Tag Archives | testing

Teachers’ ‘Let It Go’ test anxiety-easing video goes viral

Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press, April 27, 2014 – Few students can say they’ve seen their teacher “harness the wind.” For those unfamiliar with the technique, picture lots of frenzied arm movements, sort of like ribbon dancing at a gymnastics meet, but without the ribbon. Or go to YouTube and type in “Turtle Lake Elementary” and watch […]

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Rethinking “Data-Driven”

Michael Diedrich, Minnesota 2020, March 27, 2014 – Outside of a few contexts, the phrase “data-driven decision making” would provoke either yawns or vague anxieties brought on by images of spreadsheets and regression lines. In education, however, the phrase will get the blood pumping. Sometimes the rush will be one of excitement, as the term has […]

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Amid rising costs, school districts rethink their use of standardized testing

Mila Koumpilova, Pioneer Press, March 15, 2014 – A growing number of Minnesota districts are taking stock of the tests they give students. And they are asking tough questions about them: How many are really necessary? How often? Which exams tell the most? Spending on standardized testing fees that districts and charter schools report to the […]

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Privilege, Test Scores, and High Expectations

Michael Diedrich, Minnesota 2020, March 11, 2014 – Test scores, once seen as a way to force schools to have higher expectations of their students, have instead placed a ceiling and walls around what many schools expect of their students. A reevaluation of this approach is overdue. For one perspective on this, we can look to the […]

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Kohn: The Poor Get Worksheets

Sarah Lahm, Minnesota 2020, March 3, 2014 – Can we reframe education conversations, in Minnesota and beyond, by talking about students’ achievements, rather than student achievement? That is one vital question I took away from a recent visit, by Alfie Kohn—an author and lecturer on human behavior, education, and parenting—to  Macalester College. Kohn always packs a punch, […]

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Parents and the Common Core: A Conversation with National PTA President Otha Thornton

Anne O’Brien, Learning First Alliance, February 24, 2014 Evidence clearly shows that family engagement in education promotes student success. And the vast majority of parents (and other family members and guardians) understands that fact and takes educational responsibilities very seriously. So when they are faced with reforms that require changes to their children’s school experiences, families […]

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Testing Resistance and Reform Spring Launched

Lisa Guisbond, Huffington Post, February 21, 2014 – Campaigns against the overuse and misuse of standardized testing are exploding across the nation. Many parents, teachers, students and activists agree that one-size-fits-all exams produce narrow, misleading snapshots of U.S. children and public schools. State and local policy makers are starting to heed their constituents’ message by reducing […]

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When temps plummet, how do school districts decide when to close?

Liala Helal and Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio, January 23, 2014 – When school officials across Minnesota learned that temperatures would struggle to reach zero today, many of them decided to close schools due to the frigid weather. Others decided to delay school by two hours. How district officials make the often-difficult decision depends on a […]

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The Year Ahead in Ed

Michael Diedrich, Minnesota 2020, January 7, 2014 – As we look ahead to 2014, I see three major education policy areas that will attract attention. Discipline and Anti-Bullying Policy Reform For too long, too many schools and districts have treated discipline as a junior version of law enforcement rather than part of the learning process. While […]

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State severs its ties with MCA administrators

Kim McGuire, Star Tribune, October 31, 2013 – The Washington, D.C.-based company that administers standardized testing in Minnesota schools won’t be doing business with the state after this school year, according to documents obtained Wednesday by the Star Tribune. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) recently notified the Minnesota Department of Education that it won’t try […]

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