Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Stuff: The Learning Pledge [Corrected]

Faced with concerns about the testing transition and its instructional implications, the Kentucky Association of Assessment Coordinators recommends a principled pledge for educators:
I, a staff member of ______________________school and the _____________school district, hereby proclaim and steadfastly adhere to the following pledge of learning.

• Regardless of test measures, instruments, or accountability features I will provide each individual child with the highest level educational opportunity possible.
• I resolve to adhere to the Program of Studies by teaching all core subjects each year. Non-tested subject areas and grades will not be treated as inferior, in time or quality, to tested subjects and grades.
• I will provide and support quality, authentic writing instruction for all students at all grade levels. This will include compiling continuous samples of student work.
• The use of “writing to learn” will continue in all grades and all subjects, regardless of the form of assessment.
• All students will continue to receive high level of instruction and opportunity to participate in the arts and practical living skills.
• I will continually seek to provide instruction relevant to the learning level of each child, be it acceleration or remediation. I will be driven by the individual needs of students, not by test design.
• I will provide a reasonable subject review just prior to the assessment window and resolve not to “practice test” throughout the year.
• I will, at every moment, do what is right for the child.
• I agree to be held accountable to myself, my students, and my community on the principles listed above.
A handsome PDF version is available here.

[Correction: I initially attributed this work to the Kentucky Association of School Councils. I apologize to KAAC for the error: I knew the right name and typed the wrong one. The Freudian slip, linking it to a group I worked with for 15 years, came from my deepest admiration.]

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