NESA Reporting Project
Most NESA schools have standards-based curriculums as well as assessments that support teaching to that curriculum and improving student learning. A missing piece for many schools is reporting student progress to parents in ways that are meaningful, jargon-free and comprehensible.
When facing this challenge, the usual practice is to gather sample reporting forms from other schools, hand them to a committee and develop what is hoped will convey to parents the information that they want and need to know.
While this approach can lead to shared knowledge, because it is usually not done with reference to research or outside expertise it can also lead to shared ignorance and a product difficult for parents to understand and one that erroneously conflates student achievement with work habits or behaviors.
Dr Tom Guskey and Dr Lee Ann Jung, nationally recognized authorities in assessment and reporting, offered a special, in-depth opportunity for teams of administrators and teachers from NESA schools to work collaboratively in devising or fine-tuning grade reporting forms that are tied to a standards-based curriculum, grounded in research and are easily understood by parents. The project also included a focus on monitoring and communicating the achievement of exceptional learners.
While the actual face-to-face work sessions were held during the 2012 Winter Training Institute in Muscat, January 26-27, significant preparation was completed by participating teams beforehand, including readings, editing of documents and on-line sharing with Drs Guskey and Jung as well as with the other teams.
The particular focus of the work was on grades K-8 but teams included representation from high school since much of what was discussed, shared and worked on had relevance across the entire school, K-12.
**NOTE: This project was limited to 100 participants of teams consisting of 5-10 educators. NESA ‘member’ schools were initially invited to sign-up for the project with the intention of extending attendance to ‘affiliate’ schools. However, the limit was reached immediately among members.