Monday, March 17, 2008

ASCD Update - Marzano's new book "Making Standards Work"

Robert Marzano was a featured speaker at ASCD discussing his new book, "Making Standards Work." We've heard Marzano speak before, and we have to say that this was one of his most interesting presentations. One piece of our work this year has been centered on Formative Assessment. Marzano's new book supports the Formative Assessment research by Stiggins.

Marzano's discussion about standards centered on the idea that standards have too much content and that we need to trim state standards by at least 1/3. One way to do this is to mesh all "Like concepts" into one standard. The book states that there should be no more than 15 topics, per content area, per grade level, per year.

Another topic discussed was creating scales or templates for rubric design across the building. The book contains many examples of rubrics.

The last topic covered was the controversial grading issue. If you are going to use a formative assessment scale, it doesn't make sense to use a 100 percent grading system, or when you average scores, you underestimate the knowledge.

With the work that we are engaged in for TIE and ESA, this book is a must!

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