This from John:
Recent conversations in my school are causing me to think that I am soon going to have to justify my assessments in very concrete terms, possibly in the context of a framework that applies to all subjects. With this in mind, I was hoping that we could establish a place on the blog where members could post and share the rubrics they use and any other documents which assess/align with the kinds of educational frameworks that are so popular among administrators these days.
[My response: of course, John, I will definitely set up a category called “Grading Rubrics” and another one called “Assessment Rubrics” and ask all of us who have successfully used rubrics of any kind to send them as emails to me where I will post them as blog entries and tag them into that category, as per the usual procedure for blog members getting anything they want posted as a blog entry here.
Look – we are the professionals here. The ability of higher ups to blindly impose some kind of cookie cutter “educational framework” on us is dependent on how blindly we accept it. With that in mind, we MUST allow Harrell’s original and pioneering work in the area of the Three Modes of Communication be our main guideposts in this work of getting rubrics that have teeth going in our classrooms.
The challenge we face is to allow those ACTFL Guidelines and Standards to speak for us. They should infuse our decisions about how we assess, and they should keep others from infusing us with the fear that goes with uncertainty in this business of assessment. As if they know better. They don’t.
I am lucky to be at Lincoln with my DPS team supporting my every decision, but many of us on this blog are steering their boats alone into unsteady waters with no port nearby and it is scary as hell. It is the middle of the year, we are stuck, many of us are alone in our work, but we have those ACTFL guidelines and the treasure trove of discussion started by Harrell here last May.
If I had time I would go back and meditate on each comment under the Grading Robert/Harrell category. But, failing that, if we do as you suggest, John, we can get a nice bright category, a flower bed of possible assessment ideas, and they can carry us into a place where, possibly by fall, we have the entire game of staredown with the administration and their pathetically misinformed frameworks over.
I think of us out on a beautiful walk with our three Aussie Shepherds (the three modes), and meeting our administrators by chance out on a walk with their Police Dog (the new one-size-fits-all frameworks) and the dogs start barking at each other. Our dog has to win the bark-off. Our dog is better.
Bless their hearts, these admins (you should read what Candace sent to me and Bryce today – I have asked her permission to publish it here) they don’t know about teaching and assessing language acquisition. We’ll get some blooms by spring, and full gardens of rubric based assessment flowers by the fall.
We’re not going to get bullied on this grading thing. Not to worry, John. We’ll get this thing done.]
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could