Jumping from one assessment to the next

I sat down in front of my inbox and got a query from a colleague: Where’s that assessment that’s due for next week? Of course, the tone wasn’t as sharp as that at all, but that is how my brain heard it. And so instead of cracking away at that of course I have a rumination to finish first (ha ha):

The way I see the IB Middle Year’s Program (MYP), and one of the things that makes me clap enthusiastically for it, is that it’s not supposed to be content-driven. It’s supposed to be concept- and inquiry-driven. It goes along with the whole not-teaching-to-the-test and student-centered approach. The problem is this rule:

Each reporting period, there must be at least two assessments for each of the criteria.

This is a school rule, but based on common sense really.

There are four criteria in Language Acquisition, which means if you do the simplistic math you’re looking at 4 times 2 equals 8 assessments for each reporting period. Of course, you can double-up on the criteria, say, using two of them in one, but, if you ask me, if you’re bending yourself backwards already trying to meet this rule then you’ve become as “content-driven” as a course that teaches to the test.

The way out of this conundrum, if it were up to me, would be to simply schedule three assessments per each reporting period. One at the start that is really just diagnostic, one in the middle that informs the teachers of how well they are doing, and finally an assessment just before the reporting period. Of course, I’m saying this knowing full well that people in the Hague are probably going to jump down my throats β€” perhaps justifiably β€” because assessments aren’t supposed to be of the standardized variety, which is what it sounds like I’m proposing.

All I know, is that it doesn’t seem like I’m teaching units, but instead working on the next assessment task after the next.

Intuitively, that’s not right.

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