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Meet Rob Kriete and Tricia Ebner, blogging leads for the authentic assessments roundtable discussion

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.

1 Comment

Barnett Berry commented on November 8, 2017 at 11:56am:

teachers leading assessment reforms

Rob’s and Tricia’s leadership cannot be more timely. There is growing recognition among policymakers that NCLB and Race to the Top test-based accountability systems missed the mark. Dan Koretz, Harvard prof (see his book The Testing Charade) recently noted that “we have done a lot genuinely stupid things” when it comes to student testing, teacher evaluation, and accountability.  Dan is spot on when he claims that “tests are a valuable tool for getting a read on the educational landscape, checking our lazy assumptions and biases, and informing classroom instruction and schoolwide decisions.”

There is a movement afoot – thanks to the leadership of the Center for Collaborative Education, the Next Generation Learning Challenge, the Center for Innovation in Education (at University of Kentucky), the Learning Policy Institute, and others — to fuel assessment systems which promote student choice in demonstrating competency over target standards. And increasingly so more policymakers and administrators have realized that teachers are the linchpin.  We have pointed out the most effective professional development is contextualized to the specific needs of teachers, where they have opportunities to take ownership of their own learning. With support from NGLC CCE and CTQ will be expanding a bold effort — using micro-credentials, virtual communities of practice, and storytelling — to spread teaching expertise for rich, standards-based performance assessments that engage students in meaningful, complex learning in which they apply new knowledge and skills to real-world situations.

CCE has already created three stacks totaling nine micro-credentials on building performance assessment literacy:

1.   Basic Performance Assessment Design: Competency-Based Rubric Design, Performance Assessment Design; & Performance Task Validation

2.   Advanced Performance Assessment Design: Performance Assessment Reliability; Using Performance Assessments Formatively to Provide Feedback; & Embedding Habits, Skills and Dispositions in Performance Assessments

3.   Leading a Performance Assessment Community: Building a Performance Assessment Learning Community; Engaging Stakeholders to Support Performance Assessments; & Developing a Plan to Implement Performance Assessments (Read about our initial foray here.)

Take a look at the teacher leader performance assessment microcredentials  here and engage in the conversation led by Rob and Tricia. Many teachers can lead like they do – under the right conditions – and CTQ is all about creating the system of collective leadership that allows them to transform teaching and learning for every student. 

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