Saturday, November 22, 2014

ART, SLO, eh....

Educators in Ohio, including arts educators, have to prove that students have shown growth in our classes. That students actually learned something. (I kinda thought that was why we graded stuff but ok...) You would think the amazing artwork produced by our students would be proof enough but from the perspective of the ODE they just "did" stuff, they didn't necessarily learn anything or they could have had all the knowledge already. AND unfortunately that comes down to testing to prove growth and that needs to be paper and pencil data per most administrations. AND then you have to write multiple learning objectives (um helloo.....I thought that was what the standards were for) AND we have to set goals (never a bad thing) but we have to provide documentation of artifacts that we met those goals..........Now, I don't have time to scrapbook anything in my regular life but now I keep a ginormous professional scrapbook (insert giggle) to prove that I am doing something in my classroom. Look at the mess in my classroom. We are definitely doing something in here......

But fear not fellow arts educators, help is on the way! The Ohio Alliance for Art education, along with Battelle for Kids and West Muskingham Schools collaborated to create "The Ohio Arts Assessment Collaborative".  Educators from all levels of arts education, disciplines(Art, Music, Drama and Music) and different regions of the state teamed up to write 44 model pre and post assessments that will be available for educators to use in Ohio as soon as next year. They will provide a set of valid and standards based assessments appropriate for arts education.

The last few months I have had the privilege of working on the Visual Arts High School team.  I can honestly say I learned more about test construction, test validity and assessment than I ever did in college and most of my professional development sessions. And it was a LOT of work. A LOT.  I think it is important to note, that the tests are in no way a supportive nod to the decision of the ODE to incorporate the SLO system. I had a few educators that were insulted that I wanted to be a part of the process and voiced that opinion to me(insert eye roll here)....and my response was why wouldn't you  want to learn what you could, develop a better assessment for your students and find ways to teach more effectively and assess more efficiently? Besides, if I have to do it anyways,I want it to actually be worthwhile.

Anyways, they are coming. They are in the process of field testing the models now. Allw e have to do is wait just a little bit longer.

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