Friday, September 20, 2013

Teacher Leadership Challenge | September 20, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 5.01.03 PMThis is a multipart series of posts intended to help teachers grow their leadership practice and ignite conversations about education online and in person. The goal of a teacher leader is to improve the learning of all students through their efforts, collaboration, and influence. The 2014 Teacher Leadership Challenge is a weekly installment activity that poses a prompt on an educational topic or issue. Your challenge is to respond within one week to the prompt via a post you publish to your blog. Responses to the prompt that you publish to your own blog should be no more than 500 words. The aim is to get more teachers thinking globally about their classroom practice and their own connection to the wider education community. You can subscribe to this blog to get the weekly challenge sent to you automatically by email.

You can share your post to Twitter using #TLC2014 and spark conversation with educators. In addition to posting on your own blog, you can elect to include your post in the weekly collection showcase blog. To do this, simply email your completed response post to the showcase, at Make sure that you include the title of your post with the week of the prompt for proper tagging (e.g., "My Post Title | September 6, 2013") in the subject line (without "re:") of your email, and the full post laid out in paragraphs in the body of the email. Posts are automatically published from sending the email. You can embed images and URLs into the body of your email, and the post will publish while maintaining your formatting and layout. Check out others' responses in the response collection or on Google+ each week, leave them your comments, and get the conversation rolling ahead for teacher leadership.

This Week's Challenge:

What are the features of assessment that make it a valuable practice?

"A train leaves Chicago at noon traveling east at 50mph while a second train departs Cleveland traveling west at 60mph; if the two cities are 350 miles apart..." This all too familiar test question has been part of the American education culture for decades. It has haunted students from every walk of life and all corners of our country. Has it also haunted educators, though, in some way?

In classrooms and in cafeterias everywhere, the "pop quiz" and the SAT are just a couple of the household names to which assessment is referred, but what role should it even play in student learning? Does the value of assessment follow from its function or its structure? While testing looks all but identical nearly anywhere you look in the United States, the push for more of it in the past decade has ramped on many fronts; however, is there more to assessment than selecting one of five choices? Is assessment the end or is it the means? Which is more valuable: assessment of learning or assessment for learning? Though there are many ways to assess students in their education, are there some assessment practices that stand out among the rest?