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Standards, standards, which are YOUR standards?

Standards, Standards, which are YOUR standards?

Teachers in Arkansas are required to teach to the Common Core standards, yet the students will be assessed by the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and the teacher will be assessed by TESS, Teacher Excellence and Support System. So what is a teacher to do?  The ADE's says to continue to teach the Common Core.  Our ELA department uses the ACT Aspire rubrics to evaluate timed writing, and we are pulling focus group students for targeted ACT Aspire tutoring. But, we can do more!  A new member of my PLN on Twitter has provided me with a new idea to teach CCSS, assess with ACT, and still meet the distinguished level on TESS. (How cool is that?)

@nick_dressler's standards based project posters were retweeted by another member of my PLN. Intrigued, I reached out to Nick and requested more information. He kindly provided the details of his class project and then explained that he used the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. The steps below can be applied to Math, ELA, and Science using the ACT Standards.

1.  Allow student voice/choice (poem, novel, or short story)
2.  Determine groups based on their choice
3.  Students determine their project to show their learning (options available)
4.  After project is approved the students create a standards-based rubric
5.  Teacher approves the rubric and students begin work
6.  Projects posted online for student vote and public audience
7.  Projects scored using the student created rubric

Any standards can be used. As Nick explained, this project is relatively malleable. The genius of student created standards-based rubrics is that the students become deeply familiar with what is required in each standard to obtain the highest grade. They will then be engaged in the work to achieve the standards that they set for their project.

Why is student-created rubrics so enticing?  Teachers in Arkansas are evaluated through the Teacher Excellence and Support System. Student-created rubrics help teachers achieve a distinguished level on 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction. At Distinguished Level, students have a hand in articulating the criteria.  Students could also use Common Core, but why not encourage students to become fluent in the very standards that will determine their future? Most students in Arkansas take the ACT as their college entrance exam.

So, what are YOUR standards? How do you assess? How are you assessed?

Suzanne M. Rogers, M.Ed
I have taught in private, public, and public open-enrollment charter schools


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