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evaluate impromptu speaking skills, knowledge level, and poise.
Social Studies At a high school in Rhode Island, ninth-grade students are asked to complete an oral history project
based on interviews and written sources and to present their findings in class. Students are expected to identify
central issues they want to explore, identify appropriate sources, develop a set of interview questions, and develop a
presentation of their results. Students are evaluated on criteria such as whether they investigated three central
issues, described at least one change over
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EARLY CHILDHOOD MIDDLE
SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
time, selected four appropriate sources for the interviews, asked
valid questions, noted important differences between  fact and
 opinion in answers, and effectively organized their writing and
their presentation to the class.
In New Hampshire, as a four-part assessment for a twelfth-grade
humanities course, students are asked to:
1. Construct their own final test on the semester content, subject to approval by the teacher.
2. Submit a written report on a central topic studied during the
semester, conforming to stated grammar requirements.
3. Make a multimedia, 30-minute oral presentation on their chosen topic.
4. Serve on four evaluation teams to evaluate other students
presentations, playing a different role on each team either a
journalist who summarizes important details or a coach who
suggests improvements for the presentation.
Math In a California junior high, a math teacher presents a unit or
concept and then assigns projects that demonstrate how well
students understand the concept. For example, to assess area
and perimeter relationships in math, he asked the class to use a
particular constant, say  1250 square feet, and design a scale
model of a dream home, using graph paper for the floors. These
strategies help him judge how much learning the student has
retained. He found that  while I thought my students fully
understood area relationships before we started on the project, in
fact they really learned much more as they went along, when
trying to find answers to specific questions such as how many
square feet a bathroom should be.
Many of you are currently using traditional test formats to assess
your students. When we meet at the workshop next week, I d like
to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your current
assessment plan, and I d like to discuss ways we might
incorporate a broader variety of options into our assessment
approach as a school.
1. What is your initial reaction to the range of assessment
options discussed in Joe Medino s memo as a student? as a future
teacher?
2. How do these assessment options compare to the way you were assessed in your high school
classes?
3. In your opinion, will teachers at Jefferson High School embrace
the assessment ideas presented by Joe? Why or why not?
Assess
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