Portfolios Are a Great Idea In Theory...
I've always liked the idea of portfolio assessments. In New York City we used them ostensibly to track student progress, but they weren't really used for any other meaningful purpose. A lot of educators talk about portfolios as a better, "more authentic" alternative to standardized testing. The trouble with portfolio assessments is creating a system that produces valid and reliable results. The resources (financial and otherwise) needed to ensure that student work is selected and assessed fairly and consistently are considerable, if not prohibitive.
Policymaking Is Like Making a Coloring Book
In a phone call with David Johns, a Senior Education Advisor to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Mr. Johns explained that federal policy making is like creating a coloring book. You want to provide an outline for localities to follow, but leave room for them to adapt and add their own ideas. The question I had was what happens when states or districts don't have the knowledge, willpower or capacity to appropriately "color in" the policy?
Creating a School Budget is Incredibly Demoralizing
This week in Building a Democratic School we were asked to design a budget for our schools. It is very difficult to maintain a commitment to small class sizes, parent involvement, more support services, field trips, arts, sciences, and technology simultaneously. Many of us, myself included, finished the experience feeling shellshocked.
Do Not Count on NBC to Follow UDL Principles
In UDL we were asked to evaluate an example of UDL learning tool based on UDL's Guidelines. I looked at Checkpoint 7.2. The key considerations of this checkpoint are:
- How does this help learners meet the goal?
- How does this account for the variability of all learners?
- Are the activities and information valuable to learners?