Blog

Three Reasons Your Team Needs Common Summative Assessments

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A hallmark feature of a PLC-based school is that everything is focused on learning. The three big ideas of a PLC—(1) focus on learning; (2) build a collaborative culture; and (3) create a . . . Read more

What Do We Do When They Haven’t Learned?

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The implementation of a PLC is not a silver bullet, but a pathway to follow in working to ensure student learning. Implementation requires dedication and a focus on desired learning outcomes as teams work to answer the four key questions that guide a PLC... Read more

Eliminating Bias in Grading: Teachers Collaborate on Student Assessments

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The work of a professional learning community team is never done. Instead, teachers continuously navigate the world of standards, assessments, interventions, and extensions, using inquiry in an informed way to improve student learning. They begin a journey that becomes… Read more

How PLCs Use Assessments

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We received a series of questions from a school grappling with developing common assessments. I summarized the questions and attempted to provide a brief response for each… Read more

Collaboration Empowers PLC Process

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We received an inquiry from a teacher who was attempting to lead the implementation of the PLC process in her school. She wanted to provide each of the teams in her elementary school with possible . . . Read more

Getting the Most Out of Common Assessments

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Like most schools that begin implementing PLC practices, the faculty at Pioneer Middle School learned about the importance of common formative assessments and decided to utilize this powerful tool to help us focus on learning. Unfortunately, as time progressed… Read more

Teachers Key to Reversing High Failure Rate in Math

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We received a query from a high school principal about the failure rate in algebra in his school. At the end of the first quarter, 44 percent of students were receiving grades of D or F. At the end of the first semester, the rate had increased to 55 percent. When the administration met with the teachers to offer support, teachers took the following positions... Read more

Motivating Teachers to Collaborate

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I recently responded to the following question regarding how to motivate those teachers who do not fully engage in the collaborative process: Our district has adopted a PLC vision, which is fantastic. Two years ago… Read more

Collecting and Analyzing Common Assessment Data

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While most teachers recognize the value of analyzing assessment data they often struggle with collecting the data. It is not sufficient to know how many questions each student answered correctly or . . . Read more

The Case for Common Formative Assessments

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We received a question from a principal of a high-performing middle school who wrote: "Although we have made significant growth in many of the core components of a professional learning community we continue to struggle with the perception of teacher autonomy as a result of… Read more

Common Formative Assessments

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I had a conversation recently with a high school faculty that expressed several concerns regarding the idea that teachers teaching the same course or grade level should have common formative . . . Read more