New Year Greetings to you all, and we hope you had a blessed and rejuvenating holiday break.

For much of the twentieth century, the method of assessing a student’s knowledge and their performance with that knowledge was via tests and quizzes. For the student, their success or failure of an assessment was communicated through red pencil notations, a score in the top right corner, with perhaps a smiley or frowning face drawn next to the score.

The student typically reacted in one of three ways, happily gloating for high marks, shamefully hiding the paper for dismal failures, or reflecting complete indifference for middle of the road scores. Neither the instructor’s scoring nor the student’s reactions achieved any measure of improvement. And the protocol called for “full steam ahead to the next chapter so I can get through the book.”

Last month we discussed Math Fact Fluency and the ineffectiveness of rote memorization. Why ineffective? Because without understanding the applications of the answer what good is it to the student. “Correct or incorrect” assessing models are ineffective for the same reason. For the student, what means is there to understand why they failed? And for the teacher, what data is there to really know a student’s level of functional comprehension?

Please join us on January 27th for our Workshop Wednesday meeting. I will be hosting three educators who will discuss their evolving philosophy regarding assessing and its impact on their students.