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Next Generation Noncognitive Assessment System

ACT Tessera: “A Perfect Fit for Our Mission and Values”

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Jun 21, 2017 12:33:56 PM

For Jeneen Graham, Ed.D., Academic Dean of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, California, it is the science that comes first when thinking about and selecting measurement and assessment systems. “Selecting ACT Tessera for our school had everything to do with my respect for its particular constructs; I was impressed that they were clearly aligned with the abundant research literature about what are indeed distinct and true human personality attributes. I love that the six ACT Tessera skills are based on the ‘big five’ personality traits, many of which are just the right ones for schools to focus on.”

The other thing that impresses her is that the ACT Tessera assessment system, unlike so many others, doesn’t rely exclusively on self-reporting. “Our school’s primary commitment and focus is growth over time, and we look for reliable data about how students are changing over the years in order to evaluate our success and theirs. Self-report systems, though, have too many limitations to work effectively longitudinally. Respondents in self-report system tend toward answering for social desirability: they know what we value and what are looking for, and each time they take a self-report survey they naturally tend to answer with what they know we want to hear. 

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Topics: education, K-12 Noncognitive Assessments, ACT Tessera

Social-Emotional Learning at the ASU GSV Summit

Posted by ProExam on May 11, 2017 11:37:55 AM


Photo by Lev Kaye

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Topics: noncognitive skills, education, SEL

Teachers Want Social-Emotional Learning as the ESSA Accountability Factor

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Jan 25, 2017 12:47:50 PM

 
Snow doesn’t slow down Salt Lake City, and it certainly puts no damper on that school district’s commitment to social and emotional learning (SEL). Over the course of two snowy days last week, I visited several classrooms in a middle and high school, and met with a group of teachers who are teaching a fast-expanding course in social and emotional learning they are calling “Techniques for Tough Times” (TTT), coauthored by Leigh VandenAkker and Gayle Threet

The teachers with whom I met (all of whom are using the Tessera SEL assessment system developed by ProExam as part of their program) made a great impression on my colleagues and me. They are deeply committed to this program; one of them, a former school counselor, enrolled in a graduate program and earned his master’s degree in teaching solely for the purpose of earning the qualification necessary to teach this particular course. They were connected with their students, innovative in their methods and reflective about their practice.

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Topics: education, social and emotional learning, ESSA, SEL

Where Are We with ESSA’s Non-Academic Factors?

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Dec 2, 2016 5:19:11 PM

Most readers are probably familiar with the fascinating curve ball the 2015 Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as ESSA, has thrown into state-level mandated accountability indices. In addition to a set of “substantially weighted” academic indicators, states are to add to them “at least one additional indicator of school quality or student success beyond test scores.”

Although we are presently in a moment of political uncertainty with regards to the future of all federal policy and legislation, there is some reason to think ESSA will stand as is: it was passed, after all, in legislation by the Republican-controlled House and Senate before being signed by a Democratic President.

Let us first applaud the inclusion of this additional indicator, what the media is usually labeling (though not entirely accurately) the “Non-academic Indicator” (NAI) or “Non-academic Factor” (NAF) to the mix. This is great news: we know today more than ever before how important it is to broaden our gauges of educational effectiveness.

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Topics: noncognitive skills, education, K-12 Noncognitive Assessments, ESSA, non-academic indicators

Europe Needs More and Better Social and Emotional Learning Assessment Throughout Its Educational System

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Sep 20, 2016 12:56:07 PM


Europe needs more and better social and emotional learning (SEL) and SEL assessment throughout its educational system. This is the conclusion of a recent OECD report, “Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social Emotional Skills.”

Elsewhere in this blog series we’ve laid out the demand for these measures in the U.S. context, but today we look globally and to Europe more particularly, against the backdrop of the upcoming E-ATP conference in Lisbon where our colleagues Dr. Rich Roberts and Simmy Ziv-el will be making presentations related to noncognitive assessments.

