HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


Taking Measure

Taking Measure

Assessment is a critical function at all levels of day schools. From the classroom to the boardroom, the faculty to the head, every stakeholder and every aspect of school operations stand to benefit from evaluation. Nonetheless, thinking about assessment, and the vehicles for achieving it, are changing in many ways parallel to other aspects of school design. This issue offers reflections about assessment, various and novel ways of achieving it, and discussion of outcomes that can result from successful measurement.

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Holding Yourself to a High Standard of Quality When Using Assessments

by Stacie Cherner Sep 04, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: School PoliciesLeadership

There is an unprecedented level of attention being given to the value and applicability of assessment tools, particularly in the field of education. Certainly this positive development is in part a result of the vast amounts of data seemingly at our fingertips. Practitioners, target audiences, funders, local organizations and other key stakeholders recognize that there are ways to measure the programs, initiatives, curricula, or any other intervention in question.

Hot Buttons: Improving Professional and Lay Leadership at Jewish Organizations

by Interview with Deborah Grayson Riegel, author of The Little Book of Big Ideas for Jewish Professionals and The Little Book of Big Ideas for Jewish Volunteers. Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipBoard Governance

Deborah is a communication and behavior expert who helps corporations, Jewish organizations, and individuals achieve personal, interpersonal and professional success, and she serves as a lecturer of management communication at the Wharton Business School. This interview is published in partnership with the Jewish Book Council. headcoach@myjewishcoach.com

Tell us about the needs you saw that inspired you to write these books.

Listening as the Key to Education

by Interview with Eleanor Duckworth Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: PedagogyStudentsTeachers

Eleanor Duckworth is a professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Among the accomplishments for which she is known is a form of student self-evaluation embedded in the learning process which she describes below. She generously agreed to an interview with her student, Debra Shaffer Seeman, to share her insights with us.

To introduce our conversation, please tell us about your philosophy of student learning.

The Student Assessment Outlook

by Jefferson Burnett, Amada Torres, and Whitney Work Sep 08, 2015

As debates rage on over education reform, assessments are a hot-button issue, not just for educators but also for parents and policymakers. The creation of the Common Core State Standards and the subsequent development of the two primary assessment tools that launched in the 2014–2015 school year have kicked off a new flurry of media coverage and debate about student assessments not seen since the early years of No Child Left Behind.

Beyond Attainment: Examining Student Growth

by Damian Betebenner Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: StudentsPedagogyTechnology

As a first year college student enrolling in an advanced Spanish course, I found myself sitting in class with students from diverse backgrounds. Many students, like myself, had barely visited a country with Spanish as its native language. Others in the class had actually lived in Spanish speaking countries and spoke—at least to my ear—fluent Spanish. This situation presented a challenge to the teacher in terms of grading. Students were entering the class with vastly different fluency levels in Spanish.

Made to Measure: Teacher Assessment and Evaluation in Jewish Schools

by Jennifer Lewis Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersLeadership

American education is awash in evaluation these days. The driving notion seems to be that if we specify the outcomes we are after and test for them, good instruction will follow. This is both good news, and bad news, for Jewish schools. The bad news first. Vast resources are being directed away from teachers and students, and towards the development of tests: tests for students, tests for teachers, tests of administrators. One only has to glance at the newspaper to see the lively conversation all this testing has generated among parents, teachers and kids.

Teacher Supervision? Professional Development? Or Both?

by Benjamin Mann and Steven Lorch Sep 04, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersLeadership

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The Role of Trust in Measuring Teacher Performance

by Rebecca M. Solomon Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersLeadership

Classroom observations hold great potential to improve teaching and learning. In an effective evaluation and feedback system based on mutual trust, observations can clarify expectations for teaching, support teachers in elevating their practice, and provide essential information for professional development decisions. Moreover, when teachers receive regular, meaningful, and actionable feedback on their practice they are more willing and better equipped to make the instructional shifts called for as schools increasingly aim to become models of innovation.

JDS Reform: Starting with Data

by Jon Ben-Asher, Head of School, Tucson Hebrew Academy Sep 08, 2015

Is your school’s today the same as its yesterday? Enrollment dropping—staff morale sinking—parents frustrated—do you know why?

One thing’s for certain: we cannot afford to stand still in today’s demanding, competitive educational environments. When every Jewish child counts and the tectonic plates of the educational landscape continue to jostle and shake, how do you know what moves to make to ensure you’re delivering the best your system can provide?

Using Standardized Assessments to Drive Instruction

by Joanie Silverman, Middle School Principal, David Posnack Jewish Day School, Davie, Florida Sep 08, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: PedagogyLeadership

As a K-12 school, David Posnack Jewish Day School has a unique opportunity to use assessments to analyze the academic curriculum at all grade levels. When standardized testing or summative assessments identify areas in which students demonstrate a specific weakness or lack of prerequisite knowledge, Posnack teachers are able to use this data not only to remediate instruction, but to proactively ensure that academic gaps are closed before moving forward to the higher level grades.