A Review of Sample Language Art Questions Released by PARCC: Implications for English Language Arts/Literacy

The upcoming PARCC assessment for ELA will continue to ask students to read passages, answer follow-up questions, and complete writing tasks. However, with this new generation of standardized tests, the format and complexity of those questions will be taken to a new level.
PARCC sample question review
This week we will look at one portion of the ELA assessment – the section that focuses on narrative writing (following the reading of a fictional passage) for Grade 6. While this set of samples is grade-specific, the rationale in creating the questions, the format, and the prerequisite technological skills is universal, regardless of the grade. Three key shifts in the PARCC for ELA are as follows… Continue reading

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Hot Topic – Teacher Evaluations

Lately we’ve seen a lot of talk about the way teachers are being evaluated and if what’s currently in place is efficient. Also, this topic has come about as some teachers who are no longer efficient aren’t able to be fired or reassigned because of tenure systems. The most recent example of this is something I saw this morning in Education Week. It talks about the newly revamped system in Tennessee that is causing quite an uproar.

The new evaluation program, developed in connection with the federal Race to the Top grant competition, grades teachers on both student test scores and multiple classroom observations. As of now, the observations seem to be the primary sticking point, with both teachers and principals complaining that they are cumbersome and unfair. The article notes that, among other things, the evaluators are required to use a three-page checklist to review teachers’ lessons plans…
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Teachers Selling Lesson Plans

Teachers selling lesson plans is a hot topic lately for a number of reasons.  I recently saw a report on CNN that talked about a teacher, Deanna Jump,  who posted a lesson plan on a teacher share site and made over a million dollars selling it for about $9.00 each time.    Andrew Rotherham also wrote about this subject and this teacher in a recent  Time magazine  article…
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