I spent the better part of the last two days listening in on schools discuss the results of their standardized tests – PATs, HLATs, GLAs, Diplomas. There were some excellent conversations around the room. The Assessment Team did a great job organizing the day and leading Literacy Leadership Teams through copious amounts of charts and tables. They made it easy to understand the data we were looking at and gave the teams time to work with the information they had before them. What was interesting to me was that, as the District focuses on 21st Century Literacy, we still put a lot of emphasis on tests that measure 20th Century skills.
I support the Data Days, and I believe teachers and students should be looking at data to inform instruction and learning. If we truly value the competencies of and educated Albertan, as presented by Alberta Education, then lets be sure to include tools to measure these competencies when we look at data. Having said that, I don’t claim to know what tools would be effective to measure these things. I think we have a lot of work to do to find some really good assessment strategies for these skills. I would love to hear how others are assessing 21st Century Literacy in their classes.