Title Page - Roanoke County Public Schools

August 2012
 VCU Study of the Virginia Standards of Learning
 In some cases, the tests didn’t rise to the Bloom’s
levels of the standards.
 This meant our tests didn’t adequately assess the
 Common Core Movement
 Out-rigoring the Common Core
 Virginia will have access to the Common Core
item bank
 Performance-based assessments
 21st Century Skills Movement
 How can we assess with only multiple-choice in
a performance-based world?
 4 C’s: Critical Thinking, Creativity,
Collaboration, & Communication
 Move to a Growth Model (required to earn an AYP
 Too many pass-advanced scores are a problem in a
growth model
 Economic Changes + PISA and Other
International Comparisons
 Performance-based Tasks (TEIs)
 STEM initiatives (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)
 Increased rigor in the classroom
 End of NCLB: A 100% passing mandate was stifling rigor and the
4 C’s
 Push for Algebra I by the 8th grade
 So…A child has two years between his elementary content and
high-school credit-bearing content
 More difficult to earn pass-advanced
 Standards-setting: Move from “should a borderline student be
able to get this correct” to “is this possible or impossible for
 Virginia’s NCLB waiver has set new Annual
Measurable Objectives in elementary reading and
math that are realistic and achievable.
 Roanoke County was ahead of the 6-year targets in
all performance-based subgroups.
 The new, more rigorous mathematics tests are
NOT impossible to master. In fact, even our most
high-need elementary schools proved it.
 If we respond positively, these changes can actually
make education more fun and rewarding for both
teachers and students.
 Bower & Powers (2009): “…how the
standard curriculum is delivered in the
classroom to ensure that students are
not only successful on standardized
assessments but also able to apply this
knowledge to new situations both
within the classroom and in the real
 1. Critical thinking and problem solving
 2. Collaboration and leadership
 3. Agility and adaptability
 4. Initiative and entrepreneurialism
 5. Effective oral and written communication
 6. Accessing and analyzing information
 7. Curiosity and imagination
Where do Wagner’s 7 Survival Skills Fit
into Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy?
Source: Overbaugh/Shultz
Bloom’s Action Verbs
 “Relevance Makes Rigor Possible” – Bill
Daggett/International Center for Leadership in
 Scott County example – “No one ever told us it
was hard.”
 Rigorous activities show higher gains in
student achievement with low-performing
students than non-rigorous activities.
 Students who use project-based learning
outperform their traditionally-educated peers
on standardized tests (Bell, 2010)
Mason’s Cove – 94%
Glen Cove – 85%
Green Valley – 85%
Title I Schools – 74.7%
Non-Title I Schools – 71.7%
 Rigor means different work, not more work
 You are NOT being asked to be at the
highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy all the
time. Sometimes simple direct instruction
is an important lesson component.
 Adding rigor doesn’t mean we let students
“sink or swim.”
 This is NOT going back to the way things
used to be.
 Student is introduced to the content ->
 Student applies the content in a real-world scenario or
performs a high-interest task that forces him/her to
apply the new knowledge ->
 When students struggle, teachers lead the student to
the correct answer through a questioning process
rather than simply give the student the answer ->
 Students produce a product demonstrating their
understanding of the concept.
Effective Questioning Techniques
Source: Julie Edmunds/SERVE
 “Students are pulled through the
curriculum by a meaningful
question to explore, and engaging
real-world problem to solve, or a
design challenge to meet.” (Buck
Institute for Education)
 Is challenging and interesting
 Requires in-depth inquiry and higher-order thinking
to answer it
 To answer it, the question makes your students learn
core SOL content and /or skills
 Examples:
 What would be an appropriate poem to sum up the
London Olympics?
 Which of the famous Americans had the greatest impact
in shaping the principles of modern America?
 Instruction
 Is the content part of the SOLs?
 Does the lesson require students to engage in higher-
order thinking?
 Do students have the ability to apply their knowledge
into a real-world scenario?
 Are students asked to explain or justify their
 Assessment
 Does the cognitive level of the questions match the
cognitive level of the verbs in the standards?
 Is the assessment all multiple choice (it shouldn’t be)
 Are technology-enhanced question formats used?
 Never give a test taken directly from textbook
Blended tests (some multiple choice, some enhanced
items, some free response, multiple cognitive levels
assessed) should be the new normal.
Test items should move from lower- to higher-order in
order to differentiate whether the student knows the
content and can apply the content.
Test items should combine essential skills and
essential content into single questions when possible.
Correct use of IA, VSUP, TFHS, and other item banks.
Table of Specifications
Adapted from Leslie Grant/William & Mary
 Technology-
Items Don’t
Drag and
 Spiraling
 “Old Friends” - Cumulative /most missed testing
 Repetition
 Lessons that are novel/different
 D0 your kids sleep?
 Take information in one format and re-represent it
in another format
 Link to prior and future learning
 Edgar Dale / Cone of Experience
 Have you taken advantage of the 10-point scale to add
rigor into your assessments?
Is a student’s grade mostly content mastery or work
If using a points system, what is an appropriate weight
for a homework or in-class assignment versus a test?
Can students get credit for learning a concept after the
initial test?
Am I effectively communicating student progress with
 Social Studies is the only subject that will get released
items this year.
 Some of the strategies that we used to teach our
students are no longer applicable.
 If an average student thinks the SOL was difficult, that
is a clue that your class either lacks rigor or your
alignment is off.
 This PPT is posted on my website at:
Ben Williams
Assoc. Dir. of Testing,
Remediation, and Staff
562-3900 x 10257
[email protected]

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