virginia we have had standards of learning for a long time. Our standards are revised every seven years by content area. English one year, then math, etc. What we hadn't done, since the beginning of our standards, is revise our tests. Of course we add new questions and take some out each year but, we haven’t looked to see if our tests are even assessing what we want kids or teachers to do. This has been the main point of my last couple posts.

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John Holland

March 5, 2013

Playing Moneyball with pay for performance



Funny you should bring up baseball as an analogy for the Common Core (CC) and district leadership. As I mentioned in my post on #scrapthemap, Virginia has not adopted the Common Core. It’s general position is that VA already has strong standards why adopt more general ones. This doesn’t mean we aren’t conducting our own experiments down here. We are playing pickup games with numerous pay for performance schemes across the state as mandated by Governor McDonnell. Most of these aim to place high quality teachers in hard to staff schools. I have no problem with that but, I wonder if top down, this is going to work. Much like your issues with the CC implementation, there are so many details that can be missed in crafting a system to meet a vision from on high. One is not acknowledging that many staff members contribute to student success, but not all staff members have tests associated with their job titles.

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