Specfic Connections to Our Course Readings and Concepts

Assessment

NCLB connects to the concept of assessment that we have concentrated on in this course. Our readings and discussions have been based around how to create and implement effective formative and summative assessments. Through the readings, it has been clear that we must use formative assessments throughout a lesson to gauge our students’ understanding of the material. In terms of summative assessments, educators should provide students with an opportunity to present their learning in a variety of formats, so that students can demonstrate their knowledge in a way that highlights their strengths. The standardized assessments prescribed by NCLB are an example of a summative assessment. These assessments, presumably, assess how students have mastered grade-level standards. However, this is not a differentiated assessment. Every student must take an identical test with only a few test accommodations for students with special needs. As a result, it is not an assessment that incorporates a variety of learning styles.
Sources:
Moss, C. & Brookhart, S. (2009). Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom: A Guide for Instructional Leaders. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Pages 5-12, 79-82, & 93-95.
Doingwhatworks. (2010). Engaging Students in Data Use through Student Portfolios . Retrieved from http://dww.ed.gov/Data-Driven-Instructional-Decision-Making/Student-Use-of-Data/see/index.cfm?T_ID=30&P_ID=80&c1=2012

Data Use

The use of data is also connected to the issue of NCLB. According to our course readings and videos, educators should use data to inform their instruction. Educators collect data, review data, create hypotheses, and then collect additional data. This data cycle helps teachers to focus their instruction on student needs. Since NCLB requires states to use standardized assessments, the results of the assessment serve as end-of-year data on student mastery. In addition to being used by educators, data from these assessments are used by schools to determine areas of focus for the next school year, so that they can improve their scores. Furthermore, districts use data from standardized assessments to funnel resources to schools. Given that standardized assessment data is examinable data, NCLB applies to our data use conversations.
Sources:
Doingwhatworks. (2010). Teaching students to examine their own data. Retrieved from http://dww.ed.gov/Data-Driven-Instructional-Decision-Making/Student-Use-of-Data/practice/?T_ID=30&P_ID=80
Doingwhatworks. (Producer). (2009).Data Boards Help Student Set Learning Goals.. Retrieved from http://dww.ed.gov/Data-Driven-Instructional-Decision-Making/Student-Use-of-Data/see/index.cfm?T_ID=30&P_ID=80&c1=151
Graduation Rates and Invisibility

The passage of NCLB by Congress elucidated the issue of graduation rates. Many secondary schools around the country, in an effort to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals, chose to include graduation rates as an accountability measure. Schools would have to demonstrate that all student graduation rates are improving on a yearly basis, in order to avoid sanctions. The effect of this decision was that states would alter their statistics by not counting drop-outs in their school population, or by accepting less than 1% growth in graduation rates as acceptable. The lack of accountability for the success of every student can be characterized as student invisibility; students not included in the school’s graduation data have disappeared from the system. Thus, the concept of invisibility is a connected to NCLB.

Sources:
Orfield, G., Losen, D., Wald, J., & Swanson, C., (2004). Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis, Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Contributors: Advocates for Children of New York, The Civil Society Institute
Ravitch, D. (2010). NCLB: Measure and punish. In The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. NY: Basic Books.

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