wide professional development plan geared toward improving W r i t i n g

wide professional development plan geared toward improving W r i t i n g


Part 1

One of the biggest criticisms of state standardized tests is that they only use multiple-choice questions and test basic knowledge of a subject.

  • Select a subject and grade that you are interested in.
  • Propose two ways to assess higher-order thinking of this subject that could be used in lieu of state tests and multiple-choice questions.

Part 2

Now you will complete this section of the white paper. You will justify your topic selection and its relevance to the school district’s goal of improving its assessment results.

Note: Refer to the Project Description in Week 1.


Write a 3–5 page paper in which you:

  • Revise the Assessment Project (The revision of the previous assignment is not included in the page count for this assignment).
  • Evaluate your district’s assessment strategy for the area(s) that are relevant to your research and make any recommendations. Consider the following points:
    • Does your district’s current assessment strategy meet the needs of certain populations of students?
    • What can be done to improve assessment results, especially within specific populations?
    • Are there any concerns about your district’s assessment strategy that you have based on your research?
    • How do your research and recommendations fit into the boarder picture of improvement?
  • Ascertain three new advances in computer and web technologies that would benefit K–12 assessment that are related to your topic. Highlight one of these new innovations that might be practical for the district to implement in the near future. Provide a rationale for your response.
  • Propose the strategic manner in which you would conduct a training needs analysis for teachers related to your topic.
  • Provide at least three additional reliable, relevant, peer-reviewed references published within the last two years.

Part 3

Portfolio assessments are an obvious choice for subjects such as art, language arts, social studies, and capstone projects for student teachers.

  • Choose a subject that does not immediately lend itself to a portfolio assessment such as math, science, or a foreign language.
    • Write or find 2–3 objectives for this subject.
    • Post the subject and the objectives to the discussion board.
  • Design a portfolio assessment for your subject and objectives.
    • Write a summary of what your portfolio assessment requires and how you plan to assess it.

Part 4

A variation of this “no-zero” policy is where students are not penalized for missed work but instead must attend school on Saturdays or during the summer to make up work.

Do you agree with these policies?

  • Explain your reasoning in terms of grading and evaluating student achievement.
  • Respond to one of your classmates.
    • State whether you agree with their answer and why.
    • Suggest a grading system that would mitigate one missed assignment from dropping someone’s grade point average too low or making it impossible for students to bring up their grades because they had too many zeros. You may want to include factors such as lost points for late work instead of all or nothing, requirements for staying late or attending extra school to turn in work, extra credit, or other methods that you can implement with grades.

Part 5

Research the test results from the past year for a specific grade and subject in your school district. Post the link to the discussion forum.

  • Write a letter to parents explaining how to read the test scores and what they mean.
  • Explain how they will be used by you in your class.
    • Will you use them to improve instruction? Lobby your school district for more funding? Implement programs to help struggling students? For other purposes?
  • Respond to one of your classmates. Pretend you are a parent in that class reading that letter.
    • Does it make sense to you?
    • What questions would you have as a parent?
    • How would you expect the teacher to respond?

Part 6

From this week’s readings, the Advanced Placement tests (AP tests) are fiercely debated, with some prestigious private schools opting out of offering AP classes all together. Some schools will offer AP tests but not AP classes, claiming that their students do just fine on the AP tests without teaching the exact AP curriculum.

  • Is the AP system an adequate program to prepare students for college? Explain your reasoning in terms of test preparation, accessibility to AP classes and taking the tests, and opportunities that AP credits provide.
  • Respond to one of your classmates.
    • Do you agree with their reasoning? Explain why.
    • Do you think that other scholastic aptitude tests such as the SAT or the ACT are enough or that schools should offer more college prep like the APs?

Part 7

The white paper that you have developed on your selected K–12 assessment topic is now ready for you to present to the locally elected board of the school district. Create a presentation using Prezi or similar software in order to present your research to the task force. The information within your presentation will assist the task force in developing a district-wide professional development plan geared toward improving the overall test scores of the schools within the district.


Recorded Presentation – Overall Presentation Style and Structure
  • Present your findings in 10 slides using Prezi, PowerPoint, or a presentation software of your choice. (Note: Notify the professor on Week 7 concerning the software you choose to use for the presentation.)
  • Include a title slide and references section (These two slides are not part of the ten slide requirement.)
  • Develop a coherent, organized presentation using your chosen tool for a professional audience, using clean design, readable text, and visuals that support the information presented.
  • Provide audio narration of the presentation slides as if you were delivering the speech. (Note: If you do not have access to a microphone, provide detailed speaker notes with your presentation.)
  • Overview and recommendation section (first five slides) in which you:
    • Provide an overview of the white paper. The overview should include, at a minimum, background on your topic and its relevance to K–12 assessment and the demographics of the district.
    • Discuss the significant recommendations that you have made within the white paper regarding changes to the district’s current assessment goals.
    • Provide three methods by which the task force might use the white paper in order to develop a district-wide professional development plan geared toward improving the overall test scores of the district.
  • Personal reflection section (last five slides) in which you provide:
    • What you have learned from developing the white paper as well as what you have learned during this course.
    • Your personal reflection on the new technologies that you researched in the Assessment Project – Part 2 and the manner in which such technologies have changed your views on how to approach assessment in the classroom.
    • The manner in which you would implement the recommendations made in Assessment Project – Part 2 within your own school district or within your classroom practices. Provide specific examples of the changes that you have already made or would like to make.

Part 8

For this final discussion:

  • Discuss the changes you would like to see in K–12 assessment in the next 10 years.
  • Evaluate an assessment tool of your choosing in terms of efficacy, and discuss your findings with the class.

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