TAP – What Are They Thinking?!
A Look Inside the Mind of TAP
(as of October 5th, 2012)
Important Disclaimer: What you are about to read is the result of Tony and Phil
putting their heads together and using the feedback you provided in order to
clarify our thinking on some of the major initiatives we are working on this year.
We know that there may be some frustration around not having specific answers,
or because our thinking around some components (ie, common assessments) has
changed or evolved. Please remember that any major change initiative is a fluid,
dynamic and living thing. As we learn more, we do better! As always, we
welcome your feedback and questions. So – take a deep breath and dive in! Here
is where we are at right now…
We are using the Common Core State Standards as the Target Learning goals for
ELA and Math. CLICK HERE to view the CCSS.
We will report progress toward the learning goal in each CCSS using the Marzano
grading scale. CLICK HERE to view the Marzano Grading scale.
THREE is the goal. CLICK HERE for a funny video about counting to THREE.
Every student should have the opportunity to achieve a level four, but it is NOT
necessary that every student attain a level four.
The scale score for each standard will be determined by defining common levels
of proficiency and creating common rubrics. (what is a 4, what is a 3, what is a 2)
Proficiency toward the learning goals can be assessed in many different ways – as
long as everyone is expecting the same level of performance for each standard.
You should have THREE pieces of evidence by the end of the year showing the
level of a student's proficiency in each standard. The reason for this is that
individual assessments are not always reliable, but multiple assessments over time
can give a clearer picture of overall learning. If you need help counting to
THREE, see video link above.
This evidence does NOT always need to be obtained from a large-scale, pencil-
paper, obtrusive common assessment. Informal observation, class work, projects
and discussion can all be used to make a professional judgment regarding student
Students should have opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency at each
Marzano level for each standard.
You do NOT need a “common” assessment for each individual standard. Because
the learning targets are now all common and agreed upon we can better guarantee
that each student is learning and demonstrating their proficiency in similar ways.
A three in one House is now very much the same as a three in another House.
The purpose of a common assessment can change depending on the information
you are trying to gather and what you hope to use that information for.
SO, when you wonder how often you need to give common assessments the
answer is, “it depends on what you want to know, why you need to know it and
how often you need to know it”.
Should common assessments be exactly the same for every student? To truly be
common the answer is “yes”. But, you should still use accommodations for
students who need them, providing those accommodations do not interfere with
the data you are trying to gather. For example, if the assessment is on plot and
characterization, all students might use the same two reading passages. However,
a lower-level reader might have the passage read to them or receive assistance to
read the passage. If the standard says “at grade level” then reading it to the student
would interfere with the data you are trying to gather on that standard.
You are not required to put common assessment results as a grade in
PowerSchool. You should be keeping track of the data and storing it somewhere
for future reference or analysis.
21st Century Skills Standards - CLICK HERE to view - are a pilot this year. We
intend this as a way to report on non-academic skills.
The expectation for reporting 21st Century Skills is:
o PER HOUSE – at a minimum, each student will receive a score for one
21st century standard in each of the four categories per quarter. This will
mean a minimum of four scores per quarter.
o RELATED ARTS – at a minimum, each student will receive a score for
one 21st century standard per quarter.
Grading should now be an on-going, real time report of a student's progress
toward a learning target
Parents will see only the most current score in each standard to which you have
assigned a score. Do not let this stop you from inputting scores into PS. It is not
meant to be a FINAL score, just a point in time. If you need a refresher, CLICK
HERE to view our tutorial on inputting grades into Powerschool.
At the end of each grading period, you may use your professional judgment to
lock in a score that BEST reflects the level of proficiency a student has attained in
each standard to date.
What is the worst thing that can happen…
o We give a student the “wrong” grade.
Is it likely that we will give them inaccurate scores for ALL of the
standards we assess?
If one standard (or even 2-3) is inaccurately reported, will it skew
the overall picture of the student as a learner?
Will this keep them out of Harvard?
o We will look to families like we don’t know what we are doing.
This will be new to them as well. We have spent the better part of a
year working on and talking about the Marzano Scale, CCSS and
rubric development. You know more than you think about what
you are doing…
As long as we are clear about the learning goals for each standard,
and communicate those targets to families, the reporting of student
progress toward those targets will be fairly accurate.
Continue to communicate the message to families about WHY we
are doing this and HOW it is helping their students by focusing on
the learning and guaranteeing that our reporting is consistent
across each grade level.
Mistakes will be made. We will learn from them and get better.
It is OK to feel not OK. Stress, uncertainty, confusion, frustration and lack of
sleep are all normal reactions to major change. There is no real cure except to
keep working through it and just know that everyone else is going through the
same thing and are here to support you. Even your Principals are experiencing a
much higher level of stress this year.
WE CAN DO THIS!!! Stay positive. Speak positive.
Your Principals have your back. We could not be prouder of the work you are
doing. Lineville is blazing the trail, so it will be (has been) hard. We appreciate
how much work, stress, effort, blood, sweat and tears each of you is putting in to
make this work for our students and our families. While we know it would be
easier for all of us to keep doing what we were doing, we know it is the right
thing to make the change.
There is no group of people we would rather be working with. This staff is