VASCD Speaks

The biggest indictment of our schools is not their failure to raise test scores

Thanks to Scott McLeod at dangerouslyirrelevant.org for this post.

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Why a Child Poverty Target is Good Education Policy

​Thanks to the Campaign for Children's Kevin Lindsey for alerting us about this important policy issue. Poverty affects achievement, and our children need our help as advocates as well as teachers.

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Dean Smith, The Tarheels, and AFL in Action, by Scott Habeeb

​Scott Habeeb reminds us that Dean Smith was not only a legendary coach, but an expert practitioner in assessment for learning.

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Popping Bubble Wrap, by John Hendron

​What might a sheet of bubble wrap have to do with learning math?  

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Differentiate My Ride!

​High school English teacher and blogger Mindy Keller-Kyriakides demonstrates The Role of the Rubric in Differentiating Projects.

Read the post here at Mindy's blog site.

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Conduct Better Interviews

​Jennifer Hindman, author of the ASCD Aria titled Effective Teacher Interviews: How Do I Hire Good Teachers?, suggests practices for making the best possible hires.

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SOL Testing: Not Enough or Too Much?

Some compelling observations about high school students and SOL retests from Regina Meredith and the counseling team at Salem High School.

Among the most important events in a child’s life are the first day of kindergarten and high school graduation. For some of our students who are working to earn a standard diploma, attending high school graduation might never happen.  Not because they haven’t met course requirements, not because they aren’t ready for the world, but because they have failed to pass a required multiple choice SOL test.  

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SOL Reduction Redux

​​Will fewer tests mean more learning? VASCD Executive Director Laurie McCullough offers one perspective.

This spring, action by the Virginia General Assembly eliminated five SOL tests. It’s a small but significant positive step. Unfortunately, the conversation that has ensued makes one wonder if we’ve gone so far down the high-stakes multiple-choice rabbit hole that we have lost sight of what students really need.

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Daryl Goes to Hollywood

​Daryl Chesley, VaASCD President, describes his recent experience at ASCD's Annual Conference. Daryl provides a ringing endorsement of a great professional learning experience, and doesn't even mention that there was an earthquake during his time in LA OR that his flight was canceled coming home! 

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The Case for Going Beyond the Content

​Scott Habeeb, Salem High School Principal and popular VaASCD conference keynoter, reflects on the importance of "aiming for the heart". If you had to choose, would you want to be remembered as a teacher who covered a lot of content, or as a teacher who changed someone's life?  Hear more from Scott at our professional development institute on April 9; see our events link to register.

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Eight Educators Speak: Teaching and Learning Beyond the Content

​Eight English educators- from first-year to veteran leaders- attended the 2013 VASCD Conference together. Read their powerful reflections here. 

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How to Really Help Students Learn

​Diane Washenberger, Salem City Schools' Director of Elementary Instruction, describes essential strategies for differentiated instruction- and the pitfalls that sometimes accompany them.

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What does Virginia’s assessment program say about what we value?

Henry County Superintendent Jared Cotton pinpoints four needed changes in Virginia's assessment system, and suggests how we might add rigor and relevance. 

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VASCD Speaks—Our Occasional Blog

Assessment and Accountability: Time to Move On  by Laurie McCullough, VASCD Executive Director

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