Testing America's Freedom
Ep. 4: The missing summative—what does it mean for the future of assessment?
October 3, 2020
Our education system is at an inflection point, and as COVID-19 makes us reconsider the best ways to teach students, we must also consider how assessment and accountability need to shift toward a more modern structure. Dr. Samuel speaks with Thomas Toch, director of education policy think tank FutureEd, and Jason Mendenhall, who leads the development of innovative statewide assessments at NWEA. We talk about the future of assessment and the evolution of accountability systems, and how the pandemic has created urgency and opportunity for change.
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What are digital and disciplinary literacy, and why are they so important right now? We dive into these questions with Laura B. Hansen, director of Teaching and Learning Connections at NWEA.
The essence of family literacy is that parents are supported as the first teachers of their children.” Family Literacy is the idea that long after diapers and baby steps, our children have so much to learn by watching, observing, and collaborating with trusted adults at home, particularly when it comes to building a strong foundation for reading with confidence. On this episode, we dive deeper into this idea and share the how and why of building and sustain robust family literacy practices.
On this episode, we explore literacy instruction, the science of reading, early childhood literacy, and the differences between skills-focused and knowledge-focused classrooms. Our two guests are passionate leaders in the field: Dr. Lynne Kulich, Director of Early Learning at NWEA, and Natalie Wexler, an education writer and author.
Let’s take a trip to where it all begins, at least academically, with early literacy and numeracy. On this episode, early learning experts Cindy Jiban and Tammy Baumann join us to share classroom strategies to help young learners navigate this important season of life. The discussion touches on the science of reading, why early numeracy sometimes takes a backseat to early literacy, and how teachers early in their career can hit the ground running in these areas.
“For many, learning mathematics leads to perceiving the subject as a collection of procedures that are disconnected from any big picture. It’s much like filling a box with puzzle pieces, yet never building the puzzle.”
For this episode, we are joined by Dr. Ted Coe and Anita Brown of NWEA to discuss how educators move beyond doing math to thinking about mathematical concepts, with a focus on formative conversation starters.
Two years on from the start of the pandemic and we’re starting to see a glimmer of hope and pieces of normalcy return to our schools and classrooms. But as we move forward, we cannot ignore the lingering impact of pandemic disruptions.