Over the next two months, bloggers from the CTQ community will be discussing the implications of authentic assessments. The roundtable discussion will be lead by teacher leaders Rob Kriete of Florida and Tricia Ebner of Ohio. Rob and Tricia — educators with a combined total of 49 years in the classroom — have used a variety of assessments, including authentic assessments, throughout their careers.

In his 24th year of teaching, Rob Kriete taught middle school English teacher for 20 years before shifting to teaching high school seniors at Riverview High School near Tampa, Florida. Rob has been creating and delivering professional development for Florida teachers since 1996 with a focus on the value and techniques of effective teacher collaboration and professional learning communities.  

“I was fortunate to work with administrators early in my career that recognized the value of teachers working together to meet the many needs of their students,” he recounts. “As an English department, we shared strategies for engaging and assessing all of our students. Our success lies in our ability to learn from each other as we all tried new things; some worked well where others did not,” he added.  Rob strongly believes in teachers being granted autonomy to try new techniques to share the results so that teachers and students can learn together.

In 2013 and 2014, Rob served as a CTQ Teacherpreneur, working with teachers across Florida on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Additionally, Rob helped create a tool to communicate the Common Core to parents who struggled to understand the need for innovative, congruent standards.

“Parents, by and large, wanted the same education experience for their children that they had as students. Yet, when they were able to see how education was shifting to the application of knowledge, parents were able to see the value of the new standards,” Rob stated when creating a way to clarify some misconceptions about the Common Core.

Now, Rob serves in a hybrid role title a Teacher Talent Developer wherein he spends the first half of his school day teaching senior English while serving in a teacher-leader role each afternoon working as a mentor for newer teachers, creating school-wide professional development and helping teachers in any capacity possible. This school year, Rob is collaborating with teachers on engaging students, assessing during learning and authentic assessments.

Early in her career, Tricia Ebner saw the power of authenticity through her studies with the Indiana Writing Project. Even with the increase in standardized testing required at state and federal levels, she has seen how students have responded to authentic assessments. Some of the classroom experiences she cherishes most are those surrounding authentic, real-world experiences and assessments, including Model U.N., project-based learning, and 20Time projects.

“When my students have a real audience and are working on a real-world task, the assessment aspect takes a back seat to the larger purpose of connecting with their audience.”

As an NBCT, she has served as an advocate for gifted children on her state’s Educator Leader Cadre, which served as a resource and voice in supporting educators transitioning to new standards and assessments in 2012. Tricia now serves as the ELA lead for the Ohio Standards Advocates and is a Teacher Champion. Currently she works with several school districts to support gifted child education by helping teachers address student needs.

In addition to her classroom work, Tricia is a blogger and attended a storytelling retreat hosted by CTQ in 2016. Guided by a suite of storytelling tools developed by CTQ, Tricia tells the story of the teachers and administrators at her school and district sparking conversations and driving change.

Collaborating for Change


Jennifer’s post is part of CTQ’s November/December blogging roundtable on authentic assessment. To join the conversation, comment on this blog and read the other blogs in this series. You can find an updated list of all posts on this page. Follow CTQ on Facebook and Twitter to see when each new blog is posted, and use #CTQCollab to join the conversation on social media.

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