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Authentic Vs. Standardized Assessment Protocol

However, because scores on standardized exams are most often reported as simple numerical summations, they lack the specificity required to say much about any individual student. What for example, can we say about a student’s understanding of place value if they got 2833 on the OAKS? Further standard exams are often administered only once per year, and therefore lack the robustness of multiple trial testing. When taken only once, variables such as a lack of breakfast, a stressor early in the day, or a poor night’s sleep can influence a student’s score more profoundly than their understanding of place value. All successful educators are aware of this, and take standardized scores with a grain of salt, paying more attention to more authentic styles of assessment.

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John WartonComment
How Media Perpetuates Bias

When I talk to my students about bias, I talk about it like an infection. Just like an infection, bias thrives when it isn’t noticed, or when it’s ignored. Just like an infection, it hurts the person who has it, and the people around them as well. And notably for this paper, just like an infection implicit bias can spread from one part of our minds to another and from one person to another.

When you look at children’s books, you’ll notice that a vast majority of the characters in the stories, especially the protagonists, are white (92%). The structure of the story is often the same, with good guys and bad guys. Notice how familiar that last sentence sounded, and compare it to the same sentence ending with “good girls and bad girls.” Children’s book authors don’t deliberately add racist or sexist details, their implicit biases do. Unfortunately, those same details, the white protagonists, the default male in our language, the good vs bad, are the details children begin to fill into their own stories. As children, we very likely did the same filling in, and never stopped.

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Joy and Opportunity

But you can’t get far into a definition of play, without coming around to “joy” or a synonym of it. If work is filled with joy, the line between work and play starts to get very fuzzy, very quickly. If I’m having to add 20 different combinations of numbers in my head, because it’s “number work” and I hate it, it’s almost certainly work. But if I’m playing “the big number game” in Mr. Peters’ room, and I think it’s a game, and I’m having a great time, am I playing or working?

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John Warton