Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Playbook For Ohio Education Initiatives...Learning From the Super Bowl

This is Super Bowl Weekend.  Analysts have spent two weeks dissecting every possible factor that could impact the performance of either team in the big game.  Data has been analyzed, portrayed in charts, graphs and pictographs. Data has been talked about, diagrammed and shared via multiple social networks for others to comment on.  No one thinks that this is abnormal - in fact it is expected that the coaching staff from the contending teams would have gathered as much information as possible about the opposition's players, play calling, offensive performance, defensive packages, special team threats.   Commentators will share percentages on field goals made beyond 50 yards, 3rd down conversion rates...and on and on. Plays will be called based on evidence collected from past games.  There are very high expectations for player performance, growth targets are in place, the ability to shift plays on the fly to adjust to what is happening in the game is essential - hmmmm. This sounds very much like what we, as educators, should be doing to prepare for implementing Ohio's New Learning Standards, OTES and Ohio's Next Generation Assessments.  Maybe we need ESPN - Educational Shift Programming Network.

So, sit down with some wings, nachos and some pizza bites and lets look at how we can use evidence to help us prepare for 2014-2015...our Ohio "Big Game" year.

The best Defense Is A Good Offense
Evidence Centered Design is the process being used by PARCC to develop assessment tasks/items that will accurately measure a student's performance on a standard.   Based on the concept of "claims", teacher teams can discuss standards to come to agreement on what students will be expected to do - and a what level of rigor. From this, assessment items can be designed to collect the "evidence" that would be needed to prove that students can actually DO what they are expected to do - at the level we expected them to do it.    Once assessments are created, units and lessons can be designed to provide the supports students will need to get to the point that they will be successful on the assessment.  If all teachers would invest the time up-front in setting learning targets, understanding the expectations of the standards and building assessments - both formative and summative - to make sure students reach those targets - our test scores in 2014-2015 may not be as low as everyone is predicting.

Put Me In Coach..I Am Ready To Play
OTES is the new teacher evaluation system.  Professional Performance will be assessed using 10 categories, based on Ohio's Teacher Standards.   Teachers and Principals (or other credentialed observers) will be collecting evidence to support a rating of ineffective, developing, proficient or accomplished.  Teachers should spend time now going through the OTES rubric to begin to identify what they already do - or could tweak- in their professional practice that could be used as evidence in categories like "knowledge of students", "differentiation", "use of assessment data" and "use of resources"  Think about ways to organize your evidence - box, binder, pile on a bookshelf, electronic portfolio - whatever works for you.  Remember, the new OTES system is based on a collaborative relationship between the teacher and the evaluator - so be prepared!  Most teachers in the state will be rated "Proficient".  Proficient is a GOOD thing!

32 27 Chevy Blue Right Shift ...or if you are a Browns Fan - Red Right 88
 Like an NFL playbook, teachers build lesson/assessment plans for the year, based on evidence, to help all students to grow as learners and achieve long term learning goals. OTES also includes a Student Growth Measure evaluation component. Teacher teams have the opportunity to do  "pre-season" data analysis to set expectations based on levels of expected student performance.  State tests provide more data on past and predicted achievement. Throughout the school year, using formative assessments to gather evidence that students are on track and units designed to help students build understanding/skill, teachers coach their students through practice - and assessments - all preparing them for the final assessment of growth at the end of the year.   State Value Added Data is also a growth measure.  It is a detailed analysis of student past performance and projected future performance.  Value Added data uses NCEs (Normal Curve Equivalent) as an equal interval scale that lets researchers compare achievement over time.  Ohio will be using Value Added data as a required component of the OTES.  SLO plans are also an option for some teachers.  SLO plans give teachers the opportunity to assemble evidence of student growth based on locally developed growth measures.  Team discussions of "baseline" evidence, agreement on potential evidence of growth, rationale for tiered growth targets  - and how to accurately assess them will help all teachers and could be used to demonstrate "evidence of differentiation, use of assessment data and focus for learning", components of the OTES Teacher Rubric.

Show me the evidence...and start preparing now for the changes that will be implemented between now and 2014-2015....and enjoy the Super Bowl festivities this weekend! Maybe someday the Browns will make it to the game - given the right plays, the right coaching, the right supports...there is always next year.

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