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We’re years into daily debate about the Common Core, and just this week, Commissioner Elia invited feedback on the Common Core Learning Standards through this survey, conducted by the┬áNew York State Department of Education. The purposes of the survey are clear: This survey provides an opportunity for every New Yorker to go online, review each standard and comment on what is liked, not liked, or offer a suggestion for a change to a particular standard.…

I’ve been facilitating inquiry team meetings and helping teachers make meaning from standardized assessment data in New York State schools for well over a decade now. Experience has uncovered the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to understanding and responding to the information we’re provided. I know that certain protocols inspire the development of far better hunches than others, and establishing clarity about the purpose of the assessments and the limitations of…

Earlier this week, I recounted my first day of performance based assessment design with a new group of teachers and administrators. If you happened to read, you might remember that someone in the room that day shared a beautiful question, and the exchange that followed altered our design approach in significant ways. In essence, the question challenged us to consider how we might craft a performance based assessment that could help teachers develop closer relationships…

What makes this powerful? And this? And this? For that matter, what makes most persuasive writing powerful? Story does. No one is saying that narrative writing has jumped the shark. Not even this guy. More importantly, I don’t think we have the right to take narrative writing away from kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for expository writing and engaging kids in the development of argumentative pieces. I agree with David Coleman: we don’t…

“Some of my former students came back to see me this year,” she said. “They graduated a couple of years ago. When they were here, they really struggled, but they wanted to do well, and they listened to me when I told them I could help them. I helped them read. I helped them write. I gave them strategies that got them through the tests. When they complained, I promised it would be worth it.…