Education Policy Proposal

Benchmarks: Not Leaving Any Child Behind Benchmarks In PAP style, complete the following… 1 . Cover page 2. Introduction – introduce your policy project, provide a setting, rationale and historical perspective 3. Then, write an Annotated Bibliography of each of the articles in support of your policy. See the example pages for more information. 4. Then, write an Annotated Bibliography of each of the articles against your policy. See the example pages for more information 5.

Summary – write an overall summary of what you learned and how you will use this information to persuade your stakeholders. Introduction to the Policy Mauricio High School’s English and math departments are in need of organizing its reading, writing, and math benchmarks. The district needs to have a strong data collecting assessment they can rely on to sample what the students are capable of in each of the three skills. Today, the tests are not organized well enough to the teacher’s preferences, e. G. , the reading test tends to have a page-long reading with only two questions below to answer.

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The students struggle to buy-in with all the reading while there are few questions to back the reading, and it is issues like these hat are creating insufficient data that could be driving instruction to the needs of the students. Factors to Consider Some of the important factors that need to be considered would be who would write the test? The district would ultimately have to write the test in order to keep the bias away from the data, but there would need to be a committee of teachers from the subjects that would create templates for the district to use.

The best thing the district could have is an ex-teacher of the subject that had become a curriculum coach or administrator that could really bridge the gap in subject knowledge and administration authority. Policy Questions Another question would be how often would the students take the benchmarks? A strong suggested rate would be a pretest at the beginning of the year that has the skills from the previous year in them (last year’s final).

The next tests would be at the quarter-grade report, the December midterm/fall, the third quarter-grade report, and the final at the end of the year. A final question would definitely be how would the data gathered be used? With questions on the tests driven by specific, state, skill standards, the teacher could be given a chart with student specific issues and strengths. Ultimately, the teacher would need to be given a chart that shows the larger trends of each class in regards to their strengths and weaknesses. That information would drive review and future curriculum.

There would have to be curriculum coaches available to support the teachers in knowing how to use the data well enough to adjust lessons accordingly based on the test’s collected data. The high school would need to work Witt the district in creating a third-pa test that would be designed in regards to the teachers’ suggestions, and the benchmark tests will fill in for the English and math departments’ exams/finals. Policy Statement District, written, benchmark testing should replace all major English and math exams throughout the school year.

Issues to Deal With The teachers are struggling with the benchmarks because they feel as though they lose control of the assessment aspect of their curriculum. The teachers feel the administration and state have too high of standards for the students because the students are below the skill level to accomplish the benchmarks, and the teachers feel this will tarnish their reputation as teachers. There is a lack of control over the creation and acceptance of the tests because the district creates them and forces hem on the teachers who feel the tests are not reachable to the students.

Another aspect is that the teachers have their own finals and midterms the students must take while the benchmarks still have to be taken on top of that. The students are getting inundated with too many tests between teacher tests, district benchmarks, and AIMS. The significant issue behind not having the benchmarks under control is that the data is not consistent. The lack of control or agreement between the teachers and the district is creating a series of changed and modified tests that do not consistently show valuable data.

The benchmarks need to reflect the location of student skill levels in regards to AIMS. Value of the Policy This policy is relevant for any teacher in the school and the community because it is very close to third-party testing?having an outside assessment that monitors what teachers and students are doing and to make sure they are doing what is best for student achievement. If teachers are allowed to assess themselves, then they will be too bias as the teachers will manipulate the statistics in their favor.

Essentially, if the assessments are done well enough, the data collected will give the teachers the erect foresight into driving the curriculum in the most efficient direction. Essentially, the policy is based on a backwards design model?students are expected to know or be able to answer a series of essential questions by the end of the quarter, semester, or end of the year. According to Jones, Permeate, & Jones (2009), “Backwards planning calls for educators to begin with a nominal list of essential questions all students must answer by the end of the unit” (p. ). Overall, knowing where the students should be in their skill and education should be the driving factor for any curriculum design. The benchmark tests need to be authentic in nature as well. According to Wiggins (1990), “Authentic assessments attend to whether the student can craft polished, thorough and Justifiable answers, performances or products. Conventional tests typically only ask the student to select or write correct responses–irrespective of reasons” (p. 1). The tests would have to be designed that would reach for the higher level of thinking, e. . , Bloom’s Taxonomy with evaluative levels of thinking. This would be a strong focus on having to build from lower levels of Just fact-based vocabulary or skills to higher level of thematic understanding encased with an opinion on the topic. In math, it would be more specific to advanced operations with smaller operations within the larger problem. According to Gyro (2007) “… Argue that the central essence of benchmarking is the learning how to improve activities, processes and management” (p. 2).

In the end, benchmark testing is meant to tougher out where teachers need to go Witt curriculum to advance students in their skills and knowledge by knowing where they are at in the education. Negotiations to the Policy The school administration, English/math departments, and the district test writers deed to sit down and design very skill-specific tests that are fair for teachers to accommodate. There would need to be a committee of teachers and administrators that would genuinely create a practical plan to make the new benchmark tests take the place of the English and math teacher’s finals.

Ultimately, the benchmark tests are skill-based assessments. This meaner that content knowledge needs to be stripped away from the benchmarks, e. G. , students cannot be assessed on any outside information other than reading, writing, and math skills. The content in the test needs to be self-contained?all a student needs to know about Shakespeare in he test is given to them in a text they read in the test. A test of this nature requires all professionals to have a say in the design of it. The administration needs to sit down with the departments and explain to them how and why the benchmarks are skill based.

Once it is established that a skill-based test is a universal test as long as teachers stick to the state standards in their curriculum, then the teachers will begin to see why there needs to be buy-in to the benchmarks. Once they understand the need, they need to have a say in the template behind the structuring of the test. The searchers need to truly understand that they cannot write the tests themselves because that will inundate the data with bias. A positive thought about this is that teachers will not have to write any tests they give their students.

They could give quizzes but quarterly exams, midterms, and finals are designed by the district that would be counseled by the benchmark committees. Ultimately, the loss of direct control over tests is what teachers will struggle with the most, but in the end, the benchmarks will protect teachers and students from faulty teaching methods and it will protect teachers from faulty student methods. Issues with the Policy Teaching to the test can be a big concern for many educators. Bestseller (1997) stated, “[Teaching to the test] it stifles creativity and encourages cheating” (p. ). Of course there will always be a concern about a more centralized form in education, but if the test is created in an authentic way?achieving the higher levels of thinking with possibly writing essays with theses?would allow for even a centralized test to be valuable. In order to be scientific about where students stand in their knowledge requires centralized assessments that are as objective as possible. Some Unknown Information Needed A major issue that would need to be figured out would be the teacher support structure.

Teachers in math and English would need curriculum coaches working with them through observations to Justify and defend teacher methods and validate their hard work even if the students are apathetic. The major variable in any public education institution is teacher and student apathy. In a public system, there is no capitalistic hand that proves success or failure very quickly. A public institution can be like a life support system that can keep weak and insufficient practices alive.

Those weak practices spread and corrupt other parts of the institution as weak teachers become veteran teachers and they will swing their time and service status around like it is valuable in creating dynamic education policy. References Arizona. Gob (2012). Education Budget Statistics. Retrieved from http://Arizona. Gob. Bestseller, K (1997). Teaching to the Test. The American School Board Journal. Http://www. Pittsburghers. Org/downloads/Thoughtlessness. PDF Cellar, June (2012). Mauricio High School’s 2011-12 AIMS Results Report. Mauricio, Arizona. Jones, K. , Permeate, ; Jones, J (2009).