B1 Intermediate US 1479 Folder Collection
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>>Narrator: They are dueling with robots in Florida,
and study microorganisms in New York, designing future schools in Seattle,
and racing electric cars in Hawaii.
All across the country students are being called upon
to show what they know in challenging tests of their abilities.
>>Man: Here we go!
The national championship on the line.
>>Narrator: These are the fun tests.
>>Teacher: Today we're going to take SAT I, the reasoning test.
>>Narrator: But today's students face other kinds of exams and their score
on one of them can determine their future.
With pressures mounting and stakes on the rise,
some educators believe we are asking the wrong questions
with standardized tests.
>>Linda: There's an irony in testing in American schools.
We probably have kids who are the most tested and under examined
of any kids in the world.
Take New York State for example.
Even before they get to the Regents examinations,
students will have taken 20 batteries of tests
over the course of their school careers.
So there are thousands and thousands of hours spent on taking these tests
and preparing for these tests which give very little indication
of what kids can actually do in real-world situations.
>>Howard: People may be good test takers but once you leave the world
of testing you have to think for yourself
because the world doesn't come organized in four choices
with the fourth one being "None of the above".
>>Hugh: As I was mulling all these issues about the SAT I was struck
by the fact that there are all sorts of other attributes like drive
and grit and determination, ability to problem-solve,
communication skills, leadership skills.
These intangibles that were critically important.
>>Student: So we could get 120 points just for getting our robots
in the end zone without scoring any balls...
>>Hugh: And that by virtue of excessive reliance on SAT scores,
you're ruling out large numbers of youngsters of all races
and all complexions who may not have stratospheric SAT scores,
but who have these other kinds of attributes
that experience shows contribute to high-level success in the real world.
>>Eeva: Is this what the science wing would look like?
>>Narrator: Teachers like Eeva Reeder believe that measuring performance
on projects is a better way to gauge a student's potential
for real world success.
>>Student: Open inviting area...
>>Narrator: So instead of memorizing geometrical abstractions,
her students spend the last six weeks
of their sophomore year designing schools for the year 2050.
>>Student: Why not have the whole side like wall open,
be glass facing the water.
>>Eeva: To assess a student's deep understanding of a subject
and their ability to apply a concept you cannot test those kinds
of abilities through a traditional paper and pencil kind of assessment.
It has to be what we call a performance-based assessment
and that's why I do these projects
because the project requires these students
to create products or performances.
>>Student: In the beginning we decided to start
with the floor plans and the designs.
Our school has one main building.
>>Eeva: I have to come up with ways to assess those products
and performances so I look at the site plan and look
at the perspective drawing.
I read the proposal.
And I have a scoring guide developed for each one of those.
But I think that the most powerful assessment for this project is
that provided by the architects.
>>Man: When I first saw your drawings I thought
to myself this is a real consistent idea.
>>Narrator: While performance-based assessment requires a significant
investment of time and energy,
proponents insist it is time well spent.
>>Linda: The students have to develop the performances.
The teachers have to evaluate them.
But the time is not lost to teaching and learning.
The time is teaching and learning.
Because the actual conduct of the assessment is a learning experience
for the students as well as the teacher.
It informs teaching.
It actually gives teachers feedback immediately about what they need
to do to meet students' needs so it's actually productive time.
>>Narrator: The Urban Academy in New York City is part of a consortium
of 32 schools that has rejected tests like the state's Regents exam
and replaced it with a series of performance assessments.
>>This thesis isn't clear.
It seems as though he jumps from-
>>Ann: We're very interested in students developing certain skills.
We re interested in them developing an ability to work
with multiple perspectives to be able
to analyze evidence, to be able to critique.
>>We want them to be able to take text and talk about it,
be able to understand to compare different texts
and to read whole books, not just little snippets of books.
And we've set them up with an external assessor.
Someone who has agreed to spend an hour with that student who has agreed
to read the book, and who then sites sown with that student and discusses
that book for 45 minutes or an hour.
>>Student: She's going to him to see whether
or not he saw what she had done.
>>Right.
>>Ann: What we're really trying to see is can that student take
that reading and go and talk to somebody they don't know,
a perfect stranger, about the book and have a conversation about it.
That's one way that we can tell whether a student is ready to go on
and do college-level work.
>>Student: Is that about a 26.
How come it's so low?
>>Narrator: Critics of performance-based assessment worry
that if students are free to pursue projects
of their choice standards will suffer.
But some assessment experts say
that independent study projects should meet the highest standards.
>>Grant: What we have to do is realize that even
if we give the kid free reign to do really cool projects it's still got
to fit within the context of some objectives and some standards
and some criteria that we bring to it.
>>Student: For those of you
who aren't sure what [inaudible] pools are, they're-
>>Grant: So that we can say by the end I have evidence,
I can make the case that you learn something substantial and significant
that relates to school objectives.
>>Teacher: As far as listening and speaking and writing,
you're making steady progress.
>>Narrator: One school the Key Learning Community in Indianapolis
in Indiana has a clear and unique objective.
Established in 1987 the school is dedicated to the cultivation
of multiple intelligences and to developing new methods of assessment.
>>Teacher: Ours represent that these are his strength areas
and also anytime that you see a the shape
of a triangle those also represent the strengths.
>>Pat: We're interesting in how students apply knowledge
and so students are required through their high school
to do major projects each semester.
At the end of high school they should have eight major projects
that they would have developed and all of this is put together
on a multimedia portfolio to document what it is they're capable of doing.
>>Student: I've been working with the Egyptians because they had
so many symbols and hieroglyphics and things like that.
>>Pat: I think that what we're doing here is going to be needed very soon
because people are going to realize how shortsighted all of this effort
on standardized tests is.
It's going to crash.
It has crashed in the past.
It will crash and people will need something else to replace it
and maybe we might help in that effort.
>>Narrator: For schools that are challenging the high-stakes testing
movement, the goal is to put less emphasis on cramming, drills,
and test taking strategies and focus on in-depth learning.
>>Ann: I'm all for high standards.
I don't know of anybody who is for low standards.
The question is do we get
at what we're saying we want using the tests to drive this?
That's the real crux of it and I would argue that we don't.
>>Grant: A lot of teachers and administrators
in their understandable concern
about these high-stakes tests are making a mistake when they say "Teach
to the test, teach to the test.
That's what we have to do."
There's no evidence to show that you raise test scores by teaching worse.
There's no evidence to show that when you teach
for an in-depth robust performance
where you have high-quality local assessment
that your test scores suffer.
In fact the evidence is to the contrary.
High quality local assessment is what we need to pay attention to.
>>Narrator: For more information on what works
in public education go to edutopia.org.
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Comprehensive Assessment: An Overview

1479 Folder Collection
realvip published on October 14, 2014
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