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Topics: education, character strengths, K-12 Noncognitive Assessments, ESSA, SEL, europe, measurement

New EdWeek Commentary: We Should Measure Students' Noncognitive Skills

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Aug 4, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Noncognitive skills are an ongoing hot topic in education, and for good reason—there is an extraordinary movement of renewed emphasis upon social and emotional learning (SEL), the kind of learning that research has well established is essential for all kids.

However, much is being missed in the national conversation about this subject. Researchers in university departments of psychology and educational assessment, as well as scientists at various measurement companies, have been industriously innovating, developing evidence-based systems by which we can effectively student character strengths and noncognitive skills. These new systems overcome the faking, subjectivity, and reference bias problems that plague “first generation” measurement methods.

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Topics: education, character strengths, K-12 Noncognitive Assessments, ESSA, SEL

10 Ways Educators Can Use SEL Measurement and Assessment for Student Success

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Jun 1, 2016 5:00:00 PM


"10 Ways Educators Can Use SEL Measurement and Assessment for Student Success" by Jonathan E. Martin, Principal for JonathanEMartin Ed. Services, was originally published on Getting Smart.

In sharing a series of posts over the past several weeks about the rising demand for social emotional learning (SEL) measurement and noncognitive skills assessment, we noted that new methods are emerging for doing it effectively.

Still, some are wondering what a typical (or atypical) school or district would do with the data and reports they received after administering such an assessment to their students?

Because noncognitive assessment is still so new to schools, one answer to this question is we don’t yet know. We anticipate that five years from now we may be astounded by the diverse and innovative ways in which educators wield what we believe will be a powerful and creative tool.

Nevertheless, we can speculate about how measuring and assessing noncognitive skills and character strengths might valuably assist educators, both in bolstering students’ social and emotional skills and elevating their academic skills and traditional test scores.

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Topics: assessments, education, social and emotional learning, education technology, SEL

Can Grit Be Grown?

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on May 26, 2016 5:30:00 PM


Photo from Getting Smart 
"Can Grit Be Grown?" by Jonathan E. Martin, Principal for JonathanEMartin Ed. Services, was originally published on
Getting Smart.

Can we grow grit in ourselves and others? And if so, how best might we do so?

Since grit grew to great heights of public awareness in the early 2010s thanks to a combination of magazine articles, best-selling books and TED talks, its significance has preoccupied many educators. Dr. Angela Duckworth’s research struck a nerve, secured her a MacArthur genius grant and launched a million conversations across the nation. 

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Topics: noncognitive skills, education, character strengths, social and emotional learning, grit, SEL

Is There a Need to “Build Better Students?”

Posted by Jeremy Burrus on Apr 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM


Photo by Chris Jobling (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Three questions well worth considering:

  1. Is the world of work really and truly changing?
  2. If so, what kind of education and skills are required of workers to succeed in this new world?
  3. Is there a need to alter our education systems in order to “build better students” and ensure that workers have the necessary education and skills?

First of all, technology has most certainly changed the way we work. The speed of computing, data analysis, and decision-making has greatly increased. Communication happens nearly instantaneously, and telecommuting is becoming more common as we are able to work collaboratively online. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated that more than 95%, 85%, and 65% of jobs in large, medium, and small businesses, respectively, in OECD countries now involve the internet. Another key driver of change is automation, as computing and robots are now able to take the place of humans in completing several types of tasks.

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Topics: noncognitive skills, education, character strengths, social and emotional learning, SEL

The Whole Child Perspective on Social and Emotional Learning

Posted by Jonathan E. Martin on Apr 14, 2016 2:30:00 PM

The Whole Child. That’s been the core commitment of ASCD, a leading professional educators’ association, for almost a decade now. That continuing importance to ensuring we support students in their holistic growth was made loud and clear at the recent ASCD Annual Conference in Atlanta early this month.

ASCD leaders also made explicit the connection they see between their preferred term “Whole Child” and the rapidly rising attention being made to “SEL”—Social and Emotional Learning: they are effectively one and the same.

In two sessions, David Griffith, ASCD Senior Director of Public Policy, presented for the association on SEL program development, leadership, and measurement for accountability—and the implications of these presentations are profound.

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Topics: education, K-12 Noncognitive Assessments, ESSA, whole child

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