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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

INNOVATIVE PRACTICE
Rationale / Priority (250 words)
What was the need? A creative and authentic approach to assessment:

In order to hold students and teachers accountable to high performance standards and to mirror expectations by which people are assessed in college and in the workplace, June Jordan School for Equity has developed a research-based portfolio assessment system. This system provides students with multiple forms of access and is an authentic way for teachers and students to develop and assess learning collaboratively as well as engage with the broader community. The JJSE performance assessment system is designed to generate real, public accountability for student performance and includes the following elements:  portfolios of student work  rubrics that embody acceptable standards of performance  oral presentations to a committee  opportunities for revision  integration with everyday curriculum and classroom practice The system is organized around six “Habits of Mind” that connect to 20th Century Learning, future college success, and the Common Core Standards: 1) Perspective 2) Relevance 3) Original Research 4) Precision 5) Evidence 6) Logical Reasoning (leading to the acronym “PROPEL”). Teachers in each core subject area department (Math, Science, English, and History) are required to integrate the Habits of Mind into their curriculum and assign one or more major portfolio assignments per semester. Each student is required to produce a portfolio project as a summative assessment in each class, and this project must assess each of the Habits of Mind as related to the subject area. In spring of 10th and 12th grades, students must present and defend their portfolios to a committee which includes teachers, parents/guardians, peers, and community members.

Strategies that were Implemented (250 words)

Implementation:  We visited schools to research similar performance assessment systems across the nation, and we read key texts such as Linda Darling-Hammond’s Authentic Assessment in Action and Grant Wiggins’ Educative Assessment.  Habits of Mind were developed collaboratively by the JJSE staff, with advice from university professors.  We designated a staff member to coordinate the logistics of the system.  The system was approved as a JJSE graduation requirement by the SFUSD Board of Education in 2008.  We are continuously engaged in a process of feedback and improvement, using the student work and committee presentations as indicators of strengths and areas where growth is needed.
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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

Demonstrated Application & Measurable Outcomes (400 words)

Engagement of Key Stakeholders:  Teachers are important stakeholders of this project because they are required to integrate challenging authentic assessments into their teaching and to use rubrics that assess the Habits of Minds. Department heads lead regular discussions on rubric editing and student grading calibration.  Students learn about the Habits of Mind in every class and have multiple opportunities to practice and revise the main portfolio tasks. Students present and defend their work in the spring of 10th and 12th grades.  Parents/guardians are a required component of the presentation committee. They give their child feedback, ask them relevant questions, and engage in authentic discourse about what their child is learning. Community members include professionals, university professors, SFUSD staff, and representatives from CBOs and non-profits who are part of our community. These community members attend portfolio committees and help create public accountability. Implementation factors: # people: # hours: Cost estimate: Other(s): 250 students 1-2 hours: Habits $10K for research Stipend or prep 20 teachers of Mind definition study, teacher for staff member 10-15 community members 1-2 hours: PD, development who is Development of of rubrics and responsible for portfolio project assignments, driving forward in each class. grading the vision, 2-3 hours: grading coordination of for each class logistics, project/paper. committees, 2-3 hours: Setting community up committees. member outreach th 1 hour per 10 + and scheduling. th 12 grader: Oral presentation Targeted Student Groups:  English Language Learners (20-25% of student body)  Special Education Resource Students (20-25% of student body)  Low-income, Free/Reduced Lunch Students (85% of student body)  First in family to attend college (majority of student body)  Latino & African-American students (majority of student body) Impact of Performance Assessment System:  JJSE students complete the following required portfolio tasks at least once per semester during their entire high school career: Literary Analysis: A literary essay, including themes, literary devices, and comparative analysis,
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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013 using a thoughtful question that student has developed. Math Application: A math application where students take a real world situation and demonstrate mathematical modeling, logical reasoning, and computational efficiency in solving the problem. Original Research: A well-organized research essay with a clear argument supported by evidence and following conventions, with at least 5 different relevant and high-quality sources the student has found, and a correct bibliography and citations. Scientific Research: A written lab report that demonstrates the scientific method, including background information and data analysis using statistical tools. Through their written portfolio work and committee presentations, students learn skills such as developing a thesis/hypothesis, using evidence from multiple sources, exploring essential questions connected to the core subject area, developing multiple perspectives on a topic, and using precise oral and written communication. All students are able to defend their knowledge to a panel of their peers, family, and community members by presenting information and answering questions about what they learned. 60-70% of our graduates are “a-g” 4-year college eligible each year, one of the highest rates in SFUSD For the past several years, our “a-g” 4-year college eligibility rates for Black and Latino students have been the highest in SFUSD National Student Clearinghouse data show that our students enroll in 4-year and 2-year colleges at rates at or above SFUSD averages, even though JJSE serves a much more lowincome student population on average. Data from College Summit show that JJSE grads’ second-year college persistence rates are above the rates for all income levels in the Western United States. We have demonstrated examples of teachers holding one another accountable to higher academic standards, and adjusting curriculum in response to student weaknesses as show in portfolio assignments or committee defenses.

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Sharing Best Practice (250 words)

The JJSE performance assessment system has district-wide applications in high schools as well as

middle schools. The development of critical thinking and problem solving skills is now being assessed more deeply through the Smarter Balanced assessments aligned to the new Common Core Standards. On these new tests, students will need to explain their thinking, give evidence to support their thinking, and relate their learning to real world experiences. JJSE staff already have developed a complete system, including curriculum-embedded performance tasks and rubrics, which assesses student skills in these areas. We would be happy to share this practice. We already gave an Ed Talk about it at the 2013 Administrators’’ Institute, and we could do more similar sessions. Teachers and others are welcome to sit on our portfolio committees as community members. We also are happy to do more in-depth training for other teachers or schools. The following are types of resources we could share with other schools and teachers:
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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

Student Paper/Essay Certification  Rubrics  How to Grade Essays Guide  Anchor Papers  Timeline & deadlines, tracking sheets for student work Advisory/Homeroom Teacher Guides  Advisory Curriculum  Revision Handbook  Family communication  Tips for preparing students for committee presentations Committee Presentations  How to Run a Committee  Community Invites  Committee Scheduling Matrix  English/Spanish Presentation Rubrics  Self-Evaluations  Reflection Sheets  Sample Data Workbook for tracking scores of written work & committee passing Supplemental Materials  Sample Portfolio Binders  Student Committee Presentation Videos  Sample Student Presentation Slides  Student Tracking Wall Charts for Advisors  PROPEL Wall Sheets for Teachers

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