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5.19: The Overall Concept

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The discussion turns to the issue of teachers' understanding why these assessments are being used--what "the overall concept" is. One of the representatives suggests it would be helpful for teachers to know "that they're going to get some type of feedback from what they're giving." Bill responds that it is "strange situation"--if you explain too much ahead of time,he says, it might not really make sense. "You almost gotta get down and do it," Bill suggests, before people really understand. The principal concurs, saying that even the AALT did not fully comprehend what was going on until Bill showed the data charts and graphs. An AALT member articulates the key challenge: Helping teachers understand that "you can use this to help you guide your instruction."




	I came right out of the common planning.  I left this
	meeting to go to the common planning and came back to it and
	I told them what we were doing in here.  And they were
	surprised because they really didn't have an overall concept
	of what all of these tests, the results were being done with
	these tests.  That was the first thing, so I think maybe
	explaining this to them before they're given the tests, in
	advance earlier on in the year so that they know that
	there's a-- that they're going to get some type of feedback
	from what they're giving, directly.  That was one thing and
	then the other thing was--


	Mark , can I interrupt you, just for one second,
	cause it's a strange contra--  situation you face, because
	on the one hand, if you start something like this and you
	explain too much (T:  Right) people will just get more and
	more confused and it's almost like-- I don't know that
	they'll ever understand it until Tuesday when they see--
	(Principal:  Monday) Monday when everything kind of comes
	together they see the results and they can look at the
	progress over the year.  It's hard, you almost gotta get
	down and do it (T:  Right), before people-- and then-- but
	you got to have something like this; you have to bring it to


	Yeah, but I think even us in here.  We knew
	what we were doing all along, but we never dreamed that we'd
	see something like this, today.  We all knew we were
	assessing beginning, middle and end and we know that Mia was
	getting tallies and Bill was helping us out, but I think
	that we were all beyond pleasantly surprised seeing this.  I
	mean, we're all going to go out and party (laughter).  So--
	and we who are the AALT who are dealing with it, I can just
	imagine what you know the teachers (?).  I think Tuesday--
	Monday (laughter) I think Monday this will really drive it
	home for everybody.


	I wanted to piggy back on that because (?) same grade
	level and knowing how our people might feel at our grade
	level, I  think that it's very important we as AALT members
	or grade level chairs or whatever, we need to maybe give
	them an idea of what the assessment is doing for them, not
	so much to look at in the document, but that it is a
	valuable tool for you as a teacher to know where you need to
	go next.  If you don't see the value of assessment and all
	it is to you is a final product, then I don't see-- I can
	see why you would be frustrated in having to give it (?). 
	If we can spin it in a way, if we can get them to see that
	oh, you can use this to help you guide your instruction, if
	the focus is there, and I don't how you would say that, to
	get that message across, but, I am thinking if they saw
	that, then they wouldn't be as uptight about doing it.