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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Journey to Becoming 21st Century Educators (Part 3 of 4): Dawn and Susan

{by Gail Tolbert}

This is my third of four blogs about many of my friends and connections who are educators, educators at different stages in their career, educators wanting to become 21st Century Educators (Read the first one

Dawn has been teaching for 25 years. She is a seasoned teacher and grade-level chair for her building. She mentors new teachers and works with student teachers. Dawn is a good role model and always learns and keeps current in her profession. Dawn has prepared and given many tests and assessments during her tenure. She has spent many hours creating, editing, updating and scoring tests. She would love to have a tool with which she can store, manage, access and edit her test questions. She wants to create her own test bank. Dawn and her team review lots of documentation and test score results and question the issue of accountability. They wonder if they are teaching and testing on all the state standards. They wonder if they are missing any standards or if they are over teaching and spending too much time on any standards.

They dream about all the information to which they would love to have access about the student results. These dreams include not only student scores and percentages but information about outcomes aligned to the standards and outcomes over time. She wants current, real time information to improve classroom instruction and her instructional strategies for the class and for each of her students.

Susan is a curriculum coach for an elementary school. She meets with and mentors all grade levels on instructional strategies. She knows and talks with Dawn even though they teach in different states. She, too, wants an assessment tool about which Dawn talks. In her building, the discussion on testing and assessments then lead to the bigger picture of student performance data for the school and district. Susan needs to be able to track student progress from kindergarten through 5th grade and then pass that data on to the middle school. She needs one tool with which she can look at the school, the class, the teacher or one child. She needs to track not only how students are performing, but how they are performing on each of the state standards. Parts of her responsibilities include the improvement of student performance through the improvement of teaching strategies. She needs access to detailed, ongoing, current assessment data to give her that information.

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